A recent Gartner report showed that 85% of finance teams are currently undergoing or planning a Finance Transformation.
As the world around us continuously evolves, finance professionals must adapt to remain effective in the marketplace. We are well into the digital age, with a general awareness of the variety of solutions available that can quickly add value to the firm by reducing time and money spent on tedious workflows. Undergoing a financial transformation may seem like a daunting task, but it is a decision that can pay dividends in the future.
In this article, we will be discussing how these digital solutions can help your firm, how they can add value, and how to integrate and implement them into your current systems.
How Digital Solutions Add Value to Finance and Accounting Teams
Digital solutions and enterprises provide new, updated options and capabilities for finance and accounting departments. This includes task automation, new insights into data, increased reporting options, simpler use, and more. Automating & speeding up routine tasks allow finance and accounting teams to focus more time on forward-looking, value-adding projects.
For example, when your finance and accounting teams are spending time compiling and reconciling prior and backward-looking transactions, they are adding little to no value to the firm. The time consumed by these processes is multiplied exponentially if the team is using outdated spreadsheets and budgeting solutions. Many of these labour-intensive tasks can now be automated, by implementing new business solutions. Forward-looking projects are the most effective way that finance and accounting teams can add value to the firm.
So, your goal should be to maximize the amount of time these teams can focus on forward looking projects. This can be done through embracing robotic processing automation (RPA) solutions that can directly automate tasks such as data trend analysis, budgeting & forecasting, and also by updating other digital products your firm utilizes to speed up other processes. The more people and time that you can make available for value-added projects, the more successful they will be.
Why Firms Have Issues Integrating Digital Products
In our research, firms most often have issues integrating digital products and getting full value from the products when they are spending too much time focusing on previous business results and when they are too reliant on outdated spreadsheet and solutions. In these cases, firms are not fully utilizing the digital product to its full capabilities and are not receiving all these desired benefits of the solution.
Another major integration issue can be the people factor. If your finance and accounting teams are unable or unwilling to adopt the new digital product, the integration will fail and the business will not see all of the potential benefits of the project. This can be a major issue and is one of the main reasons that integrations such as this fail, or are not fully utilized.
Per research done by Gartner, over 70% of finance transformation projects do not deliver the full forecasted benefit to the business. To prevent this, a management hands-on approach to the integration is a must.
How to Start Integrating Digital Solutions and Process Automations
The process to begin integrating digital solutions begins with high level review of your firm’s digital objectives. If you intend to add new digital products, you may have to adapt your business plan and objectives to fit the new solutions. Picking the right solution that best aligns with your enterprise goals is imperative.
Firstly, as previously mentioned, the biggest factor in the integration process is the people factor. Your teams must fully adopt the solution for the business to get full value from it. The best way to ensure that the integration is successful is; active support from senior management, removing pain points in everyday processes, and removing workload from finance and accounting teams through automation.
To begin with this, support from the top and open lines of communication between day-to-day users and upper management is crucial. The appointment of a senior manager to drive the project will contribute greatly to the success of the project. Engagement and open communication with all involved parties is essential.
Secondly, you must demonstrate to your teams how the new solution reduces their workload, addresses pain points, or improves the user experience. A key feature of a good digital solution for your firm is the automation of simple day-to-day tasks, taking them out of the hands of your finance and accounting department. These are all ways to earn trust and build relationships with your team to properly integrate your digital solutions and ensure that your business is getting full utility.
Integrating the right digital solutions can drastically improve the efficiency of your finance and accounting departments as well as add significant value to the firm. In this new digital age, process automation, simplified day-to-day processes, and freeing up more time and effort to focus on value-added products are a must if a firm wants to remain competitive in the changing market.
Completing a successful finance transformation is not a simple task, but it can pay dividends in the future. Managing performance, changing culture, and investing in your employees are all imperative to completing a successful integration and cannot be missed. In the long term, your finance and accounting teams will see the benefits from updating your digital solutions.
Contact us to learn more about the Benefits of Process Automation
and how SOBI can help.