From automating business payments, budgeting, financial forecasting and more, digital technology is responsible for reshaping the financial industry and with it, how companies manage the bottom line.
Yet while the pandemic forced many businesses to execute digital transformation strategies at speed (what is digital transformation?), the fintech (financial technology) industry began banging on the financial services traditional door knocker long before COVID 19 arrived. And the fintech trends will only continue.
Let’s take a closer look at how the latest technology in the digital world is helping to redefine the financial side of business today.
Business finance is following the shift in consumer behaviour towards contactless payments through accounts payable automation software such as Basware. Basware automates the entire invoice handling process - from receipt to processing all the way through payment. Automating payments helps to minimise human intervention and eliminate error-prone risks.
The result is faster cycle times and a more efficient process that helps to improve ROI. Not only that, but electronic payments cost less and increase visibility too. Plus, the increase in financial data supports advanced analytics, process improvement and strategic financial forecasting.
Redefined Financial Cycles
On that note, technology is not only responsible for business payment automation but budgeting and forecasting too. And as software such as planguru evolves, the ability of actual and traditional forecasts to be produced instantly on-demand only increases.
The ability to optimise based on real-time data not only improves business performance, but when your company’s forecast can happen in real-time, financial cycles start to become unnecessary. The result is that people are freed up to focus on insights and strategy.
Gone are the days when large systems took up precious office space - and technology management and labour costs have left with them. With cloud technology, more businesses are migrating to the cloud, delivering agile workflow and offering employees the ability to access work systems remotely.
Plus, cloud-based solutions speed up the pace of business and free up finance professionals to spend more time on added value work. The costs and labour of transferring to the cloud, alongside the required ongoing maintenance, make cloud migration a major business decision for many companies. Yet the cloud offers long term economic transformation by way of scalability, reduced IT costs, and higher levels of data protection.
The ability of artificial intelligence (AI) to solve tasks equates to smarter solutions that boost company performance. While AI is transforming how humans interact with money (think chatbots giving personalised financial advice), it also helps businesses save capital too.
Chatbots can help to increase your sales and gain insights into customer behaviour that can be used to make data-driven business decisions. They help businesses manage the need for a growing service department that is more economical in the long run, after the initial investment costs. In fact, research shows that the cost savings from using chatbots in the banking industry will reach 7.3B globally by 2023.
For many businesses, having a 24/7 service representative make algorithm-driven recommendations smartly introduces new customers to their products and services. Plus, with free chatbot builder software such as HubSpot’s, you can book meetings, qualify leads and lighten the load on your team.
Machine learning’s (ML) ability to aid cognitive services, such as image recognition, is behind Amazon’s innovative retail experience Amazon Go. Their Just Walk Out Technology automatically detects which items you take off or place back on the store shelf and tracks them in a virtual cart.
After you’ve finished shopping, you just leave. Amazon simply charges your Amazon account and emails you the receipt in this Jetsons-like shopping store. Needless to say, machine learning like Amazon’s cashier-less checkout services helps solve complex business problems and improve the effectiveness and scalability of an organisation.
Not only that, but ML can help prevent future security attacks by learning from previous events and detecting suspicious patterns. Considering that 43% of cyber security attacks are aimed at small businesses, investing in cyber security is crucial to risk management.
For self-employed freelancers and independent contractors, utilising technology to do your taxes can be game-changing. After your self-employed income goes into a bank account specific to your chosen tax management app, your taxes are calculated, deducted and paid automatically, before the rest of your earnings are transferred to your bank account.
Plus, alongside automatic tax payment, apps like Hnry offer automatic tax filing, the ability to send invoices with automatic follow up (or integration with invoicing platforms), and unlimited support from tax experts.
From automating repetitive processes to analysing data and making cognitive decisions, digital technology is reshaping business finance. And as the financial sector changes from the rapid advancements fintech offers, small to medium businesses can save time, reduce errors and decrease labour costs.
All of which improves ROI and frees people up to focus on and execute strategy - helping companies to bolster not only today’s bottom line but their future financial health, too. So if you're seeking to scale your business with the right advice, best technology, and next-level digital transformation tips, fill out the form below to sign up to our newsletter today.