By Marina Joseph – Art in Tanzania internship
Many companies have begun to take significant steps to modernize their finance departments. Digital innovations, which have completely reshaped many sectors and flipped long-held business models on their heads, are now offering new cost-effective ways to improve Finance’s capabilities. Organizations must abandon conventional finance practices and embrace the digital revolution in today’s highly competitive, data-driven business climate. Many businesses put off switching from conventional finance practices to digital technology because modernizing the finance operations entails spending money. However, financial management systems that are obsolete and fragmented are sluggish and prone to human error. The strategic process of using emerging technology to boost efficiency by streamlining business processes and organizational activities is known as digital transformation. Traditional positions such as sales, marketing, and finance must be reimagined to meet the changing competitive climate and consumer demands.
Accounting departments can use digital transformation to move away from manual processes and automate core finance functions like accounts receivable, accounts payable, payroll, and so on. It allows the organization to remove ineffective document-based communication, which is often the source of duplication of effort, mistakes, and miscommunications. Finance and accounting teams can save time and gain the flexibility they need to expand efficiently as the company expands by modernizing their finance operations and making internal processes more efficient.
Digital Technologies Transforming Finance
Finance decision-makers will need to integrate their expertise and experience with these specialized tools and applications as these technologies develop and strengthen. Here are some of the financial innovations that are already changing and modernizing business functions.
Advanced Data Analytics
The issue with obsolete systems is that data is likely scattered throughout the organization. Advanced predictive analytics helps CFOs and leaders to develop core processes with data and insights that improve accuracy in predicting revenue and detecting industry patterns, enabling them to avoid market risks and possible stumbling blocks. When old systems were used, it took weeks to get the data and insights needed to make educated decisions. Finance executives and accounting team managers will cut administrative expenses while growing job volumes.
Cloud-based Infrastructure and Software-as-a Service (SaaS)
Because your data is stored on secure, remote servers, or the “cloud,” the SaaS model eliminates the need to worry about maintaining, managing, or securing it. Cloud-based infrastructure and software-as-a-service (SaaS) simplify operations and save businesses money on system upgrades. Cloud computing is no longer considered cutting-edge; in fact, many people are still using it without even realizing it. Organizations no longer need to manage either cloud-based applications or physical servers while using SaaS.
Robotic Process Automation (RPA)
RPA streamlines business processes and improves financial processing performance by automating mundane, manual activities. RPA software may be set up to connect with other automated systems in order to process transactions, minimizing the amount of human work that would otherwise be needed to transfer routine data between external applications and various accounting systems. Transactional processes before RPA consisted of several steps that were vulnerable to errors. Working in accounts payable and receivable involved separating Excel files from xml files, then zipping the xml files and uploading them to the right website for customers to access. RPA transfers invoices to a designated network folder automatically, navigating the system to find the correct folder and reducing screen clutter. RPA accomplishes this by recording work steps, generating process blueprints, and establishing automated scripts to process data through multiple systems. The entire procedure decreases the number of clicks and time it takes to upload an invoice significantly.
Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence
Finance and accounting will benefit from machine learning and AI to boost balance sheet integrity, predict capital availability more accurately, cut operating costs, and improve cash collection. Companies can use AI to tap into their data and analytics at a quicker pace, exposing their full potential. As a result, decisions are made quicker, and expenses, cash flow, and working capital are better managed. The more an AI-based system is used, the more it learns and becomes smarter. In invoice management, for example, the technology analyzes journal entries using algorithms, natural language processing, and data to simplify invoice sorting. Invoice payment history and trends are used through machine learning and logic to speed up invoice collection and reconciliation, enabling finance and accounting professionals to be more strategic and concentrate on strategy and development.