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Business and Technology Insights

Transforming Finance in the Age of Digital Disruption

 
September 19, 2017

Businesses are leveraging technology to morph into new-age firms that are incredibly efficient, provide a great experience, and offer value. In the healthcare industry, for example, experts predict that 25% of consumers will use a virtual assistant as a first consult in making medical decisions. For most companies, however, going digital doesnt mean turbocharging every department and business function with technology but it should.

Typically, one of the last functions to get a new lease of life with digital is finance, but its also one of the first places technology helps achieve quick wins. Here are five ways your business benefits when you transform your finance function with technology, sooner rather than later:

  1. Improves efficiencies by reducing overall process costs and increasing scalability
  2. Increases effectiveness by optimizing cycle time, reducing transaction error rates, and eliminating transaction re-works
  3. Enables business partnerships through attainable enterprise strategic goals, optimised working capital, and positioning the finance function as a trusted strategic advisor
  4. Leverages industry-leading practices to standardize, simplify, and reduce complexity
  5. Embraces standardized regulatory compliance processes to mitigate business disruption and allow the finance function to deliver compliance as a service for disruptive business processes and projects

Tomorrows finance function needs a digital core that can bolster your business strategy. Cognitive intelligence for business insights, robotics to eliminate manual touch points, and platforms and tools for automation are some of the critical elements for such a core. When organizations build their finance function upon such systems, theyre able to better manage resources, predict business needs, and contribute to the organizations overall goals. To acquire these next gen capabilities and enable new technologies, businesses are building futuristic shared services platforms.

Using Robotic Process Automation (RPA), for example, will help companies free up staff that is currently tied up with mundane and error-prone tasks so they can focus on tasks that actually add more value to the business. Blockchain, another breakthrough technology, makes triple entry accounting possible which seals accounting entries making them more credible and difficult to destroy or falsify. Other technologies such as cloud and mobile, data and analytics, platform and Software as a Service (SaaS), and social media also significantly boost capabilities of the finance function.

Given the rise of technology, some of the key initiatives that CFOs are now focusing on are building shared service operating models and facilitating platform consolidations, looking for RPA and AI opportunities, and improving process, system, and data integration for compliance. Its not a question of when but how you adopt technology into your finance function. Getting started soon is important if you want to retain your competitive edge.

Join us at Oracle Open World 2017 to learn more about what your journey should look like. Meet with our experts to discuss your finance transformation challenges.

Vikas Gopal is the Global Managing Partner, Finance & Shared Services Transformation within Tata Consultancy Services. He has extensive experience advising senior executives on industry trends and strategies for shared services, finance, and digital transformation. Vikas has held leadership roles in consulting and has led the strategy, design, and implementation of several transformative programs.