How automation can help CFOs

Adrian Johnston   | Published: December 18, 2018 21:37:54 | Updated: December 19, 2018 21:17:39

The theory that people use only 10 per cent of their brains has been dismissed as a myth. Still most people are willing to embrace it as a truth as they know that human beings fail to achieve their full potential most of the time.

Being human means everyone is burdened with certain limits. These limits often stand in the way of people reaching their true, unbridled potential.

So, how can the talents of professionals during peak periods be maximised in order to get the optimum output?

The answer possibly lies with the trend that more Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) are turning to Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions with embedded artificial intelligence. Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is a process whereby a company, often a manufacturing one, manages and integrates the important parts of its business such as planning, purchasing, inventory, sales, marketing, finance and human resources.

ERP is the invisible glue that binds together the different computer systems of a large organisation. Generally, each department of the organisation would have its own system optimised for that division's particular tasks. With ERP, each department has its own system, but they can communicate and share information more easily with the rest of the company.

ERPs are increasingly popular as CFOs want to free up and maximise their time so that they can make the best use of the productive hours they have available.

In order to thrive in a demanding business landscape, organisations need their leaders to be pushing themselves where it matters. The leaders need to focus as much as possible on the bigger picture and going above and beyond in their mission to get the business strategy correct. These professionals need to be limitless with what they can achieve, and adding artificial intelligence or even chatbot assistants to their ERP applications to handle less strategic work is the game-changer that can help them do just that.

Most CFOs still spend a lot of their productive hours doing routine tasks like requisitions, purchase orders and vendor invoicing. But cloud-based ERP with automation comes with the intelligent financial management capabilities to handle routine duties. ERP can ensure better productivity of the CFOs.

For example, Jim Boland, CFO at Singapore's leading online supermarket RedMart, has moved to an ERP cloud for swifter and more efficient financial processes. He can now close the company's books in just three days. Earlier this process used to take his team a whole week. He now dedicates this time on using financial information for business strategy.

More CFOs need to follow suit. They should maximise their potential by becoming more strategic and help with the running of their organisation as a whole. With 80 per cent of an organisation's transactions processed in the back office, there is a big opportunity to digitally transform and make the most of an organisation that is more data-driven and automated. Under the prescribed process, CFOs will find themselves becoming even more central to the organisation.

Adrian Johnston is Senior Vice President of Cloud (SaaS) Applications at Oracle Asia Pacific




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