CFOs continue to play important roles within their companies as they provide insight and make decisions that can completely alter the future of their companies. In 2012, the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants put out a report that included predictions about how the roles of CFOs would change in the coming years, and thanks to process-driven automation, their predictions are coming true.
Big Changes in the Financial Realm
To put it simply, process-driven automation can be described as the use of one or more digital technologies to automatically perform a process designed to accomplish a specific goal. As technology continues to improve – and as computers and their software become more powerful – more and more processes are being automated every single day. Some of the biggest changes that have come as the result of process-driven automation in the financial industry include:
- Optimizing credit decisions. Banks and credit unions must assess their risk each time they open a new account or provide a loan. Once upon a time, this involved spending many days or even weeks analyzing the applicant’s credit. Today, thanks to the abundance of data and process automation, decisions can be reached in days – if not hours.
- Reducing financial risk. Process-driven automation can also help CFOs and accountants understand financial risk. With the wide variety of reporting options available, it is possible to predict how a business decision will influence revenue with greater accuracy than ever before.
- Improving customer service. Process-driven automation even improves customer service by giving customers the ability to review their accounts, apply for services, or gather information automatically, in real time, and without having to wait for assistance.
- Ensuring compliance. Larger companies that rely on various departments can also utilize process-driven automation to ensure compliance with safety or security regulations as well as companies’ own policies.
The Role of the CFO
Not long ago, much of a CFO’s time was spent crunching numbers and comparing data in order to better understand the company’s complex finances. In other words, they spent much of their time reviewing financial data from the past and putting together reports that were easy for others to understand. Today, thanks to process-driven automation, CFOs can simply click a button to generate complex reports.
In short, the role of the CFO has changed. Whereas they once looked into the past, accounting automation allows them to spend more of their time looking into the future. Because they no longer need to spend countless hours at their desks poring over spreadsheets and compiling months’ worth of data into understandable reports, they can spend more of their time concentrating on the more critical aspects of their jobs – analytics, fraud detection, compliance, and more.
Finance executives in industries like banking, healthcare, and advising have always worked hard to provide data and insights designed to improve their companies’ revenue and facilitate growth. Process-driven automation has not replaced the CFO; rather, it has given them access to powerful tools that allow them to do their jobs more efficiently and accurately.