2019: The Year of the CFO?

By Nick Roquefort-Villeneuve, Global Marketing Director – Amalto Technologies 

Amalto-2019-Year-of-the-CFO“On a morning from a Bogart movie, in a country where they turn back time…” Those of you who are nostalgic of the 70s will have recognized the first couple lines of Al Stewart’s Year of the Cat. 1976 was indeed the year of the cat on all radio stations across the United States and beyond. Per the Chinese zodiac, in 2019 we’ll be entering the year of the Earth Pig, which should bring good fortune and beautiful personality. I personally don’t believe in astrology. Is it because I live in the fascinating world of B2B Cloud and Blockchain-based solutions? Who knows, if there is a causal to effect relationship here…? Anyway, I’m not afraid to share with the world that according to my recent researches and analyses, 2019 is going to be the year of the CFO.

2019 is going to be the year of the CFO (and his or her team), as long as the focus is placed on…

Enhanced Data Security:

Data breaches are bad press and erode trust among trading partners. Which supplier would like the entire world and consequently its customers to know the preferential treatment a handful of buyers receive? And I’m not even talking about banking information and other sensitive and strategic data. The reality is that the reputation of a company also lies in its ability to secure its data. The CFO has a major role to play in this arena, simply because the information that pertains to his or her department are some of the most sensitive. Thus, the CFO should push for solutions that minimize the risk of experiencing a data breach.

Moving the data from a shared cloud server to a dedicated could server is a solution. A dedicated server is a physical server that is acquired or rented entirely for a company’s own business needs. Dedicated servers are typically used by large businesses and organizations that require exceptionally high levels of data security. With dedicated servers, businesses still need the IT capacity and expertise to manage ongoing maintenance, patches and upgrades, but at least they do not have to rely on a third-party to do it… or rather forget about it from time to time with the dire consequences we’ve all heard in the news.

What about Blockchain technology? Specificities associated to Blockchain networks make them virtually incorruptible. There are multiple Blockchain projects in development that pertain to various verticals and specific aspects of operations. Is there a use case that applies to your line of business? It’s certainly worth checking that out

Enhanced Human Focus:

The workforce needs to be continually empowered to feel it can indeed contribute to the well-being of the business. What does it entail exactly? In the case of a Finance department, the perpetuation and repetition of manual tasks become detrimental to the morale of a team, whose core purpose is to manage money… not input hundreds if not thousands of data manually every week, so a purchase order can be recorded inside an ERP system and in turn an invoice be pushed to a customer. The repetition of manual tasks engenders the accumulation of errors, which delay processes and ultimately negatively affect cash inflows.

The best AR automation solution your Finance department can use, for example, is the one that totally eliminates human intervention. And that opens wide the doors to:

  • Improved Productivity: Automation of activities allows organizations to improve performance by drastically reducing errors and improving quality and speed, and in some cases by achieving outcomes that go beyond human capabilities. Artificial intelligence and machine learning, for example, definitely propel the ability to go beyond those human capabilities. Team members can then allocate their efforts towards the management of complex projects that bring a real value added to their employer.
  • Increased Opportunities: Automation allows workers to focus on higher-value activities, like identifying new business challenges and implementing creative and innovative solutions that can drive their organizations forward. This ultimately creates job enrichment and overall positivity. Employees become highly skilled in those high-value tasks. Moreover, automation does not infer that those head-counts who were initially assigned to manual entries be sacked because of their sudden obsolescence. Automation gives them the opportunity to change the nature of their job and gain valuable skills that truly benefit their organization.

Enhanced Agility:

The ability to move quickly and as smoothly as possible is key to avoid the full repercussion of unforeseen conjectural phenomena. I mostly market our solution to a vertical here in the United States whose room for maneuver greatly depends on the WTI crude oil price. Some of our clients and prospects find themselves powerless over decisions over which they have utterly no control whatsoever; OPEC’s resolution to limit the supply, among other variables. As a result, in times of such conjectural downturns, the only way of saving money is to lay off, sometimes massively. To what type of events are your operations vulnerable? And what if you were able to handle the situation, before it even occurred?

By fully automating specific processes, organizations are able to generate ROIs that can drastically attenuate the financial consequences of being confronted to unforeseen exogenous macroeconomic situations. Just to give you a concrete example, the automation of accounts receivable processes, which in turn eliminates all inherent manual tasks, decreases (1) your DSO by up to 20 percent, therefore freeing significant resources trapped in your AR, and (2) payroll associated to all head-counts involved in the loop (accounting and IT) by at least 30 percent. How does that look like for a company that generates $1Bil a year in revenue and that employs 5 full-time clerks keying in data as well as 2 full-time IT resources monitoring AR systems? The savings represent about $10Mil over the next three years.

2019 will be the year of the CFO who asserts those needs clearly.

All my colleagues at Amalto and Ondiflo join me to wish you and your loved ones a wonderful New Year.