When considering a new finance automation system, invariably the focus is on measuring how the new tool saves time for the finance function. But savings need to go beyond the immediate department to include the rest of the business – and the knock-on effects the new software can have outside its primary purpose.
While it may be a cause of frustration for finance and accounting experts, it’s highly likely other executives in the business will have strong opinions about how to prioritise automation within finance. This is no doubt because finance, like HR, affects everyone in an organisation – for example, all paid employees rely on payroll.
A recent survey of 500-plus CFOs worldwide by spend-management solution DiviPay found that almost 70% of CFOs felt some to a lot of pressure from other disciplines in the business to automate parts of finance.
This pressure can be turned to finance’s advantage if finance or accounting leaders choose fintech that benefits everyone.
Spend management has a far reach
“Spend management solutions like DiviPay are an easy ‘sell’ to all areas of an organisation because the tech benefits everyone responsible for spending money on behalf of the business,” says DiviPay founder and CEO Daniel Kniaz.
Pictured: Daniel Kniaz, CEO, DiviPay
“Finance no longer needs to process paper receipts and manual reimbursements and they have control over company spending. Employees aren’t out of pocket for company expenses and forgo time-consuming reimbursement forms.”
But the right fintech can do even more than this; it can also aid in better automation decisions for other areas of the business.
Automation: spending and saving
More than half of the 500-plus CFOs surveyed conceded that, yes, their finance team does pay for fintech that isn’t currently being used. If finance is affected by this problem, the department in which expenses are closely monitored, what does this picture look like in the rest of the business? It’s not likely to be any better.
Finance and accounting can be clever in using fintech to monitor other automation expenses. For example, DiviPay’s subscriptions feature allows budget holders to keep a very close eye on where money is spent, so ongoing subscriptions aren’t quietly forgotten.
“Finance and accounting can be clever in using fintech to monitor other automation expenses.”
“Marketing and comms are areas within an organisation notorious for ongoing expenses that are no longer being used,” Kniaz observes.
“For example, publication subscriptions to stay up to date with the latest news are forgotten – but the payments continue. Or new A/B testing tools become available and marketing switches to the latest best-in-breed solution, failing to cancel its predecessor.”
If all these automation tools are paid for out of a set budget via a spend-management tool – that finance has full visibility over – then finance has achieved the ultimate goal: using automation to optimise automation across the business. When finance succeeds at this, rowing in the same direction as the rest of the C-suite, then the inter-department pressure to automate areas of finance is likely to be more collaborative.
Find out more:
Read more about successfully implementing finance automation in DiviPay’s report, including insights from Russell Colbourne FCCA GAICD and Chris Chan CA on answering the perennial question: ‘What’s in it for me?’ when pitching finance tech to the rest of an organisation.