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How Intelligent Automation Helps CFOs Navigate Multiple Challenges

How Intelligent Automation Helps CFOs Navigate Multiple Challenges

CFOs face the toughest challenge in a decade with supply chain disruptions, rising interest rates, and the threat of recession. Meanwhile, they are trying to understand and implement digitalization. And all this happens while many employees are reevaluating and resigning or negotiating higher salaries. Intelligent automation advances can address and provide a way forward for CFOs in meeting the challenges.

CFO Challenges

CFOs face one of the most challenging periods in recent decades: supply chain disruptions, rising interest rates, and rumors of recession. The current context has an additional stressor: staff discontent. The pandemic has led many employees to reevaluate their working lives, leading to the “great resignation.” It has also disrupted ideas about where people work. Meanwhile, CFOs face competitive pressure in the race to “digitalize.”

While definitions of digitalization may vary, new technological capabilities provide a way forward in meeting some of the challenges. Digitalization fundamentally transforms how back-office financial processes work to offer CFOs and their teams the space, information, and insights to address specific and strategic difficulties.

Wanted: Time for Insight

A finance team’s time is consumed by arduous data gathering, racing against the calendar to determine the state of the organization. Ideally, they may also gain some insights to guide decisions. But with so much human effort and time going into data acquisition and preparation, there is little time left to uncover insights.

That is what cognitive computing now offers to solve. Finally fulfilling its long promise, technology can take over the arduous and tedious repetitive tasks necessary to gather and process financial data. As a result, enterprises can more fully automate those tasks that have made up the majority of company finance staffs’ time in ways imaged but previously impossible.

What Technology Delivers

The increased speed and data capabilities of computers have enabled a confluence of several technologies that work together in new ways to bridge the gaps of prior automation technologies. Finally, the consequence is the actual takeover of many of the necessary but mundane, repetitive tasks required to provide an enterprise with real-time financial information and analytics. These empower CFOs with new and better insights for decision-making.

Automation will not solve inflation or head off a potential recession. But it will give CFOs better and faster information as they grapple with those challenges.

Integrated, AI-powered automation provides an enterprise with a faster and more accurate picture of its cash flow and customers’ statuses. It yields nearly instant credit analysis and rating and keeps ongoing track of and modifies customer credit limits. In addition, it allows the enterprise to contact and interact with 100 percent of its customers and provides customer self-service, supporting on-time payments, better customer experience and greater customer satisfaction.

Finance Staff and Their Discontents

As for the challenges of hiring and keeping staff, automation plays a transformative role. Relieving the finance team of much of the mundane manual tasks frees them for higher-value, more rewarding work. A challenged and more satisfied staff is less likely to leave. Further, this new automation can reduce the number of staff required or scale with enterprise growth without adding to the payroll. AI-powered automation works 24/7/365.

With technology gathering, extracting, processing, analyzing, and reporting the data, staff are freed from that work to concentrate on the largest customers and most critical accounts. As a result, finance staff will need new skills, including critical thinking. But their work will be more exciting and satisfying.

Meanwhile, data is more accurate. Moreover, because AI automation eliminates manual data keying and does not get bored handling repetitive tasks, it eliminates errors that humans make.

Cognitive Computing: More Power to the CFO

Meanwhile, real-time visibility of enterprise-wide statuses and the ability to run what-if scenarios will provide new power to CFOs as they chart their course in the face of the external challenges that they cannot control but must navigate, whether supply chain, the economy or a pandemic.

Enterprises already look to CFOs for guidance. As a result, CFOs need the support of intelligent process automation that delivers accurate, holistic and specific information in real-time. That support enables CFOs and their staff to gain better insights and find innovative paths to enterprise success.

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