Does your accounting team fill a strategic role at your company? From a survey of business leaders in the UK, over one-third (34%) of those surveyed feel that their accounting departments are undervalued and underutilized. At the same time, 82% of CFOs are keen to adopt cloud applications as a way to move their businesses forward into a future where routine accounting practices will be fully digitized and automated.
Further research suggests that, while this idyllic future isn’t far off, businesses are not yet positioned to reap the rewards of a strategy-focused accounting department. Out of 157 senior finance executives who were surveyed by CFO research, a majority (63%) describe their department as “inefficient,” “silo-constrained,” or “not linked to decision-making.” The culprit appears to be technology, or rather, a lack of modern technology. Only 14% of executives say that their current financial tech is able to support data-driven decision making for the business, and most would argue that their systems are not flexible enough to keep up with any changes to business models or strategy that are slated to occur in the next two years.
Without the right tools, finance executives cannot offer strategic insights that rely on detailed operational information, even as businesses need this support more than ever. Modern accounting technology is no longer a nice-to-have, but the key to financial function transformation. Automation is already changing the role of CFOs, and while the pace of change is slow, financial executives are ready to embrace a new digital future.
However, for an accounting team that is willing to make the leap and embrace leading edge technology, the options available can already seem overwhelming. Which accounting functions would benefit the most for a technical upgrade? The best way to tackle this question is to examine your accounting processes and identify those data-heavy areas that rely on highly repetitive processes. For most businesses, accounts payable fits the bill, as invoice processing typically involves quite a lot of data entry, and invoice approvals will generally follow well-trod paths through a company, based on established approval procedures.
Automating accounts payable speeds up the process, saves time and resources, ensures data accuracy, and creates a reliable source of real-time AP data that can be used to support business decisions. Learn more about the benefits of accounts payable automation in our whitepaper, Work Smarter: How Accounts Payable Automation Empowers Accounting Teams or contact an AP specialist to get more details.