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.
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?
Outsourced Accounting or Accounting as a Service (AaaS) provider can be the catalyst to take your organization to the next level. For some SMBs, accounting is not looked at as a strategic function of the organization, but it should be. It also shouldn’t take focus away from growing your core business. Lots of SMBs don’t consider Outsourcing. Here are 5 main reasons why.
1) They think it is too expensive
By using Accounting as a Service, you have access to shared service center. Providers have put a lot of investment, thought, and execution into their model and have staffed accordingly. With an AaaS provider you now have access to a full accounting department that often is less expensive than one full-time FTE. This doesn’t even figure in technology costs that come with the service.
2) It is the same as bookkeeping services
Bookkeepers are responsible for recording daily financial transactions. Controllers are responsible for financial reporting, internal audit and internal controls. CFO are responsible for financial planning, financial data analysis and strategic planning. By relying only upon a bookkeeper you are stuck looking in the past and cannot see into the future to effectively make critical decisions for your business. AaaS providers ensure daily transactions are done correctly but also greatly reduce risks and provide necessary forward-thinking strategy to help growth your business.
3) We can just do the same in-house
For most SMBs it is hard to justify the expense of having a bookkeeper, controller, VP of finance and CFO. All positions have importance. You don’t want to pay a senior level person to do daily transactions and you definitely don’t want to ask an entry level person to manage financial risks.
4) We cannot have any finance staff in-house
Often AaaS providers work with internal staff to fill voids. Yes, providers can function as the entire finance department but often work with existing staff to help maximize their production.
5) We have more control and stability by utilizing in-house staff
Employees turnover and training are always on the minds of companies. If you don’t have a defined professional develop plan for each employee, you are at risk of losing your top talent to other opportunities. By using an AaaS provider you eliminate the risk of employee turnover. You also will not miss a beat when people people are out sick, on vacation, or on leave.
What do I get with an AaaS?
- Enterprise software platform (workflow, automation, dashboards etc)
- Vendors paid on-time
- Customers billed on-time and accurately
- Employee expenses captured and reimbursed
- Cash transactions reconciled
- Timely payables collection
- Accounts analyzed and reconciled on an ongoing basis
- Financial and management reports delivered on-time and accurately
- Scalability and rapid deployment, when needed
- Regulatory compliance delivered
- Audit ready
- A finance and accounting function that is STRATEGIC