02 August 2022

How New Technology Helps Finance Managers Stay Ahead of the Curve

mobile phone

In recent years, the digital revolution has transformed how we live and work, and finance departments are no exception. The rise of digital accounting and the availability of finance automation tools have helped companies improve the performance of finance functions and save precious time.  There are many benefits, but often Finance Managers often lack the digital knowledge and literacy to embrace the advantages that some of these tools bring.

When it comes to all things digital, confidence amongst many traditional Finance Managers is low. The digital solutions marketplace is crowded and staying up to date can feel like a full-time job. Fortunately, there are a number of ways that Finance Managers can embrace new technology and stay ahead of the curve.

When should you consider using digital finance tools?

If you’re experiencing any of the things listed below, the chances are you will greatly benefit from investing in financial software tools: –

Time consuming tasks – are you and your staff spending too much time on simple finance tasks that could easily be automated?

Complex processes – Are you faced with increasingly complex financial processes that tie up you and your team?

Increased workload – Is your to-do list getting bigger and bigger?

Less visibility – Do you feel like you don’t have a clear enough view of your end-to-end financial processes or your company’s financial health?

 

If you recognised any of the above, then digital finance tools are for you!

 

What are the benefits of digital financial tools?

There are several ways that automation and Software as a Service (SaaS) can help a busy Finance Manager or finance department. Here are the main ones:-

Saving time

Through automation, Finance Managers and Accountants are spending less time on tasks like creating balance sheets or financial reports. Instead, they can now focus on more strategic tasks which will benefit their companies greatly. Reducing more mundane tasks also leads to employee satisfaction and overall productivity across the team.

Reducing errors

Human activity increases the risk of mistakes – after all, we’re all just human. Using software for managing these processes will greatly reduce this risk- which can often have financial, legal or reputational implications.

Business continuity

When tasks are performed manually, inconsistencies can arise as every person has their own way of doing things. By automating processes, you can standardise practices, and be sure data is always inputted and used consistently.

Security, compliance and Fraud prevention

Your sensitive data is better protected if you use cloud-based software. Cloud based solutions allow for regular backups and contain encryption that protects against data breaches. Financial Management software gives companies the chance to simplify their reporting processes and adhere to any strict legal or regulatory frameworks they may operate under.  Digital tools are also great at creating transparency. Since finance automation tools provide audit trails logging all activities, they reduce the risk of fraud and make it much more difficult to manipulate information.

Better data insights

Having great data is the key to success in any business. Using software solutions means you will be able to collect more data, and it will likely be more accurate. Therefore, you can gather better insights and identify trends or patterns that can be used to improve or even grow the business even further.

Flexibility

With solutions having now migrated to the cloud, this makes it possible for teams to access information remotely – across different departments and offices in various locations. This means that companies can offer flexible working and recruit talent from outside their geographical boundaries.

How do I get started?

One of the best ways to get started is to think about repetitive tasks or any kind of task where you’re not using analytical or decision-making skills. Often this kind of task is something that includes data entry. Budgets and forecasts are a great example of this where you may be inputting data from various sources and cross-checking various formulae in multiple spreadsheets.

Using an “easy entry” financial forecasting tool such as Clearview is a great way of saving precious finance team time.

Whatever software you decide to use, do make sure you consult whoever looks after IT and data protection for your company so they can help you to integrate it properly.

That said, let’s take a deeper look at some of the automation options out there for Finance Managers.

 

Integrated forecasting software

As mentioned above, Integrated forecasting software can really help you speed up the manual process of creating an integrated cashflow, p&l and balance sheet forecasts. More and more businesses are realising that forecasting software is an essential tool for any business owner or Finance Manager. With easy-to-use interfaces, forecasting software can automate and speed up a Finance Manager’s ability to predict the business’s financial future.

Here at Clearview, we see on a daily basis how more and more companies are able to speed up decision making and end of year accounting through digital forecasting tools.

Financial management tools

Financial management software (FMS) helps companies to manage assets, income, and expenses. From basic bookkeeping to streamlining invoices to advanced analytics, financial management software is designed to help you automate and simplify all the financial aspects of your business. Netsuite is a cloud-based system that can automate accounts payable, inventory management, order processing and other core processes.

Digital Signature Tools

Most finance departments have to deal with financial and legal documents on a daily basis.  Manually printing, signing, and scanning financial reports and many other documents is time-consuming, inefficient, and open to human error. Docusign make it easy to maintain high security and compliance standards. Its also easy to keep a view of all your signed documents in one place.

Travel expense management tools

Travel expenses are notoriously difficult to keep track of. So having a dedicated travel platform to book, manage and generate reports on all of your company’s business travel is a huge time saver. TravelPerk’s expense management functionality simplifies expense tracking and invoicing. If you have a team travelling regularly for business, then automating this element of you Finance Manager role is a no brainer.

Payroll Management

Payroll is a monthly process that can take hours, even for a company with just a few staff.  Payroll management software automates a lot of these processes and handles all of your employee’s financial records from salaries, taxation, bonuses, and so on. Quickbooks can assist with payroll and timesheets speeding up this time hungry element of the Finance Manager’s day job.

 

Conclusion:

 

Financial management software, or accounting software, has become a key component of any company’s financial activity.

Clearview is THE financial forecasting software that makes business planning easy. It does all the hard work for you, so you can focus on your business. There are no spreadsheets, no formulae, and no reports to configure. Clearview takes care of it all, so you can get on with focusing on growth. And because it’s easy to use, you’ll be up and running in no time.  Our software speeds up budgeting, cash flow forecasting and business planning.

 

As Finance Managers you should have a keen eye on efficiency and cost saving. So, we recommend embracing technology sooner rather than later.  The sooner you do, the sooner your business will benefit, and the sooner you will impress your management team!