6 Technology trends Finance teams can leverage today 

The new technologies are changing the way businesses are done and smart businesses are using it to their advantage to create new revenues and make permanent cost savings. Finance teams can use these to automate and reduce processing time, human involvement, save resource costs while increasing data and processing accuracy. 

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Data Reporting and Governance

Robotics Process Optimization –(RPA)

Artificial Intelligence

Digitalization

Cloud 

Collaboration and Virtual Training

 With new technologies, the role of a traditional Finance team as “data preparers” and “report providers” has been changing. More data is collected, processed, and reported today than it was ever before yet the shift has been towards democratizing data with self-service dashboards that provides conventional reporting. The finance teams are focusing on providing more analysis, actionable intelligence, and insights into the data.

RPA is a new technology that automates some or all steps in a business process. It can accurately process most of repeated transactions based on predefined rules, leaving only exceptions handling to the humans. This saves processing time, productivity and improves data accuracy. e.g., Master Data maintenance, Report’s scheduling and emailing, Invoice input and processing  

Similar to RPA, AI/ML can be used to continuous learn from process data and update the processing rules in areas like invoice/payment processing, accruals estimate and data trend intelligence. It can take past data and multiple conditions to provide an estimate of the future recurrence.  AI can also be used in fraud prevention by self- learning and pattern recognition.  

Digitalization is “the use of digital technologies to change a business process and provide new revenue and value-producing opportunities; it is the process of moving to a digital business”. See the use case on Digital Transformation and its role in finance. The area for digitalization includes, transaction processing/Master data Automation, Seamless Data integrations, Adopting Data analytics, Employee upskilling and On-demand Planning and Budgeting. 

The shift towards cloud from in-house has provided more opportunities and challenges to finance teams. While it has reduced costs on IT infrastructure, license and maintenance with increased processing speed and capacity, some compromises must be done in terms of processing time, increased risk of privacy and security.

Finance can take advantage of new collaboration and virtual training technologies to upskill and reskill the workforce at a lower cost resulting in higher productivity.