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As an entrepreneur, you are far too familiar with thinking ahead and identifying opportunities. Vision; this is what defines you as an entrepreneur. It is one of the traits that is so intertwined to the traits of being an entrepreneur, that it is impossible to be successful one without it. Vision can be defined as the ability to think about or plan the future with imagination or wisdom. It is the ability to always keep your eye on the bigger picture, see the direction in which industries are moving towards, identifying challenges, and reaping that low hanging fruit that can propel your business forward.

In a digital world with unlimited access to technology, the responsibility lies with you as business owner to envision the future of your finance function and preparing for it.

A recent Gartner survey showed that 93% of senior finance leaders were aligned on their vision for finance function in 2025. The expectation is a leaner digital data-driven finance function.

The envisioned finance function entails the following:

  1. Adopting the Cloud

The migration from legacy accounting software to cloud-based accounting software like Xero, will be the most significant and important step for digital transformation in finance. This enables the finance function to integrate with hundreds of apps from Payroll, CRM, payments, inventory management and POS to name a few. The providers’ excellent data security also means adding peace of mind and reducing in-house IT spent.

  1. Machine learning

Accounting processes such as expenses and accounts payables can be automated using machine learning. Machine learning tools like Dext Prepare and Hubdoc frees up time for human capital by processing documents. These AI tools can read invoices, match it to a purchase order or bills, determine to which account it should be allocated and identify duplicate entries. This can reduce ineffective time to focus on more essential parts of the business.

  1. Automation

Automating the accounting process involves using software to automate essential tasks related to finance and accounting. These tasks can include:

  • bank reconciliation
  • automating purchasing and sales order activities
  • travel and mileage reimbursements
  • payroll calculations
  • deprecation runs
  • accounting for loan accounts
  • and that dreaded cashflow forecasts!

Automation will make it easier to get the work done, while the finance team can use the time to review and analyse the financial data.

  1. Business insights

Real Time remote insights on your business will equip you with valuable information to make critical business decisions. Insights will help you to keep track of the performance of the business, so that you can sort out problems ahead of time. It can also help you with trend analysis so that you can make better projections.

  1. Hire digital skills in finance

Skills and competencies are vital in exploiting technology and automation to their full potential in the finance function. Business owners must address any gaps in these skills by hiring or outsourcing digital skills to individuals and firms that have the knowledge and know how to facilitate, monitor and support the digital finance function.

The finance function is the core that contains both finance and operational business data.

Use the digital transformation of your finance function as a strategic business partner to offer valuable insights into your business in order to improve performance, translate insights into actions and help to identify new opportunities.

Get in touch with Arnold Scholtz on 021 840 1600 or arnold@asl.co.za to advise you on your business’s digitalisation journey.

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