The road to digital finance starts with automating core accounting processes and controls to enable efficiency, reduce risk, and ensure standardization. The good news is that the technology is already proven and experiencing mass adoption.
For example, Gartner forecasts that in less than four years, 60% of midsize and enterprise companies will deploy cloud-based applications to digitize their accounting processes, with ready access to the latest close, intercompany, reconciliation management, Robotic Process Automation, Artificial Intelligence, and analytics.
While the cloud has made powerful technology more accessible than ever, technology is only part of the puzzle. Reaping the full value, and reinventing processes rather than just migrating them, requires pairing new technology with a strategy for change management.
In many ways, change management is about motivating and incentivizing people to be open to embracing new possibilities. It’s about encouraging every level of the accounting and finance organization to both rethink and be open to replacing hard-wired, often decades-old work routines with new processes and applications.
It also requires empathy—understanding that people can sometimes feel threatened by change—and a plan, so that everyone can see the full benefits and even detractors turn into promoters.
“All change management projects comprise ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ components, and it is a failure to understand the latter that can scupper the plan.” — Alison Young, ACCA Think Ahead
Without a strategy around change management, organizations face several risks to successful digital transformation:
- Merely running the same legacy workflows and processes on a modern finance technology stack often means underutilizing its capabilities―and a missed opportunity
- Limited buy-in and training for employees who will use the new applications risks lack of adoption
- Applications that aren’t continuously adapted and configured by accounting and finance stakeholders to reflect ongoing needs risk eventual misalignment and irrelevancy
Read this CFO Playbook to learn more about how you can chart your course to finance transformation.