Highlander’s Chris Muscroft looks at how digital systems can make life easier for CFOs

CFOs, finance directors and finance executives continue to be under great pressure to deliver more value to their respective organisations. The ever-growing list of responsibilities are compounded by the fact that business planning and forecasting is essential to future success.

Historically, finance departments focused on data analytics from the past, collating month end reports, analysing previous trends and ensuring cash flow remained positive. Added to this, functional responsibilities, such as operations, HR and IT, often placed a strain on an already overly stretched resource.

Thankfully, modern business systems provide significant automation to allow finance executives to concentrate on future planning. Automated reporting, trend analysis and functional dashboards with real-time business intelligence all enhance the information flow between departments to improve an organisation’s performance.

These systems work best when all operations can be analysed collectively and not in siloed applications. The ability to quickly build reporting structures and KPIs allows the organisation to be agile and adaptable, with trust in the data to support positive change.

With a potential future economic downturn a distinct possibility, this agility provides a competitive edge and confidence to make important planning decisions.

At Highlander, we utilise Oracle’s NetSuite application to help us make those decisions and we have completed many projects for our clients, implementing the same system. We work with organisations to ensure automation can be reached organisation wide and the finance element is core to that framework.

In the last two years, we’ve completed projects for manufacturing companies, logistics companies and technology providers to enhance their operations. In each case we’ve ensured the business insights are significantly improved and the management of their internal resources greatly enhanced.

We’ve also spent a lot of time integrating these back-end systems with customer portals, to improve the customer journey for buying goods and services and service statistics for performance reviews. Additionally, we’ve been providing integration and automation with supply chains, speeding up procurement processes, automating purchase ledgers and reducing manual intervention on returns processes.

Above all, our focus has been to ensure operatives trust their data to be accurate and the finance teams can provide the value add that their organisations demand.

If you would like to hear more about how these systems could work for you organisation, please email enquiries@highlanderuk.com