Like many industries and workflows today, the financial space has been completely upended by the Covid-19 pandemic and other disruptions over the last two years. Finance departments are still grappling with how best to move forward in the digital-first world. Long gone are the days where finance departments could handle treasury management processes by cutting and mailing checks, or stopping by a colleague’s desk to have them approve a project. Instead, financial departments are working hard to find ways to adapt to the new remote world while also figuring out how to make their workflows more resilient so they can “future proof” against similar disruptions down the road.
But doing so is easier said than done—especially on the commercial side of a business. With that in mind, here are a few areas that CFOs and financial decision-makers should keep in mind as they look to make their operations more adaptable and future-oriented.
Upgrading to the Cloud
Whether it be due to privacy concerns or comfort, many businesses today still rely on traditional legacy systems to conduct their financial workflows. This means that they are also being held back from achieving their potential as a result. On-premise data computing infrastructures inherently cut off collaboration and create unnecessary friction and siloes that prevent the dynamic workflows that financial departments need to drive success today.
The fix for this is simple: adopt the cloud. With cloud computing, financial departments immediately become more agile by eliminating the silos and hurdles that prevent collaboration and easy data access. Through this, distributed teams can have the same access as if they were in-office and can avoid the time-intensive legwork associated with having to manage traditional data warehouse-based work.
Fintech users on the retail side of banking are used to the seamless and easy-to-use apps that make tasks such as purchasing, paying or checking balances a breeze. Unfortunately, the commercial banking experience is the complete opposite. Despite all the user-friendly advances that have been made in retail banking over the last decade, the commercial banking experience is still incredibly fragmented, slow and confusing. It isn’t uncommon for finance teams to still rely on several tools and batch file transfers with their banks to manage payments. As a result, CFOs and finance teams are constantly bogged down with busy work that simply shouldn’t exist in today’s digital age.
Fortunately, though, some finance departments are beginning to integrate technology directly into their day-to-day treasury management processes. This “embedded banking” technology is allowing CFOs and financial departments to finally have the streamlined commercial banking experience they have long been looking for, and it is enabling them to eliminate headaches, processes and leg work that have plagued them for decades.
Free Flow of Information
Better commercial banking performance is about more than just making payments faster or simpler, it is about empowering a dynamic flow of information between a bank and their commercial client. The keys to making the best financial decisions possible relies not just on streamlined tools but on easy-to-access guidance and data. Yet, many financial departments and CFOs continue to rely on static data transfers that limit their ability to make timely decisions. This just doesn’t have to be the case. By tapping into technology, finance departments can have access to the real-time insights and communication with their banks that they need to make better decisions and enable a more fluid decision-making process.
Simply put, the commercial banking experience many CFOs and finance departments are currently dealing with is doing them a disservice. By embracing the strategies and tactics above, not only can CFOs and finance departments drive better success today, they can also stake out a better position in the business world of tomorrow as well.