Written by Jean Hodges – September 2023
How to overcome inefficiencies
The role and responsibilities of the modern CFO extend far beyond the day-to-day financial challenges of running a business. Today, it’s no longer enough to play the traditional role of finance leader. To deliver value as your role evolves, you must show resilience, demonstrate more active leadership, and build skills in other areas of the business.
Today’s CFOs are responsible for much more than finance
Being an effective financial leader requires a deep understanding of your organization and the ability to apply that knowledge to guide your people on the path to success.
For many financial leaders, the current economic uncertainties and upheavals have resulted in additional organizational demands—from firefighting crises and preserving cash to assessing risk, redesigning financial plans, and revising forecasts.
“Today, the role of the chief financial officer (CFO) is under greater scrutiny, internally and externally. CFOs face never-ending pressure to cut costs, grow revenue, and ensure control.”
The desire to fulfill ambitions
The expanding roles and responsibilities demanded of financial leaders today can leave you needing real-time data to confidently drive your decisions. You also need accurate insights to understand what’s happening in your business in seconds—and be able to apply that understanding to affect positive change.
With the right data and insights in place, you can look ahead and prepare for the future rather than looking in the rearview mirror. You’ll be empowered to fulfill the ambitions of your business, drive growth, and be ready to follow the path to success. So, what do you need to get there?
Removing common frustrations
Outdated legacy finance systems and processes for budgeting and accounting
can be a significant cause of frustration for today’s financial leaders.
Let’s take the close process as an example. Recent research found that 92% of CFOs feel frustrated by the time it takes their business to close, the human resources needed to manually consolidate data from multiple sources—and the lack of business impact.
Such outdated and manual processes can result in a loss of productivity and wasted time as your teams work through reams of financial records and different databases. It also means your business risks making mistakes throughout the process as data integrity and security aren’t prioritized. In worst-case scenarios, your data can become vulnerable to cyber security attacks.
The end of overwhelm
Fear of missed deadlines, the sheer volume of work needed, and the risk of making serious errors can all overwhelm CFOs—and that feeling is only heightened when audit season or budget forecasts add to the pressure.
Additional frustrations can be found when financial leaders explore the limitations of their current solutions and providers—and the time taken up by financial reporting.
Businesses relying on spreadsheets can expect to lose around 10 hours weekly on manual data entry and correction. In addition, they cannot fulfill reporting requests outside their regular reporting periods. Compare this with the 79% close time reduction reported by businesses that have the right technology in place, and it’s clear that storing data in different places and formats presents a real challenge.
Financial leaders can find themselves stuck with significant gaps in their insights and operational efficiencies without the ability to see the numbers in the format they want, when they want. They can even incur additional costs when they invoice other businesses and try to get paid on time.
Ambitious financial leaders must be able to analyze their financial and operational data and gain the vital insights they need to make informed management decisions. In addition, fast-growing companies need the ability to manage multiple locations and entities. Only then can CFOs begin to manage, improve, and grow their businesses.
An opportunity to look at the bigger picture
When CFOs can look ahead, their reliance on outdated legacy systems and time-consuming manual processes to scale and drive their business performance becomes unsustainable.
Add to this the need to feel in control amid economic uncertainty and climate change. For CFOs to futureproof their organizations, they need to be able to adjust, pivot, and grow—especially in preparation for any planned acquisitions.
This is where the cloud and new technologies can help forward-thinking CFOs accelerate their growth and functionality across the organization.
With the adoption of new technologies and tools like paperless automation, financial leaders are freer to focus on strategic thinking. In addition, they have the time to connect with like-minded peers outside the business to shape their industries, reduce the stress and pressures of managing confidential business data, and create a better balance between work and home.
Helping business flow
The right technology and advanced reporting can enable financial leaders to focus on strategy and keep their businesses ahead of the accelerating pace of industry change.
Choosing a system with extended functionality and multidimensional reporting that slices and dices data in seconds will give you back valuable time. Spend it making the most important decisions for your business—all without the limitations of spreadsheets.
Your financial teams can complete streamlined multi-entity consolidations with automated inter-entity eliminations in minutes instead of hours, freeing them to drive strategic initiatives that will help your business flow.
With the data you need to budget and forecast accurately, optimize your preconstruction and operations costs, and power your inventory management, you can expect to improve your productivity by as much as 65%. With the right technology, you will reduce costs and make better strategic decisions that will futureproof your business. Experience the transformation in your role and enjoy time-savings that will ensure you have space to think, clearly and decisively.
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TimeLinx delivers innovative project & service management software as a complete solution that perfects the sell-track-manage-support-bill cycle that services organizations must have to delight their customers; TimeLinx brings the cycle together in a single application that offers less frustration, better project management, complete reporting, and improved profitability – all specially designed for Infor and Sage.