For mid-sized companies, the reasons for changing your accounting software for a finance suite can be both very factual and numerous.
Challenges of digitization for the Finance Function
Today, 85% of the CFOs we meet tell us about the ever-increasing complexity they have to manage the finance. This complexity is multi-dimensional, forcing CFOs to deal with issues that are now much more strategic and organizational than in the past. These challenges are often linked to strong external growth, which requires, among other things, a re-examination of the tools used within the company.
Also, the Covid-19 crisis has shown us the growing importance of digitalization in the financial sphere in order to be able to continue to operate despite the physical distance from the company. Other issues require an optimized digitalization of the finance function.
First of all in the case of recruitment, in order to offer an enriching candidate experience. The second challenge is to be able to run simulations to support the company in its hyper-growth strategy. This is a major challenge, concerning the optimisation of financial processes for greater reactivity.
Without forgetting strategic issues. Today, the vast majority of companies are subject to investment funds that often require regular reporting and reporting in order to meet various challenges. How to support external growth? How to internationalize the company or how to optimize its management and make simulations as close as possible to reality?
Finally, there are also issues related to the company’s information system. Very often, companies have a lot of tools that fragment the information system and break up the data. Some accounting software may also be obsolete and unable to take into account new regulations.
The main challenges of the finance function
According to a study conducted in partnership with Markess, the main 2020 challenges for the financial decision-makers surveyed are in line with the need to modernise digital tools to meet various objectives.
- The automation of certain low value-added tasks for 81% of those surveyed.
- Optimization and simplification of processes for 72% of respondents
- Performance management for 65% of respondents
- 63% of those surveyed said they would be more efficient.
- Improvement in data reliability 54
- Improve productivity 53% 53
These six challenges can only be met by a strong and modern digitalisation of the financial sphere.
Finance function: Processes to be digitized as a matter of priority
For the CFOs questioned by the Markess study, the financial processes to be digitized as a priority are Accounts Payable / Procure-to-Pay (P2P) and financial accounting performance for 52% of voters.
Why change accounting software?
There are several key issues related to the need to change accounting software. Starting with new requirements for company growth. For example, if the company has made several acquisitions and is questioning its internationalization and the development of its offers.
New reporting requirements to optimize the management of the company is a very strong challenge reported by our customers. It is the need to manage the company’s financial performance, budget and cash flow as accurately as possible and to be able to make simulations that are increasingly close to reality. In the midst of the Covid-19 crisis, many companies under pressure have become aware of this need.
The ambitions of increased productivity also require a rethinking of digital tools. All departments are concerned here. The aim is to enable teams to increase their productivity by moving away as much as possible from tasks with low added value. Example: Updating Excel files or accounting data.
The new regulatory constraints, whether for IFRS or for consolidation with XBRL. These changes may have an impact on the performance of the accounting solution if it is unable to evolve with the new standards.
The opening of new sites or acquisitions are linked to the company’s growth and imply a review of the financial information system. Without forgetting the optimization of costs in order to answer the question of the conditioning of the accounting structure, the number of people in the team and the means made available to improve the organizational structure. These main issues are often in parallel with several internal constraints.
For a multi-site, multi-company, multi-activity or multi-country company, the information system is undeniably under pressure. The accounting system can also be announced obsolete or at the end of its life by my editor compared to other solutions on the market.
Also, the absence of an in-house business and IT project team means that my solution and information system cannot be updated internally. In the RGPD context, an insufficiently secured software infrastructure is critical. It is therefore essential to comply with the security standards in force, which sometimes require state-of-the-art software.
Operating and maintenance costs may also be out of control. An editor can sometimes charge very high prices for updates or modifications. For the company it is a question of reviewing its expenses and optimizing them as well as possible. Finally, there is the question of reporting to automate everything that is traditionally done on Excel. Each of the business lines must be able to make its own simulations and analyses to enable a financial consolidation system that is applied to all departments.
Elements to be taken into account when choosing an accounting solution
How to select the best accounting management tool ?
Several considerations are to be taken into account in the choice of its future financial management software.
Firstly, it is important to ensure that the selected solution is adapted to the size of the organization. Failures can be linked to this first point because some software designed for very large companies is incompatible with the agility of a SME.
The accounting solution must also have a functional coverage capable of supporting the company in the immediate future while adapting to its possible future transformations.
The selected tool must also use the latest technologies to provide an optimal level of automation and performance. For example, Artificial Intelligence and Chatbots or RPA are typically today’s and tomorrow’s technologies that a modern solution must include. With the same objective, a digitization tool must improve the user experience, simplify the use of tools and optimise business processes as much as possible.
It is also a question of ensuring that the selected solution facilitates relational and communication within the company and with the publisher. The relationship with the publisher is important in order to ensure the follow-up of the solution’s evolutions.
Finally, the durability and solidity of the selected editor is also to be taken into account. In the financial sphere, the lifespan of an accounting or financial system can sometimes exceed 15 years. It is necessary to make sure that the editor can accompany you throughout the life of your software.
Finally, the publisher of accounting software must ensure an irreproachable quality of service, tailor-made and adapted to your needs.