Hello, digital finance
Digital finance transformation helps CFOs to double down as strategic business partners and drive growth.
With changing market dynamics, chief financial officers (CFOs) collaborate with businesses to drive enterprise-wide value. To succeed, CFOs must adopt and exploit digital technologies to build new capabilities.
While finance organizations have embarked on the digital transformation journey, most have not been able to scale and expedite their digital initiatives. The reasons that impede their success are the inability to keep pace with digital trends, a plethora of technologies adding to the complexity of the transformation journey, the persistence of organizational silos, fragmented systems, unavailability of digital talent, lack of customized solutions, and cultural issues, to name a few.
For a leading Middle East-based retailer, leveraging pre-built and customized solutions fast-tracked automation of finance processes and improve visibility into finance and accounting (F&A) operations.
Craft a transformation roadmap that drives maximum value.
Finance organizations need to be more disruptive and pragmatic on the road to digital transformation. This calls for a more holistic approach, driven by re-imagination and digital enablement of functional and underlying processes backed by domain and contextual know-how.
Let’s look at five keys that finance leaders need to embrace for a successful digital transformation:
Focus on business outcomes: Tie technology innovation to a purpose and link it to specific business challenges or outcomes. Work backward from CFO imperatives, such as improving cash flow and driving cost savings, and tie them back to right-fit technology solutions. Stay on course with the vision that is locked in on outcomes and govern and correct these outcomes with data-driven insights. For instance, a command center solution that provides a holistic view of account payables and receivables, along with cash flow forecast prediction, helps manage the cash situation better.
Drive agility in transformation: Speed is key to technology adoption. Deploy pre-configured, contextualized solutions to shorten implementation timelines and avoid cost overruns while creating bespoke solutions. Consider a CFO dashboard based on standard accounting principles such as IFRS, and curated to industry-specific needs and specific personas. It can be easily and rapidly customized and integrated within enterprises
Orchestrate the digital ecosystem: Improve results by avoiding piecemeal adoption of technologies that result in suboptimal business outcomes. Instead, leverage a digital orchestration platform that blends these harmoniously and cohesively to deliver better outcomes. Take the case of a smart controller solution with automated controls for actions, which provides a single view of month-end close activities. Combined with automation, AI, and visualization technologies, it helps enhance controllership and equips business stakeholders with relevant insights for strategic decision-making.
Build a systematic and customized transformation roadmap: There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution. Customize your journey based on current digital maturity levels to get to the desired future state faster, and in a more effective and optimized manner. Sophisticated maturity assessment tools infused with market insights can provide clear recommendations to navigate your journey without frictions.
Drive perpetual innovation: Adopting a lean startup approach to innovation can help test the waters before embarking on a full-scale transformation. An ecosystem of pre-configured, plug-and-play digital solutions aligned to business outcomes paves the way for such experimentative transformation. Also, measure and benchmark performance through data-driven intelligent governance models that allow for course correction and help steer toward the desired state.
Future of F&A
Pivot your digital finance transformation journey with an AI-driven human-machine paradigm.
Today’s CFOs cannot quickly scale their digital finance initiatives because of many challenges - siloed operations, a plethora of technologies, talent crunch, cultural issues, and lack of a line of sight to business outcomes.
A futuristic paradigm covering the tenets of business outcome focus, agility, digital orchestration, systematic transformation roadmap, and a continuous innovation approach will unlock new value.
Transformation in action
A leading Middle East-based retailer transforms F&A operations
One such successful display of this model was a middle-east retailer that achieved superior business benefits while reducing its critical month-end close from 13 to 5 days.
The years ahead hold great promise for the finance function to create strategic value for organizations. Enterprises with agility and the ability to become digital finance will stay ahead of the curve, improve cash flow, and channel it for growth.