While the heart of a business lies with its products or people, the movement of money drives all else. If transactions are slow to process and even more sluggish to activate, you’re losing money even while you’re earning it. The integration of technology and finance, in the form of initiatives such as cloud-based accounting practices like electronic invoicing and AP automation, should be a top priority for any modern enterprise.

Crying Out for Better Solutions

According to a survey conducted by CFO Research, 63% of CFOs believe their businesses are failing when it comes to technological innovation. They describe existing links between tech and AP departments as ‘inefficient’ and ‘irrelevant to decision making.’ For one thing, the lack of AP automation, leads to more arduous and time-consuming routines.

With AP automation, every movement of an invoice is captured and logged. CFOs can quickly pinpoint stages in the invoice lifecycle and make checks, edits, or corrections. Without responsive software, however, it’s a matter of manually tracking paper documents. Not only are they prone to inaccuracies, but they are also easily misplaced or misfiled.

Becoming a Big Data Business

When asked, specifically, what types of technology they want to see in finance departments, CFOs agreed that cloud computing and big data are the way to go. Both contribute to improved planning and reporting processes. They increase visibility across not just accounts, but the entire supply chain.

While 71% of CFOs consider cloud integration to be a major challenge, it’s interesting to note that a majority of them (66%) think it’s worth the hard work. It’s a similar story when it comes to business intelligence software and big data. It’s true that full-scale adoptions can be costly, but the implications for things like dynamic discounting are substantial.

Transparency Leads to a Brighter Future

Crucially, most of the CFOs surveyed made a point of stating that big data and cloud integrations should be progressive. They want to move away from ‘spot’ fixes and isolated applications to build AP departments that develop organically. When accounts payable automation works, it gives CFOs the keys to increased visibility and control over finances.

Instead of looking at transactions through a porthole, they have the chance to view invoice histories and cashflow in their entirety. They can identify stages prone to mistakes, speed up the slowest processes, and make sure as many transactions as possible are closed early or on time. The best e-invoicing solutions save time, minimize errors, and keep clients and suppliers satisfied and informed.