Although the middle market is on a renewed path of growth this year, the impact of 2020 continues to have an effect on everything from day-to-day work streams to yearly goals, and businesses are facing the economic after effects. Employees in almost every role can feel the shift, but CFOs specifically are increasingly challenged to control costs and sustain profitability. This becomes even more complex when coupled with leadership responsibilities such as boosting employee morale, improving senior leadership satisfaction, and refining a strong stack of tech tools to make the team digitally resilient.
According to Goldman Sachs, 60 percent of all B2B payments are made by paper check, and small/medium market businesses are responsible for 80 percent of these payments. That means a significant percent of CFOs of small/medium-sized businesses are spending money to print paper checks and buy stamps and envelopes to complete payments – all of which can quickly add up depending on the volume of transactions that need to be processed each month.
So, what’s one thing CFOs can do to help solve for these challenges while focusing on their number one task of cost-cutting? Automate back-office processes. Here’s a breakdown of how one solution can help alleviate three specific pain points.
Boost employee morale
A cost cutting strategy shouldn’t just focus on the numbers in the spreadsheet, it should also focus on the people in the organization who contribute to the bottom line. An AP automation solution can benefit the larger finance playbook and also help boost morale from back-office employees. By eliminating mundane tasks like stuffing envelopes, printing checks, and making runs to the bank, employees can instead focus on projects that make them feel more fulfilled in their role.
Additionally, with the right AP automation tool, payments can be processed in a few simple clicks, saving one of the most precious resources an employee offers – time. With the extra time available from eliminating manual paper pushing, the finance department can begin focusing on modernizing the roles within, giving employees the chance for more growth opportunities and professional development without having to hire additional staff for the team.
Improve senior leadership satisfaction
The role of the CFO has evolved over the years. CFOs are responsible for past, present, and future
books, as well as the entire finance roadmap for the business. On top of these responsibilities, they are now being asked to prioritize senior leadership satisfaction.
CFOs and the finance team can better manage and strategize company-wide spending by automating their AP processes because the platform offers greater visibility into cash flow. This improved oversight into payments and the ability to reallocate resources to more strategic business initiatives inherently lead to better overall senior leadership satisfaction because they are equipped with the right data to make decisions and backed by a team that can grow with the business.
Refine a strong stack of tech tools
Last year helped to uncover whether the tech tools currently in place were lucrative and helpful for businesses, or not. Even before this, 43 percent of middle market businesses were already spending more than 5 percent of their firm’s revenue on new technology, according to a Deloitte survey.
In addition to financial planning & analysis and tax tech tools, many CFOs look to automation tools to strengthen their existing tech stack and overall cost-savings strategy. With the right AP automation solution that integrates with, or supports the existing financial technology, the stack becomes stronger and makes the finance team more resilient for the unexpected. Additionally, with an agile suite of solutions in place, the back-office can attain maximum efficiency and position its resources to scale with the organization.
Like all business leaders, CFOs are facing a new set of challenges in tandem with their expanding role and responsibilities. Implementing the right automation tools can help finance teams work smarter and ultimately achieve their number one goal – cutting costs across the business to achieve maximum growth potential.