Marieke Saeij, CEO at Onguard
Before the Covid-19 crisis, digitisation was a long-term plan for organisations, but with the developments of this year, businesses have had to fast-track their digital transformation roadmaps. As a result, over 70% of finance departments have found themselves able to adapt to home working within a few days, according to our recent poll of over 300 finance professionals. In addition, over half now expect to continue working from home for the time being. With remote working set to continue for many finance departments, how can digital tools help bring remote teams together and ensure team efficiency during this period?
Without the correct specialist software, over half of finance professionals have found it difficult to work well together while being situated remotely. Of the organisations that have accelerated their digital transformation strategy during this period, over a third single out this reason as having improved efficiency in the department.
Expanding digital transformation also enables greater access to the right data, and the right data is crucial to making the right decisions. Enhanced web-based software ensures that data is comprehensive, up-to-date and available in real-time. This allows for finance teams to collaborate and work together from the same pool of information, regardless of where each individual is based. This then forms the basis for informed decisions to be made, ultimately helping the organisation and its customers.
Saving time with software
The benefits of digital transformation don’t stop there. Advances in artificial intelligence (AI) and robotic software platforms reduces human error and provides a helping hand to the finance professional in their tasks. Intuitive software is now able to take over laborious repetitive tasks, such as dunning. This saved time allows professionals to devote more hours to collaborative work with colleagues on bigger-picture analysis or strategic planning.
Increased use of software in repetitive tasks also allows the technology to provide predictive insights over time. The finance professional is then able to use this information to improve and personalise the service provided to customers. For example, the data could show that a certain customer pays a day late every month, which could lead the finance professional to amending the invoicing date to reflect this.
The evolving role of the finance professional
The Covid-19 crisis has found to have changed the finance professional’s opinion of digital transformation, with almost two thirds indicating reduced resistance to digital change during this period, according to our 2020 FinTech Barometer. In fact, home working has proved so popular with finance professionals that a similar percentage would like to keep doing so in the future.
To account for this shift in working pattern, over 40% of finance professionals are actively looking to better understand and grasp new technologies. Not only will an enhanced understanding of the available solutions and technologies allow them to continue to work from home effectively in a post-pandemic era, but also increases usage of digital collaborative tools for effective remote team working.
The Covid-19 pandemic has undoubtedly made digital transformation initiatives more relevant to finance departments than ever before, allowing professionals to increase efficiency in their roles and make time for more value-adding tasks. Whether it’s the introduction of web-based software for communication or intelligent solutions to allow for predictive insights to help provide customisation and increased efficiency for customers, digital transformation has been a driving force behind a collaborative and effective finance department for many businesses during this uncertain time.