Financial process automation through AI and machine learning (ML) is changing many aspects of SaaS accounting.
By harnessing modern technology like AI and ML, SaaS CFOs are scaling their companies more quickly and easily, and eliminating manual workflows. At the same time, AI allows you to gracefully sidestep many financial management challenges associated with traditional accounting methods.
This post will walk you through some of the ways that you can start driving growth through AI.
CFOs Spend Too Much Time Verifying the Past
Traditionally, CFOs spend too much time with their heads down, verifying past transactions and processes.
With financial process automation, you can let your software handle the tedious tasks that distract you from more profitable activities.
Accounting Closes are Costly and Time-Consuming
Financial process automation enables your accounting software to close your books on a continuous basis.
This removes the need for a lengthy and error-prone manual close process every month.
Periodic Auditing Doesn’t Work
By the time you discover an issue through periodic rather than continuous auditing, it can be too late to correct it without a major hassle.
Financial process automation continually audits your books and immediately alerts you to any problems.
Three Steps to Financial Leadership
Incorporating financial process automation into your department can help you improve your financial leadership.
This is because automation allows you to accomplish three objectives of modern financial leadership at the same time.
Eliminate the Close
When you eliminate the manual close process in favor of automation, several things happen:
- Revenue inaccuracies are taken care of, preventing potential fines and damage to your investors’ confidence level.
- Your team will have more bandwidth.
- The increased accuracy of your books will give you more peace of mind about compliance.
What’s the second step to financial leadership that’s automatically taken care of with financial process automation?
Achieve Continuous Trust
Continuous trust is the ideal of all CFOs–to have total confidence that your data is accurate and actionable.
With legacy accounting processes, this ideal can be extremely difficult to turn into a reality.
Financial process automation changes that by leveraging a continuously updated single source of truth (SSOT). With a centralized SSOT, all your data is securely stored in the cloud and automatically updated, available to any of your organization’s various teams 24/7.
Unlock Active Insights
When CFOs rely on manual processes around their metrics and data, observing nuanced patterns is very difficult.
This is a problem, because SaaS profitability relies on spotting patterns in large datasets. If you rely on spreadsheets and manual processes, you’ll likely miss an important nuance at some point.
Financial process automation also:
- Supplies you and your team with crucial SaaS customer metrics.
- Provides role-based dashboards that will help every member of your department maximize their job performance.
- Streamlines business results with cloud-based reporting and forecasting.
Let’s examine how cloud-based accounting simplifies SaaS growth.
3 Ways Cloud Solutions Help SaaS Companies Drive Growth With AI
Below are three ways SaaS CFOs fuel growth with financial process automation.
A multi-tenant cloud allows everyone in your organization to plug into the same centralized cloud to share and update data in real time. This helps teams operate more smoothly and effectively by:
- Permanently eliminating latency in your financial analytics.
- Providing elasticity for uneven processing requirements.
- Supplying sufficient computing power to audit every single transaction instead of just representative samples.
How else are SaaS finance teams using financial process automation to scale faster?
Whether it takes the form of a chatbot, an in-app notification, an automated email, or something else, AI puts the power of recommender systems at your fingertips.
Cloud-based recommender systems are two-pronged:
- They use AI to collect data about user purchasing behavior and personal preferences
- This data is analyzed, and the customer is recommended a course of action (a subscription upgrade or maybe a cross-sell purchase) that dovetails with their previous behavior
This will help you boost your bottom line and make your customers feel like you understand them better.
Embedded Financial Analytics
An automated accounting suite features embedded functionality that helps you conduct financial analysis more seamlessly.
- Directly connect to operational data: Because financial process automation uses an SSOT, you can go straight to the source of your data every time.
- Real-time and secure: Your SSOT is continuously updated, so you never need to worry about inaccurate financial analytics. And because the cloud eliminates the need for manual data sharing, your information will be much safer than it would be in a spreadsheet or email attachment.
- Exhaustive drill down on transactions: The cloud offers data drill down on every transaction in your ledger. Access granular details, including when transactional relationships started or ended, when and why they changed, and more.
Financial process automation helps SaaS companies scale at speed, while achieving more accurate results internally.
Drive Growth Through AI
Your choice of accounting technology will play a large role in your organization’s long-term profitability. Today’s SaaS CFO is expected to be a strategic partner to the CEO–and that requires thinking carefully about the benefits of financial process automation.
Our recent research report explains in detail what this new breed of CFO looks like. We interviewed 1900 finance professionals to learn about the mindsets and technologies you’ll need to adopt to drive growth at your company in the coming years: The Redefined CFO.