Despite the move to cloud-based accounting programs, many finance departments are slow to adopt emerging digital technologies. Manual processes and legacy systems remain core functions of many financial departments, but with growth in areas such as process automation, advanced analytics, and data management technologies, there is no doubt that the future of finance is far more than merely a cost centre – it’s a strategic powerhouse.
Forward-thinking organizations are enabling their finance departments to drive business decisions that move beyond the traditional finance model. Financial architects are now also responsible for strategic leadership, performance management, and analytics.
Critically, they’re no longer purely number-crunchers. They’re now thinkers, responsible for analysing results, identifying trends, and implementing business transformation.
But does this transformation bring with it both ROI and increased security risk?
While organisations are investing in technologies to enable the evolving expectations of finance departments, the requirement for them to be proactive about cybersecurity is more prevalent than ever.
This is because in moving finance from a primarily paper-based and transactional model, they’re transforming the way business as a whole is conducted. Technologies such as the cloud, Internet of Things (IoT), mobile, and artificial intelligence are becoming key strategic pillars, delivering whole-of-business efficiencies and increased transparency.
Data and analytics. In the past, analytics were all about history – looking at what had occurred. Current tools enable organizational projections by assessing current real time status and using AI-enabled software to model future scenarios.
Automation. Technology brings with it more data, making manual analysis time-consuming and inconsistent. Automation facilitates strategic decision-making based on sound business insight, enabling finance departments to be agile with reporting and projections.
Artificial intelligence. Incorporating AI into their business, organizations can more readily identify patterns across complex data sets, highlighting insights that may be beyond the human eye. AI-powered systems also significantly reduce the need for manual data entry.
Digital invoice processing. Complex and error-prone, invoicing is a critical finance function that brings multiple challenges. With digital process invoicing, the lifecycle of each invoice, from conception through to vendor payment, is streamlined and automated. Codes are matched, automatic reminders are sent, and manual tasks are reduced.
But with all of this data now more readily accessible, do the benefits outweigh the risks?
Organizations need to take a structured and proactive approach to digital transformation. It’s critical that security remains at the fore of all systems and processes.
As a result of potential access to confidential business intelligence, personal data, and organizational bank accounts, finance departments are under increasing attack from cybercriminals. And while business losses due to fraud have been increasing with technological advancements, it’s often due to organizations moving quickly into digital transformation without implementing security protocols that provide the level of protection they require.
With Canon’s finance automation platforms, we work closely with you to protect your data. Our range of finance solutions, all designed to reduce administration costs, save time, and provide greater organizational visibility, have one thing in common. They’re developed, first and foremost, to protect your data.
It’s never been more important to increase your security and retain a stronger audit trail. In order to compete, Middle Eastern businesses have to embrace digital transformation. They have to empower their CFOs with the tools and information they need to strategically plan, manage risk and influence.
Because they are no longer tied to a spreadsheet – they’re the driving force behind contemporary organizational growth. And while growth brings risk, the benefits far outweigh them – particularly when they are proactively managed with the right solutions.