As technology advances and key functions become automated, business owners are constantly looking for ways to remain successful, especially when it comes to finance.
“It’s no longer reporting on the past,” says KPMG Partner John Mulhall. “It’s about having insight into where the business is going and being able to communicate that effectively.”
So, what does the future look like in the business finance sector? And how can you best prepare yourself for what lies ahead?
The rise of automation
The growing influence of automation in finance, which has the potential to deliver more value with less effort, is difficult to ignore. When combined with other technologies such as advanced analytics and cloud applications, automation could usher in all-new operating models where finance provides key strategic insights.
“The CEO should sponsor an initiative to optimise and harmonise data structure designs across systems to increase the speed, depth and breadth of analytics,” says Mulhall.
New ways to visualize data
Technology such as VR won’t be a mainstay at financial firms anytime soon, but that doesn’t mean to say businesses aren’t exploring other cutting-edge alternatives. For example, Bank of America is using video game engines to learn how it can improve data visualisation.
As David Reilly, Bank of America’s global banking and markets chief information officer explains: “Information can be presented to compliance in real time, to risk, to audit, and — maybe one day — to the regulators so that everybody sees the same information. And we think that’s going to extend to all of our businesses.”
Finance will be integral to strategy
Regardless of whether financial leaders are participating in strategy development or not, they must still understand how future business activities will translate into cash flow and related metrics. Tying company strategy, financial projections and management metrics together can help successfully manage investor expectations of potential returns.
“They [CFOs] need to measure, on an ongoing basis, the delivery against the strategies—not just waiting to report on financial outcomes, but as the business is going along, understanding and predicting operational drivers.”
Making payments with IoT
Card issuers such as Visa are looking at ways in which to diversify, starting with Internet of Things (IoT) payments. It expects IoT devices to make their own payments and work with other applications and devices seamlessly, such as your car purchasing fuel or tolls wirelessly.
“We saw the opportunity because of this explosion of connected devices that make up the Internet of Things that people use every day now,” said Bisi Boyle, the vice president of Internet of Things at Visa. “The idea is you’re just living your life, and all these payment experiences happen.”
The future of business finance
Things like voucher checks and deposit slips are not about to disappear anytime soon and businesses need to have effective methods for dealing with those. There is however a growing trend for technology-driven solutions.
What’s more, business finance is becoming less about stability and more towards agility to enable profitability in future enterprise innovation.
Author | Emily Forbes
An Entrepreneur, Mother & A passionate tech writer in the technology industry!