Driving Digital Transformation as a Controller

Written by Keegan Chamberlin
September 12, 2022

While digital transformation has spread through many industries, the same cannot be said in finance. We hear from controllers and finance professionals daily that they are tired of downloading statements from bank portals and performing a lengthy reconciliation process every month-end close.

In this remote work era, reporting is time-consuming if you still rely on analyzing data from siloed spreadsheets.

Fortunately, there’s a better way to manage and track cash flow. Digitally transforming your cash management through automating bank data aggregation can free you from performing constant, manual data entry. But how do you gain your CFO’s support?

Why Is Digital Transformation Necessary In Our Modern Age?

Digital transformation is not just a buzzword; it’s becoming necessary for companies that want to scale in the future. It’s time to ensure that the right technology, processes, and people are in place to safeguard and optimize your cash as work culture continues to change. 

Finance Teams Adapting To A Remote Working Environment

More and more people are embracing flexible, remote work conditions and want more of it. According to a recent survey, 58% of Americans have an opportunity to work from home one day a week, while 35% work remotely five days a week. From a cash management perspective, remote work creates a challenge: How do you ensure everyone works with the most up-to-date data?

To successfully manage cash, your team needs to establish a single source of truth for all cash data. Spreadsheets just don’t cut it as they were never meant to host and analyze large datasets across teams. If your team is still managing operations in spreadsheets, it may be time to consider a cloud-based solution.

We Live In A Digital Economy

Our personal lives and work are intertwined with the internet. This became more of a reality when the COVID-19 pandemic landed on our doorsteps in early 2020. With people held up in their homes, there was an uptick in e-commerce.

IBISWorld estimates that the percentage of business conducted online increased 8.8% in 2020 alone, reaching 25.8% of business activity.

In our expanding digital world, transaction volumes have continued to rise, making it difficult to manage manually. While many technologies in the consumer space have provided instant access to ‘always-on’ services in the past decade, the financial industry has lagged behind. 

Managing Cash in Spreadsheets Isn’t Scalable

As your transaction volume grows, establishing a single source of truth for cash data becomes more time-consuming and difficult. 

As discussed in the article, Treasury Management: How Legacy Technologies Hold You Back, spreadsheets:

  • Create silos of information. It becomes difficult to pin down who has the most up-to-date information.

  • Are time-consuming to reconcile. To ensure your bank data in spreadsheets matches what’s in the bank, many teams must search through pages upon pages of transactions.

  • Invite the potential for human error. The more hands you have in a spreadsheet, the chances of having errors increase.

You’re probably thinking, “Yes, it is counterproductive to manage cash in spreadsheets… But, as a controller, how do I convince leadership that digital transformation is necessary?” 

digital transformation

Top 4 Methods to Increase Buy-In For Digital Transformation

Leadership places an emphasis on how certain decisions can affect the bottom line. Considering the following best practices, you can convince leadership that automating cash management processes is necessary to maximize liquidity. 

1. Align Digital Transformation With Your Organization’s Strategic Priorities

Your strategic priorities should focus on eliminating reporting and forecasting roadblocks, and how eliminating those roadblocks will lead to financial growth.

These priorities act as your North Star and guide your team as you build an agile, digitized cash management strategy. 

You also want to prove to leadership that digital transformation will enable you to focus more on strategic analysis.

2. Identify Your Cash Management Strengths and Weaknesses

Analyzing what processes are currently working and what could be improved is a critical first step to increasing agility. Perform a SWOT analysis to identify your processes’ strengths and weaknesses. 

Here are a few examples of what your SWOT could look like:

  • Strengths: Payments on Time – Our team swiftly enters any invoice within the day it is received to ensure we can pay our bills on time.

  • Weaknesses: Timely Reporting Processes – To create a basic cash forecast, we have to manually log into bank portals and consolidate and normalize bank data every time.

  • Opportunities: Automate Data Management Processes – By adopting an automated cash management platform built on banking APIs, we can establish a single source of truth for normalized bank data.

  • Threats: Bank Portal Outages – If our banks experience any outages, we may not have access to our bank data when we need it.

By understanding your strengths and weaknesses, you can begin to address your weaknesses and turn them into strengths. 

3. Gain Strength In Numbers

Cash management can’t be a one-person sport; it takes an entire team. It is critical to show the value of digitally transforming your business’s cash management processes in order to convince your team.

There’s strength in numbers!

If you can demonstrate the benefits of digital transformation to the entire finance and IT team, you’ll have many in agreement that it’s necessary for growth. 

4. Back-Up Digital Transformation With Results

Leadership solely focuses on how strategic efforts will grow the bottom line. If you can back up your digital transformation efforts with metrics, they’ll be more likely to listen.

Here are some ways digital transformation can affect your organization’s bottom line:

  • Time Saved Through Automation. Many of our clients save 48+ hours monthly by automating the aggregation and normalization of their bank data.
  • Annual Subscription Cost Savings. When you consider many legacy treasury management systems, they often require lengthy implementation times and expensive training programs. With Trovata, you can be up and running within weeks. Eventbrite experienced a 50% cost reduction moving from a legacy TMS to Trovata.
  • Reduced Fees. Trovata’s Payments App, for example, initiates payments directly from your bank account through banking APIs, eliminating third-party payment-processing fees.

Level-Up Your Career By Digitally Transforming Your Cash Management

With your team and CFO’s support, digitally transform your cash management by automating bank data aggregation. Free yourself up from performing constant, manual data entry so you can spend time on the things that really make the difference in your business.

Download our resource, 5 Keys to Successful Treasury Management, to discover how you can begin your digital transformation journey and grow your financial operations.

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