Intelligent Automation: How CFOs Can Drive Transformation and Stay Competitive


Like remote working and virtual conferences, the pandemic has accelerated a shift in attitudes towards the finance function. When the crisis hit, CFOs and their finance teams had to leap into action to deal with urgent, fast-evolving challenges such as delayed client payments, cash flow emergencies and global supply chain issues. 

Companies relied on the rapid actions of these financial firefighters for their safety and survival. The conventional view of the finance team as a solid team of back office bean counters toiling away in silence from one budget cycle to the next suddenly looked extremely outdated. 

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How IA streamlines processes 

With the Covid-19 situation changing hour by hour, finance teams that responded with agility and seamless collaboration with other internal teams managed to stabilize their companies and keep them on a sound financial footing. But some companies have emerged stronger than others thanks to Intelligent Automation (IA). This innovative technology enables CFOs to successfully navigate their companies through the uncertainty and contribute to strategic planning to drive future business growth.

This article looks at how CFOs can harness the power of IA to drive business transformation and keep their companies competitive.

Organizations worldwide must cope with the continued impact of Covid-19, geopolitical factors, rising interest rates and the talent crunch. By harnessing the power of bots with AI skills, companies gain the agility and flexibility to address rapidly changing market conditions and control how processes get executed. IA overhauls workflows and systems affecting the organization's performance and cuts out mundane and repetitive tasks. 

Enhancing HR, Sales and Finance Operations

IA can deliver a far-reaching impact across various functions and departments in an organization. For example, time-consuming manual tasks in HR account management and sales order management can be automated and completed more accurately and efficiently while minimizing the negative impact of repetition of effort. IA significantly reduces the work intensity of employees and the chance of various human errors, freeing up staff to be creative or to support business strategy. 

Accounting and finance teams can gain massive benefits from IA. In a report, Deloitte states: “Intelligent automation presents a huge opportunity for finance functions within financial services institutions to deliver information and value to the business more quickly, more accurately and at lower cost.” And this approach can deliver the real value business leaders seek, increasing efficiency by up to 25% within 12 months and climbing to over 50% within 2-3 years.

Read our article, 5 Ways to Transform your Finance and Accounting Departments with RPA, to learn how Laiye’s RPA solution streamlines the following:

  • Order optimization and invoicing
  • Expense reimbursement review
  • Supplier statement reconciliation
  • Automatic payment
  • Generating consolidated financial statements

Successful companies want their teams to focus on tasks that drive business growth. In other words, reactive is out, and proactive is in. And the pressure is on the modern CFO to evolve, too. According to Gartner, “Only one in five of today’s chief financial officers (CFOs) both exceed CEO expectations for contribution to short-term financial performance and promote company behaviors that lead to sustained top- and bottom-line growth.

So how does the CFO drive transformation and stay competitive when they’re already busy with a massive pile of tasks and responsibilities?

Fortunately, IA can support the CFO on this front. With less time needed to oversee multiple layers of back-office tasks thanks to automation, IA frees up the CFO to evolve from chief number cruncher providing financial analysis and risk management into a value-add strategic leader and entrepreneurial operator in their organization.

Now that they have a firm eye on the big picture, the CFO can aim to achieve what Deloitte describes as Risk Intelligence. By following this approach, “the CFO can help educate the CEO, the management team, and the Board on the risks they face. By developing a more strategic vision and approach, the CFO can also assist the organization in taking the right risks — and taking the right amount of them.”

Using IA to build future success

CFOs need reliable, easy-to-implement solutions such as IA to facilitate a smarter and faster workflow which promotes business efficiency. Yet IA goes further still. With real-time data monitoring to help predict future business patterns and cloud deployment drastically reducing friction, organizations can respond to rapidly changing external economic factors seamlessly. As a result, it gives employees – including the CFO -  the bandwidth to support the company's strategic needs and spot new business opportunities.

Like to know how Laiye can deploy IA to improve efficiency and accuracy in your business? Arrange a free trial today.

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