Current and evolving digital technologies are empowering businesses to prosper and become more profitable, even in unpredictable circumstances.
According to the Digital Marketing Institute, digital transformation offers a host of benefits to businesses, including:
- Improved customer experience
- Data-based insights
- Collaboration across business departments
- Increased agility and innovation
- Updated skillsets and knowledge
- Consolidated processes and operations
- Fostering a digital culture
Recent research from Sage has shown that several of these benefits can also be observed in the financial management of businesses, which is in the midst of a significant evolution.
Sage’s CFO 3.0 – Digital Transformation beyond Financial Management report has identified three core technologies driving productivity in the finance function of medium and large businesses in South Africa.
The development of the field of Big Data has opened up a world of opportunities for businesses to access and use customer, operational, and performance data in more meaningful ways.
With new applications enabling the capture and storage of information at a more agile and greater scale, companies can better assess customer habits, identify trends and inefficiencies, and adapt when needed.
These types of benefits also extend into the finance function, with 66% of senior financial decision-makers in South Africa using data analytics to drive productivity in finance.
The report further stated that 64% of CFOs spend more time analysing data than they do gathering and processing it.
Cloud-based Accounting Platforms
The cloud has shifted the way in which businesses think about IT infrastructure and operations.
Deploying and using this technology to its full potential can save your business time and money – and allow for working from anywhere around the world.
The Sage CFO 3.0 report revealed that 72% of large businesses operate in the cloud, from either hybrid or fully cloud-based systems.
Additionally, 77% of large businesses use cloud-based solutions for financial management.
Most notably, four out of five financial leaders said cloud technologies help to create more agile and cost-effective in-house finance functions.
Compliance automation solutions
The automation of certain functions in the finance role not only alleviates the financial leader’s workload, but also lowers the possibility of human error in financial statements and records.
Software which allows for automatic journal entries, account reconciliation, and the preparation of financial statements can enable finance departments to eliminate the need for human action in mundane processes.
This means there is more time for creative thinking and innovation.
According to the Sage report, large businesses are well aware of this – with 65% of financial leaders rating their company’s investment in automating financial management as “good” or “excellent”.
Furthermore, over 80% said they are using financial management technologies to uncover efficiencies, optimise operations, and automate and expedite compliance reporting.
This article was published in partnership with Sage.