Arguably, the chief financial officer has the most important job in the office these days. In a data-driven era, it is the CFO who must own and analyse company data and extrapolate relevant operational and strategic insights.
A newly released PwC report Confidence in the future: How tomorrow’s technologies can help the finance function of today underscores the importance of the chief financial officer, not just to the finance, but to the lifeblood of the business – the data.
Currently, CFOs are swamped in transactional tasks, many of them mundane and rooted in collecting data, rather than analysing it. Technology, however, is providing viable options to free up the time of finance professionals – by up to 46% – allowing them to harness deeper, real-time insights and create organisational value.
Three emerging technologies, robotic process automation (RPA), artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain are all avenues business can use structured and unstructured data to unlock enterprise value.
Tangible cost efficiencies can be achieved by automating transactional tasks, which plays a major role in giving leaders an advantage. RPA, when applied to finance processes, is relatively quick to implement and the impact swiftly felt in cost and cycle times.
Here are five approaches to consider when assessing the interactions between emergent technology and finance:
Some of these technological uses can be implemented relatively quickly in the short term, while others may take longer as processes and technology matures. Regardless, CFOs need to consider how to go about spearheading the technology’s introduction.
The report is clear that there is no single pathway that can be applied to all businesses, however, it does list potential catalyst points that will go a way towards facilitating technological adoption. These are:
By embracing these technologies as they are today businesses will be well placed to capitalise on the gains that will come from advanced artificial intelligence applications and the blockchain maturation tomorrow.
By owning all the data in the enterprise and using emerging technological processes to analyse it, CFOs will be able to promote a shift toward technology’s innovative edge across finance and the greater organisation.
The subsequent culture of cross-functional partnerships are what will enable future value creation, not just for finance but for the whole business.
Download Confidence in the future: How tomorrow’s technologies can help the finance function of today for further detail on making use of emergent technology in the finance function.
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