Corcentric Vice President of Sales Julie Copple examined the benefits of automating everyday financial processes during her presentation to Argyle’s CFO membership at the 2018 Financial Leadership Forum: Strategy & Innovation in the Digital Era in Chicago on May 9. In her presentation, “The Payable to Payments Revolution,” Copple explained why automating financial processes does not have to be a “daunting” task for finance professionals, regardless of an organization’s size or the resources at its disposal.
Although automation is a top priority for many companies, few businesses realize its full potential. In fact, some companies shy away from automation due to an unwillingness to modify their current financial processes. Or, in other instances, businesses may avoid automation due to fears of encountering myriad challenges with implementing cloud-based automation software and technologies.
“Automation is a big theme that we’re hearing,” Copple indicated. “Yet there are so many companies that still aren’t automating their financial processes.”
Ultimately, automation is paramount for CFOs and other finance professionals. By automating everyday processes, finance professionals can allocate additional time and resources toward a company’s strategic initiatives. Plus, automation helps finance professionals become more productive and efficient, as well as lower operating costs across a company.
“From an efficiency and time perspective, [automation] is huge,” Copple noted. “Additionally, the cost to process an invoice … drops with automation.”
“From an efficiency and time perspective, [automation] is huge,”
Deploying automation technologies across a business requires a top-down approach. If a CFO gets buy-in from a senior leadership team, he or she may be better equipped than ever before to implement automation technologies at all levels of a company.
Furthermore, a CFO should focus on the strategic benefits of automation to engage senior business leaders and obtain buy-in. If a CFO can highlight the potential cost and time savings provided by automation technologies, he or she could get the necessary support to drive automation across a business.
“Having a champion CFO who wants to make sure that financial processes are efficient [is key],” Copple pointed out. “Also, just having a strategic approach to accounts payable automation is important.”
Automation technologies often help finance leaders engage employees, too.
With automation technologies, many day-to-day work tasks are streamlined. This means employees can provide strategic contributions in other areas of a business. And as a result, automation technologies may help finance leaders connect with workers and provide them with meaningful opportunities to contribute to a company’s success.
“Employees really want to do things that can fulfill them, and automation is one of the things that can help with that,” Copple stated.
“Employees really want to do things that can fulfill them, and automation is one of the things that can help with that,”
Automation technologies often eliminate the need for paper-based management as well – something that makes these technologies exceedingly valuable to companies across all industries.
Maintaining accurate financial records sometimes is difficult, particularly for companies that rely on paper-based records systems. Now, cloud-based software empowers finance professionals to retrieve and manage data digitally. The software also allows finance professionals to access business records quickly and securely from any location, on any device and at any time.
CFOs should consider all of the automation technologies that are available. By doing so, these finance leaders can select and implement technologies that enable a company eliminate paper-based records and bolster its everyday operations.
“It is so much less expensive when you have an automated process versus when you’re managing a process with paper,” Copple said.
Automation technologies may change the way that suppliers connect with a business over an extended period of time. For example, if a business automates its invoicing process, it can make it simple for suppliers to receive fast payments for various products and services. This may lead some suppliers to offer discounts to businesses and allow these companies to further reduce their operating costs.
“Not only are suppliers going to want to work with you if you can automate invoices, but they also are likely to provide you with discounts if you can process invoices quickly,” Copple indicated.
How CFOs approach automation technologies may have far-flung effects on a business, its employees and its customers. CFOs who choose to embrace automation technologies may discover innovative ways to help a company achieve its immediate and long-term goals. These finance leaders can make it easy for a company to track records and streamline assorted day-to-day processes. Perhaps best of all, CFOs who drive automation across a business can help a company provide its customers with the products and services they need, faster and more efficiently than the competition.
“With technology, you can be in a world where paper is eliminated and everything can be much more streamlined and automated,” Copple stated.