4 Tools and Tactics to Fight Inflation

Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) are always looking to refine their business processes, but in times of economic headwinds, they sharpen their pencils even more.

They would be metaphorical pencils, as manual methods are outmoded and digitization is all the rage as CFOs strive to discover new ways for businesses to become more efficient and productive.

In interviews for the PYMNTS “A Day in the Life of a Digitally-Driven CFO” series, four CFOs shared their own experiences implementing new tools and processes to increase productivity, save money and optimize operations.

Save money on operations

In this type of market, it is important for companies to have systems such as an expense management platform, Air-base CFO Anéal Vallurupalli said in an interview on June 16.

See the video: CFOs double down on model testing and control costs in a choppy economy

It’s also a time when companies could benefit from further efforts to digitize, automate and optimize their processes, Vallurupalli said.

For example, on average, manual payments can cost a business $8 or $9 per check. However, switching to a scanned form can reduce this amount to around $1.75. Going one step further, when a business shifts vendor payments to cash back cards, it can start generating revenue.

“That’s important in a market where you’re looking to save money on operational processes – being able to pay faster – and ultimately you’re saving money for the business because you’re spending more efficiently and that you are able to pay your suppliers with full visibility,” said Vallurupalli.

Use technology as much as possible

To Virta Healthtechnology has led the way in everything from receivables to payables and cash to tax – and even on the audit side, as the industry has moved rapidly from old Excel spreadsheets to new tools cloud-based collaborative planning tools, Virta Health CFO Alok Bhushan said in an interview in October.

See the video: Wearing many hats, the CFO must play an essential role in the digitization of the company

“It makes the whole process really easy – even more so on the approvals and workflow side than on the payment side,” Bhushan said. “I really appreciate the level of control that technology allows, where individual budget owners can approve invoices and get the level of authorization needed to make those payments.”

Bhushan is focused on minimizing the headaches of the B2B world’s reliance on outdated paper checks and legacy infrastructure. Virta Health has done a very good job of digitizing its own payments, as the company is 100% digital on this front.

“Like many other companies right now, we’re trying to use technology as much as possible to make our billing and payment processes as easy and seamless as possible, both for our customers and for the vendors we use,” Bhushan said.

Boost productivity across the organization

After years of lending disruption and working to lower the cost of credit, loan club became a bank and uses the same digital mindset and capability to deliver traditional banking products, LendingClub CFO Tom Casey said in an interview in December.

See the video: Today’s CFO uses data and experience to shape digital transformation

“As CFO, my job is to drive productivity across the organization and the mindset of not just the finance team, but the entire company on how we consistently use technology. to improve our efficiency and really excite customers with new products and services,” said Casey.

Because everything LendingClub does is digital, its infrastructure is electronic and transparent. For example, when a customer applies for a personal loan, the company processes it automatically, about 80% of the time, without human intervention. If consumers need help, the company has the data to offer them a choice of programs.

“Using this kind of digital framework, quick decision-making and efficiency allows us to deliver compelling offers to our members – and that’s what keeps them coming back,” Casey said.

Free knowledge workers from repetitive tasks

Intelligent process automation exists and is in growing demand because it gives businesses a way to manage repetitive tasks, such as entering data into spreadsheets, so that employees don’t have to. Bizagi CFO Paul Argiry said in an interview in December.

Read more: CFO looks to financial and operational metrics

“It frees up your knowledge workers because they’re an expensive resource,” Argiry said. “For most businesses, 50% or 60% of your costs are human beings, your employees, and then with the war on talent and inflation, those costs keep going up. So how do you make them more efficient? so that they focus on what they’re really supposed to be doing rather than on those routine tasks?That’s really the advantage.

Argiry added that as CFO, he always has his pencil in hand, ready to go line by line looking for potential savings. At the same time, it looks for operational improvements that can be made. For example, he was previously involved in investigating various service tickets that came in for support to find out what was causing this need among customers.

“As CFOs, we have the ability to look through our organizations,” Argiry said. “Don’t just focus on financial metrics, but also operational metrics.”

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NEW PYMNTS DATA: THE CUSTOM PURCHASING EXPERIENCE STUDY – MAY 2022

About: PYMNTS’ survey of 2,094 consumers for The Tailored Shopping Experience report, a collaboration with Elastic Path, shows where merchants are succeeding and where they need to up their game to deliver a personalized shopping experience.

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