Emerging technologies offer remedies to common ERP problems

Five ERP trends facing middle market CFOs

According to CFO.com, most financial executives describe their systems as inefficient, constrained by silos and not linked to decision-making. But there’s an upside – a number of emerging technologies offer remedies. Some of the leading trends transforming finance are hidden opportunities for financial decision-makers.

CFOs are becoming more comfortable with software as a service for finance

Using cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) software has been a trend for years and over the last few years, cloud models have become the default for finance as well. Cloud enterprise resource planning (ERP) capabilities have evolved to address multi-subsidiary, multi-currency and multi-language requirements.

Loss of ERP access has been one of the most catastrophic results of ransomware attacks on mid-sized businesses with on-premises ERP systems. Transitioning to a secure cloud environment is an attractive option for protecting an organization’s information.

Mobile accessibility is here

While ERP vendors have taken some time adjusting to an increasingly mobile business environment, platforms are now widely available on mobile devices. It is now possible for CFOs and company managers to obtain real-time snapshots of key metrics or enter transactions on the go from their mobile devices.

Workflow automation software is being widely adopted to help CFOs operate

There’s a marked increase in the use of workflow automation software applications, often called Robotic Process Automation (RPA), that eliminate unnecessary steps in workflow and optimization processes. For organizations already using ERP systems that incorporate workflow automation, a more streamlined operation can be achieved with fewer people and the business can run more efficiently.

The monthly close process has become less cumbersome and more affordable

Tools are now available to automate reconciliations and close daily, rather than waiting until month-end to close the books and deliver financial statements. These platforms require systems integration and cloud software capabilities, but the resources used on burdensome closing processes can now be shifted to financial analysis and strategy.

Improved analytics and artificial intelligence are making existing ERP systems more capable

The introduction of artificial intelligence (AI) is supercharging existing capabilities and enabling new ones. Machine learning is taking historical sales data to forecast demand and drive procurement, looking at customer behavior and identifying where to invest more resources, and analyzing social media and unstructured data to focus sales teams.

 

The job of the CFO remains challenging, but new technologies enable CFOs to gather and share relevant information more quickly than ever to support decision-making at all levels of the organization. CFOs must continue to adopt an analytical and strategic mindset when embracing new opportunities for developing new lines of business and ways to compete, while shedding the transactional mindset of the past.

The business software landscape is full of vendors across all stages of success. Modern business systems can offer strategic advantages in customer satisfaction and improved margins, making an ERP a strategic asset. Partnering with an advisor on the selection process can help you choose the right solution and set you up for a successful implementation.

(This sponsored content is provided by RSM.)

Chris Kutt is the director of business development and technology consulting at RSM US LLP.  RSM is the leading U.S. provider of audit, tax and consulting services focused on the middle market and the U.S. member firm of RSM International, a global network of independent audit, tax and consulting firms. The member firms of RSM International collaborate to provide services to global clients, but are separate and distinct legal entities that cannot obligate each other. Each member firm is responsible only for its own acts and omissions, and not those of any other party. 

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