What does digital transformation really mean for finance departments in the Digital Age? The digital technologies are changing the entire value chain for businesses, as well as its business models and even exchanges between players. This is very different from the changes induced previously by mechanical and electrical revolutions. So, what is the best way for finance departments to move forward with their digital plan? François Lacas, deputy COO at Yooz, shares his expertise about technological progress brought about digital transformation and how this impacts digitalization of the finance function and more specifically the accounts payable and invoice processing workflow.
What are the limits of today’s accounts payable digital transformation abilities?
The truth is, there are no limits except for false beliefs many companies have. For example, Accounts Payable automation had mainly been reserved for large businesses and administrations causing many SMBs to limit themselves to manual processes and antiquated systems that hurt their accounts payable department and cash management.
However, things change when SMBs choose the right accounts payable automation solution hosted in the cloud. The right cloud-based Accounts Payable automation software will be highly customizable to fit the SMBs needs and solve their pain points by combining the cloud, machine learning, deep learning, and big data, and mixing it up with a focus on user experience and design to simplify the overall solution and make accounts payable digital transformation easy.
But Chief Financial Officers aren't just running into technical roadblocks. They also have to make sure their teams are on board and the ability acquire new skills to adopt digital tools into the procure-to-payment process. On top of that the team needs to agree to work with the Accounts Payable automation software. It won't matter if you have the best technology if your team refuses to leverage them.
Yooz's Accounts Payable automation has prepared for these barriers which is why we developed a true accounts payable digital transformation software that incorporates all the best technologies from the cloud to machine learning, big data, etc. Our Accounts Payable automation system makes it easy for any size business and its staff to learn and leverage no matter their industry or pain points. There are no limits with respect to Yooz’s advanced Accounts Payable automation software.
How important is data in technology growth for your business?
Data is the key. Based on experience and research, business’ data opens a whole range of opportunities for them including the chance to automate their purchase-to-pay (P2P) process. In fact, a CFO Research survey stated, "nearly half (47%) of CFOs we surveyed said it was important to use data and analytics collected across a company in strategic ways. It was the second-most-frequently cited way in which CFOs said they could ignite revenue growth — ahead even of business model innovation".
Sharing data becomes a way to build confidence for the inside and outside organizations. Your business' data is an occasion to improve control and monitoring through reporting and compliance. But to fully benefit from data, there are two things you need to consider: the tools that make it intuitive, and culture that makes it possible to instill this new vision within your organization.
Furthermore, Mark Brousseau, consultant, Institute of Finance Management (IOFM) spokesperson, and AP automation thought leader, predicts that more and more companies who have not already automated their Accounts Payable process will realize the opportunities for true leadership and do so soon. “It will be unrecognizable!” he says, “digital, data driven, and strategic. Stakeholders will unlock the value of AP automation and leverage it in more ways than ever”.
Why should businesses choose digitalization tools for their AP process?
Accounts Payable Automation, artificial intelligence, predictive analysis, blockchain, data visualization, machine learning... all these words are now part of the financial manager’s everyday vocabulary, shaking up processes and bringing businesses into a new era.
All those technological advances enable a very pragmatic approach to accounts payable digital transformation. It seems to me that they are a way for most finance departments to get started. Together they save time and lead to lower costs while employees are enriched by being able to perform tasks with higher added value. Combining these tools for your payables system lead to greater security for all processes, data, and compliance. Furthermore, merging the smart technologies develop calculated, vital opportunities by enabling your company to experience a fast-operational implementation, rather than attempt to implement over-ambitious 5-year plans you've designed that are never truly completed.
Yooz leverages all those technological advances to create a complete end-to-end invoice and payment processing system and arming you with the first stage in bravely leading your company AND your entire industry in the digital transformation revolution. Our smart Accounts Payable system's ability to combine simplicity, accessibility, performance, and functional completeness are what enables organizations to fully benefit from automation and digital tools to receive high level results such as:
- Boosting employee commitment and motivation (sacrificing less time on strictly administrative tasks)
- Raising support functions from their role as a cost center to that of a profit center
- Savings of 30% to 70% on administrative costs
- Faster processing time (reducing the document processing cycle time by a factor of 5 to 20)
- Process industrialization and security
- Better management control
- Compliance with regulations, and more.
Now, imagine how innovative and forward-thinking you as a finance and accounting leader and every member of your accounts payable team will appear to be when you leverage the data housed in your Accounts Payable department with Yooz’s high-tech Accounts Payable Automation solution that will save money, make existing staff on the Accounts Payable team more efficient, free yourself from mundane tasks and create time to formulate and execute strategic initiatives, and all resulting in more money going straight to the bottom line.
Are finance departments the driver for digital transformation and innovation?
More organizations' finance departments are making the effort to incorporate digitalization in their invoice processing and payment workflow. As a result, those finance departments are indeed driving digital transformation, for two main reasons: First, its operation is central to the organization's processes. Decision-makers are now called upon to optimize those processes which will typically fall on the Chief Financial Officer. The second reason is the CFO’s responsibilities are changing.
The position is seen as being upper management’s number one assistant. That means the Chief Financial Officer can influence corporate strategy, notably with respect to digitalization. They are therefore both a central and leading force of the accounts payable digital transformation process.
CFO 4.0 goes from a strict finance function to that of someone who manages internal and external ecosystems. The CFO evolves from a support function to value-generating function, undergoing a transition from technical expertise to global and strategic expertise.