The beginning of a new year always signals a time for trend spotting Which financial opportunities, challenges and changes should companies prepare for now? Below are six soon-to-be realities that you should consider for 2019. .
CFOs take on more
The role of the CFO has merged with that of the COO to
assume strategy and operations functions. This calls for greater collaboration
in business areas such as marketing, procurement, sales and design/R&D in
order for CFOs to build sound budget strategies and operational processes.
demands disrupt industries.
Think of it as forced evolution. Millennials and Gen Z crowd
are making their wishes known – pushing for greater transparency, asking for more
sustainable products, embracing technical conveniences. Business has no choice
but to respond – re-evolving business models, selling on social media, adopting
finance smarter and faster.
Automation and new technologies are making finance software
programs do more with less. This leaves more time for focusing on the
organization’s strategic vision.
We’re grappling with uncertainty
From foreign policy to data regulation, businesses are
operating under the strain of uncertainty. Expect another year of having to
navigate a turbulent, highly politicized environment.
Even the workforce is
2019 will introduce a diverse generation of employees with
new expectations and wants. For accounting, the skills gap widens, re-training requirements
grow, and a higher level of contract employees emerges.
New data risks are
Companies will need to have a deeper understanding of General
Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), because there will be a higher level of
concern about data security as more info is created, collected, and stored online
which allows for the possibility of hacking.
As these developments proceed, the role of
finance becomes more important and extensive. Many companies are turning to service providers to help them make the
transformation. This may entail consulting services, augmenting current staff
or even outsourcing the financial and accounting function.
Technology is Transforming Accounting & Finance
The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) recently came out with a report last month showcasing technology’s role in the future of finance. The report concludes that technology can revolutionize finance and accounting.
Technology has played a role in Accounting and Finance for numerous years. Originally, most software was targeted to large enterprise due to its cost and complexity. The cloud drastically changed the landscape by bringing enterprise type technologies to the SME market. Now 80% of CFOs have cloud as part of their technology roadmap. Here are the benefits technology brings as identified in an ACCA survey of CFOs:
- Improving efficiency and productivity – 70%
- Creating new value for a business – 53%
- Reducing costs – 33%
- Improving communication internally and externally – 20%
- Improving quality and standardization – 20%
As technology advances the above numbers will even be higher. Software companies have already begun to use artificial intelligence and machine learning.
Even though the returns can be great, it is important to be cautious about guaranteeing huge returns or overnight results. The report warns CFOs to use caution about where, when, and how they do or do not implement new technology.
A Technology Roadmap is Key
Technology is not automatically the solution. You need to understand your business goals and processes. Automating a bad process doesn’t fix anything. Implementing the wrong technology can be catastrophic and can possibly lead to employee turnover and insurmountable costs.
Companies shouldn’t rush into a decision, but also there is a lot of risk in not embracing technology and being left behind. The solution is to create a defined technology roadmap. A technology roadmap is a document which outlines the plan to reach short-term and long-term goals through the use of technology solutions. This type of roadmap typically provides key information which helps organizations make better decisions around technology investments.
Technology roadmaps are often driven by IT. However, it is important for CFOs and other business executives to be involved. They are the ones that understand short and long-term goals. Lavoie CPA continuously studies and evaluates technology. We also have the business acumen to apply the right technology correctly. Need help with a technology roadmap or software evaluation, give us a call.
Effective Virtual or Fractional CFOs Rely on Technology
Whether your CFO is full-time or fractional, CFOs are a pivotal part of your company leadership, helping you make crucial financial decisions and leading the execution of those decisions. What makes an effective CFO? Effective CFO’s excel at:
- Capitalizing on opportunities while avoiding ricks
- Strategic modeling driven by accurate data
- Speed and accuracy for fast decisions
- Data analysis and insight
No matter how qualified the individual is, without the right technology the job becomes extremely difficult. Speed and accuracy drive much of their effectiveness and is almost impossible without the right tools in place.
Lavoie CPA recognized this from the start and has always combined people, processes and technology. We provide the necessary tools to quickly digest accurate data and be able to make informed decisions to steer the business down the best path. With dashboards in place, companies can quickly see information in real-time and make changes were needed without waiting days, weeks or even months. Lavoie CPA also has the expertise to intercept the data and make impactful recommendations.
The core technology we utilize is Sage Intacct. Sage Intacct is an industry-leading financial management solution designed for the needs of strategic CFOs and their teams. In addition, we partner with other leading software providers that maximize our clients’ efficiencies. If you are looking for a virtual or fractional CFO also consider what technologies are being utilized so that you can fully maximize your investment.
Most companies that are thriving view accounting as a strategic function. Companies relying on bookkeeping have a hard time keeping up in today’s changing climate. Bookkeeping by itself does not provide opportunities. In a fiercely competitive work environment, companies that properly manage finance can grow and protect themselves from risk.
The opportunities are exciting for the future but it also comes with lots of challenges. Too many companies are stuck looking into the past because of lack of expertise and or technology. It is important to understand the past, but essential to have the knowledge and tools to be able to see in real-time and make educated predictions into the future. As companies grow, hiring and retaining qualified employees can be a difficult task with lots of uncertainty.
A growing number are relying on Accounting as a Service (AaaS) to gain a competitive advantage. AaaS combines tactical and strategic accounting and includes leading software.
Top 3 benefits of Accounting as a Service:
- Focus on Core
- Concentrate on growing the business
- Efficiency gains
- Eliminate staff turnover complexities
- Ability to scale as you grow
- Professional Expertise
- Qualified controlled/CFO leading accounting and finance department
- Improve cash flow
- Reduce financial risk
- Audit ready at all times
- Real-time visibility into your business performance
- Increased security
- Reduced IT headaches
- Integration with other applications to eliminate information silos
Forward thinking companies put themselves a head of the curve. Interested in learning more about Accounting as a Service? Contact us.
Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are often driven by a passion or cause – not spending hours on accounting and financial management.
SMBs face many financial challenges that affect cash flow including hiring new employees, increasing profits, employee healthcare, growing revenue and properly managing expenses.
Fortunately, technology has changed the game for SMBs. In the last decade, new technologies have enabled SMBs to compete with large enterprises.
Technology is only part of the equation. Accounting as a Service (AaaS) is a hybrid solution that combines services with software; thus, the client can enjoy the benefits of professional expertise and leading cloud technology. This lays a great foundation, allowing companies to focus on revenue generating activities. They are able to focus on future growth instead of being stuck analyzing the past.
10 Benefits of Accounting as a Service
- Real-time visibility to your business performance via dashboards
- Reduce financial risk
- Increase productivity
- Be audit ready at all times
- Improved process flow and automation
- Eliminate staff turnover
- Cost savings
- Increased security
- Reduced IT headaches (upgrades and maintenance)
- Integration with your other applications to eliminate information silos
Interested in learning more?