As one of the pillars of any business, finance is no exception to the digital transformation that is revolutionizing companies. It is even at the forefront of digitalization. CFOs of very small businesses looking to optimize their accounting processes and improve the quality of their data now have a number of tools at their disposal, adapted to the size of their company.
Automated management of accounting processes
Old-fashioned accounting, based on manual data entry, is outdated. Time-consuming, it consumes significant resources that could be much better exploited if they were used for high value-added tasks. What’s more, it is a source of errors – often difficult to detect a posteriori – which can greatly affect company performance.
The automation of various accounting functions, from paperless invoicing to payroll management ,supplier tracking and financial reporting, delivers significant time savings and information reliability.
Today’s solutions based on artificial intelligence and machine learning enable the CFO to optimize the finance function by speeding up procedures and gaining analytical depth.
The importance of quality data for CFOs
For a long time, CFOs of small and medium-sized businesses have not had access to the same quantity and quality of information as those of multinationals, usually due to a lack of resources for data analysis.
The digitalization of the finance function allows them to catch up: Business Intelligence solutions and Process Mining tools are particularly well suited to the accounting department, and their advantages are numerous:
- Reduced management costs (estimated at 70% on invoicing, among other things)
- Better data quality
- Rapid error detection
- Tenfold increase in analysis capabilities
- Automatic reports generated instantly with up-to-date data
There is a wide range of software (Tableau Software, Power BI, Qlick) available to SMEs, giving them access to the same tools as large companies, enabling them to gain in performance and reliability, while retaining the flexibility typical of small businesses.
The role of the finance department in digital transformation
Due to a lack of knowledge of the subject, some people are worried about this digital transformation, fearing that their role in the company will be diminished by the automation of processes. No, even the most powerful software can’t replace a CFO!
On the contrary, its position is strengthened by the new tools. The digitization of accounting enables him to avoid tasks with little added value, and therefore to have more time for in-depth analysis of reporting tables. With reliable, up-to-date information, he can concentrate on data analysis and manage his department more effectively.
The CFO is therefore a true leader of the company’s digital transformation, both at the outset and afterwards, when his or her field of action is broadened and he or she can support the projects of other departments.
Preparing teams for the digitalization of the accounting function
Digital transformation means the disappearance of certain functions, but also the emergence of new ones!
This change is welcomed by some employees, but frightens others who wonder whether they might lose their jobs, and are therefore reluctant to change. Yet accounting departments are often among the most open to change. They are used to adapting to the regulatory changes that regularly affect their day-to-day business.
The CFO needs to present the benefits of digital transformation to his or her teams, both for the company and for individual employees: time savings, opportunities for development, more motivating work. Communication is therefore essential.
The same applies to training: each employee must be able to familiarize themselves with the new tools before using them, and learn the new tasks that will be assigned to them.
How can you successfully transform your company’s finance function into a digital one?
The benefits of digitalization for the organization are now well known, and nobody questions them. But that doesn’t mean it’s all plain sailing.
The digitization of the finance function, and of the company in general, is a large-scale project that needs to be carried out carefully to ensure a gradual transition:
- Step by step
- Set a realistic timetable, leaving room for unforeseen events
- Take the time to train your teams
- Get support from specialists
- Demonstrate agility and flexibility
As this last point is often the strength of VSEs and SMEs, which are moreover human-scale companies where there is a real bond between employees, they often succeed in their digital transition without great difficulty, provided of course that other aspects are not neglected.
👆 You want to digitalize your SME and you don’t know how to go about it, call on the Altermès teams to help you understand your business processes and automate these tasks.
🔎 Find out more about ourinnovative technology or our digital accounting services for VSEs and start-ups!