To concentrate on growth initiatives in 2023, the modern CFO requires a technology stack that can do away with the hassles of data wrangling
In recent years, the CFO role has changed significantly from that of the financial gatekeeper who balances the books to that of a crucial advisor and strategic decision-maker for the company. They now play a key role in deciding what technology their company should spend money on.
A wide range of new technology, old legacy platforms, and services offer analysis and insight to give CFOs the knowledge they need to expand and safeguard their companies. However, the continued uptake and layering of technology can lead to issues. Numerous various applications and systems have the potential to make an already challenging job more complicated. Simplicity should be the guiding principle for CFOs and their tech stacks.
The transforming role of the CFO
The CFO’s role is rapidly changing, requiring new skills and capabilities and more collaboration with other members of the C-suite. Non-finance roles, such as strategic leadership, business transformation, and performance management, are receiving more attention.
A growing number of positions report to the CFO, including those in procurement, investor relations, M&A transactions and execution, enterprise transformation, post-merger integration, cybersecurity, and information technology. CFOs need to adjust quickly, offer insight into all potential risks, outline the best method for implementing strategy in various areas, and ensure the company maintains its financial stability. Unfortunately, these extra responsibilities can cause CFOs to have a lot of work. Although finance has existed in some form since the beginning of the company-building process, today’s CFOs are witnessing a radical change in the scope of their organizations and the core workflows that their teams control. Finance professionals are being asked to integrate themselves across the business to support critical decision-making processes, whether it be a request from Sales to provide insights on bookings to inform capacity planning or a partnership with Engineering to forecast cloud costs.
Having multiple applications makes it harder
The numerous tools CFOs use, many of which have not kept up with their expanding remits, are one reason they struggle to manage their additional responsibilities. Many of the CFO’s duties are cross-departmental, but some current tools don’t consider that. For example, treasurers must use dispersed technology to manage various but connected functions like currency risk and payments. This is because most technological tools are made to first address a single pain point. Many tech start-ups will launch new services to increase customer retention and generate more revenue. A spend management company adding lending and insurance products is one example. However, the CFO tech stack’s sheer number of applications makes management increasingly challenging. Most of a CFO’s time is spent manually combining data from various sources and making sense of it in a spreadsheet.
Businesses are increasingly looking for more integrated, digitized solutions to help the CFO make better decisions as they recognize the inefficiency of this process.
Streamline by integrating
The work of the CFO is currently being made more accessible by a new wave of FinTech companies. They aim to give CFOs more time for strategic inputs by automating financial analyses or offering software that makes it easier for finance teams to work with other departments.
The need for CFOs to have all of their banking services in one streamlined, integrated platform has grown as FX hedging and cross-border payments have gained importance for businesses.
Today, treasurers have access to treasury management systems that give them control over their cash flow, FX operations, and real-time data insights. They now thoroughly understand their corporate behavior, supported by specific data and intelligence with the tools. As a result, it is less likely that decisions will be made incorrectly when data on the Treasury is combined from various sources.
Payments and billing
Next-generation billing and payment platforms assist businesses in managing their revenue-generating activities because of the complexity of enterprise contract terms and recurring billing scenarios. The central command center enables the management of customer subscriptions, the issuance of invoices, and revenue tracking. The complexity and difficulties of the billing infrastructure have also increased due to the popularity of usage-based pricing models. The software links to the business’s bank accounts, assisting the finance teams in the real-time understanding of the company’s cash position, debt, and revenue movements. Software for billing and payments can also automatically send and receive payments and aid in payment reconciliation.
Accounting and ERP systems
The modern CFO plays a significant role in capital allocation, headcount planning, and other areas, in addition to the core responsibilities of financial reporting, accounting, planning, and compliance. Accounting processes are automated by ERP and accounting systems. A single, fully integrated system consolidates all entities quickly, automates redundant accounting tasks, slices and dices data with multi-dimensional reporting, and frees up the FP&A team’s time to concentrate on high-value work.
Accounting and ERP software is a component of the CFO’s tech stack because it is cloud-based, customizable, and can be used for reporting and business needs without requiring custom programming. Since both of these divisions coordinate the company’s strategic and financial goals, the finance and accounting teams can work together more effectively thanks to these systems.
The CRM unites the sales, marketing, and customer teams and focuses the company on shared objectives. To gain valuable insights into a business, CRM software combines customer relationship management data with ERP and HRIS. They make it easier to accurately plan for sales performance by integrating specific insights that can affect sales performance. Customer cohort analysis allows the finance and RevOps teams to see the most lucrative customer opportunities and market segments.
CFOs can gain real-time data and use the insights to make quicker and better decisions by utilizing integrated systems, simplifying tech stacks, and lightening workloads. The CFO tech stack should integrate with the current systems to fully capture the state of the company’s finances. Nevertheless, the CFO’s role has changed from merely gathering data to analyzing it for deeper insights and better strategy using underlying data. Software for business planning Pigment provides a full-spectrum view of the business, streamlines analysis, and enables continuous planning, empowering finance and FP&A teams and CFOs.