Today's CFOs have a mandate to implement new technology across their organizations. A recent survey by Grant Thornton and CFO Research revealed that 69% of the senior finance executives who responded planned to invest more in technologies, with almost 40% increasing budgets by 10% or more. These efforts are intended to not only catch up with the competition, but also to surpass them with new offerings and a better customer experience.
Unfortunately, the urgency of adopting new technology is matched by its complexity and difficulty.
The same survey revealed CFO's top IT challenges. They included overcoming system complexity, managing enterprise-wide implementations, preserving legacy systems, and recruiting and retaining IT talent. Each of those is a major challenge on its own. More troubling, each is likely to get worse as companies invest more in digital transformation. Technology budgets for maintenance and operational systems may be shrinking to make room for customer-facing technologies, so those support systems need to run efficiently and any effort to move to new systems needs to be efficient, focused, and worth the cost and effort.
The Double-Edged Sword for CFOs
Another stat from the survey helps to illustrate the issue. In order for digital transformation to be successful, each new technology must have a demonstrable ROI. Only 12% of the respondents, however, felt they had a system that enabled them to perform an accurate cost/benefit analysis.
CFOs find themselves both obligated and excited to implement new technology. But in the rush to get major new systems online there is the very real risk of choosing the wrong solution(s). And once those solutions are in place, they may only exacerbate the tech problems they were supposed to fix.
Executives can't put the brakes on their digital transformation efforts. But they also can't afford to make a decision that turns IT into a liability. The way to be both cautious and confident is to implement solutions that are as much about technology as accounting.
Leaping Forward with Smart Data
Accounting departments are abandoning QuickBooks en masse in favor of stronger and more scalable solutions. The limitations of aging technologies are driving digital transformation efforts in no small part. Adding new capabilities is imperative, but so is upgrading to a system that is more accessible and intuitive.
Tech-Savvy CFOs know that the best accounting technologies make accounting both better and easier. That way they relieve tech headaches instead of creating them.
Just consider a financial management solution like Sage Intacct. It eschews complexity in favor on a centralized platform and a user-friendly toolkit. It replaces outdated, unsupported, inaccessible legacy systems and breaks down data silos. Finally, it takes minimal maintenance and management thanks to its cloud-first delivery model.
Digital transformation in finance and accounting is not about making every process automatic and every accountant robotic. Rather, it's about enhancing accounting with smart data, eliminating tedious workflows, improving reporting and forecasting, and enabling strategic decision-making. That only happens when growing tech budgets are invested in the right way.Don't be satisfied with just digital transformation. Insist on a digital elevation. Partner with AcctTwo to make the right moves from the start.