How to Generate Impactful Growth with a Modern Financial Service
By Anita Samojednik.
Increasingly, the demands placed on a company’s finance department are multifaceted and rapidly changing. Traditionally, financial services were auxiliary to leadership. They would provide the numbers and data that executives use to inform big business decisions, but they wouldn’t necessarily be involved in making those decisions.
Today, many senior finance executives view finance and accounting as critical to the long-term success of their business, with 38% investing in the finance and accounting team to enable greater efficiency, according to the 2022 Financial Maturity Study. Yet companies that place too much emphasis on efficiency without proper resources to then leverage it will hinder their own growth. Those who favor a flexible model that can drive both efficiency and growth will be in the best position to meet economic challenges and create long-term competitive advantages.
With recent developments in the availability of technology tools and an openness to non-traditional finance resource solutions, modern finance functions can and should increasingly take on a much more strategic role in driving this efficiency and growth.
Leverage automation to advance finance functions
New technologies and automated processes have increasingly relieved finance teams of repetitive manual tasks, freeing them to focus more on analysis and strategy to add increased value to the organization. For example, full-service bookkeeping and accounting platforms like QuickBooks or NetSuite automatically perform several operational functions such as accepting business payments, payroll, etc.
The rapid automation of bookkeeping and accounting procedures enables finance departments and accounting firms to shift resources from administrative tasks to more strategic activities. With large amounts of data in one place, analysts, controllers, and CFOs can now easily perform custom analysis, recognize patterns, and make more informed business decisions. New technologies are helping to augment finance roles, allowing them to be more analytical and bring strategic insight to the table due to the reduced need for people to focus solely on data collection.
This digital transformation means that future finance and accounting professionals will need more than just mastering financial concepts. According to McKinsey’s Finance 2030 article, finance professionals will also need computer programming and analytical skills to be able to easily navigate the complex tools of finance and artificial intelligence (AI). They will also need to be able to translate the results into plain English for stakeholders.
In the future, the financial industry may see more advanced technologies handling additional repetitive tasks. For example, optical character recognition (OCR), AI, and speech analytics technology could eventually allow billing transactions and communications to be managed by software. With these changes, financial services and accounting firms will have the opportunity to focus more on being key decision makers and strategic advisors to a business.
Automated technology powered by AI and machine learning can not only help remove the tedious tasks of financial work, but also make it more meaningful and engaging for current and potential employees.
Modernize finance and accounting teams with split talent solutions
Traditionally, financial services and accounting firms have been limited to hiring full-time employees within their geographic region. However, in recent years, many finance departments have shifted their approach to relying on highly skilled – or fractional – freelance professionals, focusing on specific skills rather than physical proximity.
Working with split talents offers many benefits for employers and employees, including:
- Flexible topic expertise can ease bandwidth constraints and help balance the work of full-time team members.
- The agility provided by hiring split talent allows companies to scale as needed.
- Specialized and on-demand split worker support allows accounting firms to expand service offerings based on dynamic needs.
- Independent finance professionals often have years of experience with leading companies that tackle the specific business problem a company may be trying to solve.
- Unlike a full-time employee, companies don’t have to hire the same professional for every project. Businesses are free to find the right person with the right skills, experience and qualifications for each specific business need.
- Businesses only have to pay a fraction of financial talent for the service provided. This can save the company money on recruitment, benefits, and overhead. It also provides the ability to work within the corporate budget for additional resources.
Companies that outsource finance talent remotely give themselves more freedom to hire the best person for the role that can deliver the most value, regardless of location or time zone. In this way, augmenting staff with independent finance professionals provides companies with a wider range of top talent to choose from.
To drive business efficiency and innovation, financial services must balance core finance functions and roles while adapting to new technologies and the future of work. This digital transformation requires companies to develop modern finance departments with cutting-edge technology complemented by flexible and focused expert teams that help businesses solve problems and drive growth.
Anita Samojednik is CEO of Paro, an AI-powered marketplace disrupting the way companies access on-demand financial talent. Prior to joining Paro, Anita had over 15 years of leadership experience at Groupon, Ladders and Vonage, where she led bilateral marketplaces and multinational e-commerce businesses while leveraging cutting-edge machine learning techniques and of artificial intelligence. Anita is a member of the Columbia Business School Advisory Board, Deming Center.