Finance’s Elevated Role and Other Critical Trends for 2019

Finance’s Elevated Role and Other Critical Trends for 2019

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 responsibility.

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.

Customers’ changing 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 voice-commerce, etc.

Technology makes 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 again.

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 evolving.

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 surfacing 

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.


Cloud Software – The Competitive Advantage

Cloud Software – The Competitive Advantage

Last summer, International Data Corporation reported that the cloud software market saw $48.8 billion in revenues in 2014, and will continue expanding at a compound annual growth rate of 18.8 percent through 2019. Small businesses have been a major driver of cloud-based software penetration, relying on the more advanced delivery option to keep capital expenditures down and functionality optimal.

Regardless of which industry a firm might be competing in, cloud-based accounting software can help to drive both the efficiency of processes in finance departments and their accuracy. Reporting is a challenging task, and software has been helping to reduce complexity while increasing the value of the data generated and stored. Recognizing the accounting challenges companies face that can be remedied by cloud-based software is the first step toward success.

The problem at hand

Earlier this year, AccountingWEB reported that issues with accounting can quickly lead to fraud, which cost the private sector about $2.9 trillion in 2015, a third of which traced back to small businesses. The source pointed out that errors are most often associated with an incorrect logging entry or some divergence from best practices, which represent 60 percent of the mistakes involved in these processes.

At the same time, the average small business owner will not always be able to expand training, hire more quality assurance professionals or take other expensive actions. Software that automates some of the stages involved and supports users will tend to reduce the error rate and maintain transparent, visible recordkeeping. Taking that a step further, the best options for software in the past were often outside of the budgets of smaller firms.

Cloud computing has increased the flexibility of IT provisioning and offered decision-makers an option that is more easily deployed, managed and upgraded than the contracts of the past. Tackling both the challenges associated with accounting and the cost of maintaining optimal performance management in this area, cloud-based software has opened the doors to a more intelligent future for many organizations.

Digital accounting’s strong suits

CPA Practical Advisor once listed the most common struggles of accounting in small business as accounts receivable, cash flow, managing paperwork, finalizing monthly reports and payroll. The news provider noted that about 83 percent of entrepreneurs who responded to one survey stated that they do not even have the ability to audit within their management systems.

When approaching accounting with antiquated processes and practices, these types of issues will often cost companies severely either in terms of budget constraints or noncompliance with industry standards.

Cloud-based accounting software such as Intacct can almost immediately change the ways in which the accounting wing of a business functions for the better. In fact, these solutions will tend to be far faster and efficient in accounting workflows than the technologies of the past, all the while improving user experiences and continuously evolving to keep up with the transformation of markets and operations.

This content was originally posted here by David Furth.

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