3 major trends impacting finance departments

by | Sep 27, 2018

Every year, the way we do business shifts, morphs, and adapts to current expectations. The finance department is subject to the same impacts, and in turn, sees emerging trends that impact processes year-over-year.

Looking toward 2019, we’re predicting that these trends include the rise of automation technologies, greater conversation around data privacy and content management, and the ever-growing demands of a mobile workforce.

The rise of automation

You can’t speak with anyone in a finance role without hearing about the definitive “race” to achieve greater productivity through automation. That’s why we put this trend right at the top of our list. Think about how eager your finance teams are to simplify the repetitive (and often error-prone) tasks with expedited technology processes.

We’re not talking about replacing humans with machines. Quite the opposite. Automation technology further empowers the human mind to make insightful decisions easier and in real-time. Automation is about eliminating the waste and churn of these sluggish processes so that employees can perform at their peak level.

Transparency throughout the AR/AP process enables CFOs and managers to access the status of any invoice. With a quicker automated approval process, organizations can take full advantage of early payment discounts, as well as gain a holistic view into process bottlenecks at the source.

What if finance could be the insight engine of the business? That’s an exciting prospect for finance professionals and business leaders alike.

A spotlight on data privacy and governance

There have some major regulatory announcements in the past year. In May 2018, we saw the roll-out the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a groundbreaking new set of European Union rules and standards related to privacy and data governance.

Don’t think those laws won’t affect American companies, because the regulations (and fines) span the globe. If your company is doing business in Europe or with European customers in any capacity, it will affect you and your data privacy accommodations.

By employing the right document management software, it’s easy to capture and include retention-oriented metadata for your documents, ensure compliance to even the strictest regulations, and deploy disposition schedules that keep everything on your books 100% lawful. A paper-based financial department will no longer cut it in a digital-data world, in fact, it has become a significant risk to your business.

The growing mobile workforce

The makeup of a modern business or office space is dramatically shifting. There are more remote workers, people in the field, or even executives on the road that require the same ease of access to pertinent information as anyone sitting an office space. Sometimes, even more so.

We operate in a world where every second counts, and with the growth of a mobile workforce, finance teams are looking into technology solutions to increase accessibility. You cannot compromise on speed, accuracy or security.

Financial professionals are leading the charge to shape the strategy for equipping staff to perform at peak via mobile technology. Document automation tools enable enhanced productivity for financial departments providing access to:

  • fast document retrieval,
  • intelligent workflows, and
  • ironclad security no matter what technology they have at their disposal.

The winds of change are hitting the financial departments in every industry across the country. The trends are signs of a commitment to innovation, and it starts with finance leaders. Harnessing the power of machine-learning and automation technologies will force better decision-making.

Stricter regulations on data storage will push the adoption of higher security processes—a transition from paper to digital systems. The growing mobile workforce is opening the doors to data accessibility, effectively expanding the walls of your office. Talk to your leaders about these finance department trends, and put some steps in place to address the emergence of technology that will have an immediate impact on your business.