Unlock success with CIO alignment in finance automation this year.

As organisations gear up for a new year, a crucial factor for their success will be how well their Chief Information Officers (CIOs) align with finance automation. This stance is becoming more critical due to recent economic uncertainties, inflation, interest rates, and potential recession. As a result, interest in finance transformation initiatives has significantly increased, with 82 per cent of finance leaders expressing elevated interest in modern accounting processes, according to the latest IDG Marketplace research.

  • Finance automation can discard the traditional, time-consuming, manual accounting methods and switch to a Continuous Accounting model. This methodology digitally handles the accounting cycle, evenly distributing workloads across the accounting period, thereby reducing bottlenecks and repetitive processes.
  • This model not only increases speed and accuracy by reducing human error opportunities but also brings significant cost savings — organisations can reduce their days to close by an average of 70 per cent and reduce manual processing by 50 per cent.
  • Continuous accounting offers business leaders an upper hand with insights into the performance and financial standing of their organizations. It enables making more informed and quicker decisions, especially during tough economic times.
  • However, the benefits aren’t assured without overcoming obstacles. There are numerous instances where ICT programs and projects became disruptive and costly failures. But if approached correctly, finance transformation efforts can boost efficiency and productivity.
  • Successful finance transformation relies heavily on a robust relationship between finance and ICT leads. Research from Gartner suggests that companies where the CFO and CIO have strong collaboration are 51 per cent more likely to get quicker approval for transformation funding, have 39% increased chances to stay within budget, and are 18% more likely to attain the desired business outcomes from their digital transformation initiatives.

The article stresses that in the increasingly blurred boundaries between senior roles, both financial operations management and data management have become shared interests and responsibilities for finance and ICT leaders. Hence, close collaboration between CFOs and CIOs is vital for optimised operations and accelerating digital initiatives. Organisations that lack this collaboration might fail to seize the wide-ranging benefits of successful transformation, creating potential setbacks.

In conclusion, amidst ambiguous times, an automated finance function is a potent asset capable of positively impacting an organisation’s productivity, response speed, and competitive advantage. If transformation is underway in 2024, getting CFOs and CIOs to work in sync from the start is likely a critical move.