Revamping the finance division is a perennial subject within the fintech press. The argument goes that conventional strategies lack safety and are too time intensive and dangerous for long-term strategic achieve. Most commentators agree that the previous method of working is now not tenable, with few voices contradicting this place.

However agreeing on one thing and performing on it are two fully various things. Whereas some corporations took the plunge and embarked upon transformation tasks pre-COVID, there are a lot of who proceed to make do with what they’ve for so long as attainable. A report by Workday in April-Might 2020 estimated that simply over half of companies surveyed have carried out some type of finance digital transformation initiative. That also leaves a big variety of corporations who selected to persevere with a wait-and-see strategy.

Modernising the finance division needs to be a precedence.

If these corporations proceed to attend, they danger even larger safety issues, a scarcity of significant enterprise intelligence, and will fall behind the curve as their counterparts race forward. Nevertheless, additionally it is not too late to get began and catching up could also be simpler than you suppose.

The money administration jigsaw

Getting maintain of dependable and full money positions has all the time been essential when managing the monetary well being of corporations of all sizes, however as we navigate unsure financial occasions, this data is now not simply good to have, however important. It is a drawback space for a lot of. Based on the Workplace for Nationwide Statistics’ Business Impacts of Coronavirus Survey undertaken earlier this 12 months, greater than 20% of respondents had been “unsure” of their money reserves.

What stops corporations acquiring this information shortly and clearly? Usually, it will depend on the variety of totally different items required to finish the puzzle. The biggest multinationals have format and channel inconsistencies, and battle with many incompatible again workplace programs together with treasury administration, core banking, and enterprise useful resource planning.

For smaller corporations, the issue lies with the numerous totally different spreadsheets or financial institution portal downloads that have to be consolidated manually to construct up an entire image of the corporate’s money. Corporations of all sizes shouldn’t underestimate the potential margin of error, and important time and useful resource wanted to tug this information collectively, particularly throughout difficult occasions.

BYOD (carry your personal machine) … with warning

It isn’t only a lack of knowledge visibility and total resourcing that may be a drawback for immediately’s finance division. Even getting maintain of the correct instruments, in a protected setting, to maintain the funds and collections processes shifting securely is usually an uphill battle.  With homeworking hovering for the reason that begin of lockdown, so too have cyber-attacks. Action Fraud not too long ago reported that it obtained 3,916 studies of cybercrime through the first month of lockdown alone.

When many workers are distant working, it’s important that they will switch information round their community simply as securely as they had been in a position to within the workplace. However the rise of dangerous actors and the dangers posed by group members utilizing their very own units to entry delicate funds and collections information, signifies that corporations should take further precautions.

Digital personal networks (VPNs) are a step in the correct path, so long as they’re completely examined, and totally different IP addresses entry don’t limit entry. Multi-factor authentication and encryption of knowledge are further steps that corporations can put in place to make sure safe funds and collections processes. Nevertheless, in case your finance group remains to be working with many sources of data from a number of again workplace programs linked to a number of banking portals, the safety problem will increase considerably.

Quick transformation is inside attain

The previous few years have seen the phrase transformation begin to seem in job titles. These roles are tasked with digitisation, automation, and remodeling enterprise processes throughout the enterprise. It’s a mammoth activity and there’s a hazard that such programmes will spiral uncontrolled making ROI tougher to acquire than ever. In immediately’s precarious financial panorama corporations might maintain again from investing in any modernisation venture. However it is a false economic system particularly when modernisation needn’t contain wide-scale digital transformation that may take months or years.

With the correct strategy you possibly can modernise your finance group in only a few weeks. This consists of enhancing money administration visibility and workflow, and smoother funds and collections processes throughout the enterprise. This requires an integration layer between a number of banks and back-office programs which permits corporations to create and automate seamless money administration workflows by means of a single person interface (UI), no matter what number of treasury administration programs, enterprise useful resource planning fashions, and banks are of their ecosystem. This strategy may allow automated retrieval of financial institution assertion information to back-office programs, offering real-time, consolidated insights on money positions, permitting forecasting and preparation for the long run – nonetheless unsure which may be.

Now could be the time to behave

Whereas this 12 months has thrown extra surprises our method than anybody may have foreseen, it needn’t forestall corporations from pondering and performing strategically going ahead, particularly on the subject of one thing as useful and fast to implement as finance modernisation.

There may be now discuss of an rising second wave of COVID, in addition to a much-welcomed vaccine on the horizon. These milestones, together with all different peaks and troughs alongside the best way, will likely trigger additional disruption to the economic system and society at giant.

Companies ought to put the items in place now so they’re well-prepared to experience the wave and bounce again as shortly as attainable with a modernised finance group firmly in place supporting the remainder of the organisation for no matter lies forward.