The CFOs Guide to Obtaining Real-Time Data

Written by Sergio Garcia
January 19, 2024

A survey from Accenture found that a staggering 99% of business leaders said it’s important that real-time processes and operations inform better business decisions. Furthermore, nearly half of business leaders surveyed expect 90% of their finance processes and operations to be real-time within three years. But, how can you as a CFO lead digital transformation initiatives that support these goals? Data management tools and techniques are undergoing rapid evolution, providing finance leaders with the means to obtain data in real-time.

While there is no singular magic solution, the application of digital finance capabilities may prove to be a quicker and more feasible option than initially perceived thanks to advancements in treasury management software for CFOs.

Emerging technologies, such as APIs, machine learning, AI, and cloud-native solutions, offer effective tools to rectify or navigate various data issues without necessitating extensive investments or widespread organizational disruptions.

In terms of liquidity management, these technologies are already making strides in enhancing corporate-level cash forecasting, automating reconciliations, streamlining reporting processes, and generating valuable financial insights. 

Additionally, they play a key role in minimizing the costs, efforts, and risks associated with the transformative journey of digital finance. In this article, you’ll learn how to attain real-time data insights for liquidity management that will streamline forecasting, reporting, and provide deeper insights that accelerate growth.

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Cutting Through the Noise

As companies generate more and more data each day through adding new banks and accounts, acquisitions, and investments, finance teams have seemingly limitless opportunities to glean insights and boost their value to the business. However, the challenge lies in efficiently managing the overwhelming influx of data from various sources. 

To address this, businesses are fortifying their data management foundations, establishing enterprise or finance data lakes, streamlining reporting practices, and cultivating data management and analytics skill sets.

Taking the Reins on Your Data 

The landscape of finance is undergoing a transformation with the integration of digital technologies, resulting in reduced operating costs, effort, and risk, while simultaneously enhancing the analytical value and transparency of financial data. Here are some ways in which finance teams are leveraging these technologies to address data challenges:

Financial Planning

  • Transition from spreadsheet models and intuition to automated, analytic-based models.
  • Integrate cloud planning systems with data lakes to meet both internal and external data requirements.
  • Ensure uniform data categories and implement aggregation processes from the corporate core.

Finance Operations

  • Establish hierarchies capable of adapting to evolving management, financial, and regulatory reporting needs.
  • Streamline workflows and automate reconciliations across sources to enhance journal entry traceability and audit responsiveness.
  • Harness advanced analytics, including machine learning, for exception and risk identification.

Decision Support

  • Clearly define information needs across business units, geographies, and source systems.
  • Unlock insights using cloud-native solutions, making data accessible from any location.
  • Develop intuitive reports allowing users to drill down through multiple layers of information.

Leveraging Technology 

Digital technology offers CFOs novel options for data management, especially when existing systems face compatibility issues. Cloud-native technology can dynamically organize and reassemble data, while advanced analytics tools facilitate drawing conclusions from data points across multiple platforms. Machine learning and AI play a crucial role in ensuring accuracy, and streamlining the process.

Now that you understand how these emerging technologies can transform your data management capabilities and strategy, you may be wondering how to get started? We’ve got you covered. 

Six Steps to Enhance Data Quality and Finance Capabilities

If you want to improve the quality of your data and boost finance’s core capabilities, start with solutions using your existing systems, with an eye toward eventually automating and enhancing how your data is developed, delivered, and consumed. Follow these six steps, and you’ll be on your way.

1. Define Needed Insights

Determine the key questions and metrics crucial for running the business, covering financial results and non-financial information affecting various business outcomes.

2. Explore Available Tools

Identify tools for collecting, manipulating, analyzing, and delivering necessary information. Initially, focus on gathering data manually for key business questions before transitioning to automation.

3. Align Leadership

Ensure consensus among key stakeholders on measurement definitions, ownership, accountability, and the business mandate. Alignment is crucial, especially in matrixed organizations.

4. Build Data Ecosystem

Progress towards automated data feeds, data set integration, and self-service capabilities. Prioritize based on business value and ease of implementation, starting small before scaling.

5. Equip Workforce

Develop skills aligned with the next-generation digital technologies, such as data storytelling, advanced analytics problem-solving, and enhanced business partnering.

6. Test and Learn

Explore different approaches in distinct markets to compare results and determine the best long-term strategy. Testing mitigates risks associated with rolling out a company-wide tool that may not suit the business.

Treasury Management Software for CFOs to Obtain Real-Time Data

1. Multi-Bank Data Lake

Trovata’s data lake resolves the challenge of managing disparate banking data for finance teams. It consolidates all banking and transaction data into a unified platform. 

treasury management software for cfos

Finance teams no longer need to navigate multiple portals, export data manually, or spend hours compiling cash reports. 

The data is readily available, enabling treasurers to promptly assess potential issues, allocate time to strategic decision-making, and streamline long-term planning through efficient data consolidation.

2. Revolutionizing Treasury with Open Banking APIs

Achieving 100% accurate, real-time cash balances and transactions across diverse accounts and currencies is made possible through open banking APIs. 

treasury management software for cfos

These APIs connect the banking portal directly to a centralized platform, like Trovata, ensuring real-time updates and eliminating data errors. The automation of cash consolidation transforms treasury processes, saving hours weekly and enhancing accuracy. 

Trovata’s dashboard provides finance teams with an immediate, accurate view of the company’s cash position, facilitating timely and informed strategic decisions.

treasury management software for cfos

3. Seamless Collaboration with Cloud Native Platforms

While financial data and payments are centralized, team collaboration across different locations remains a challenge. 

Cloud-native platforms address this by removing siloes, ensuring consistent datasets, and enabling global collaboration. With cloud-based software, everyone works from the same source of truth, eliminating concerns about outdated spreadsheet versions. 

Trovata facilitates collaborative work on datasets, account balances, and forecasts with customizable permissions.

4. Unlocking Insights with AI and Machine Learning

The combination of data lakes, open banking, and cloud technology lays the foundation for complete, accurate, and current financial data. 

The real value lies in AI and machine learning tools like Trovata AI, empowering teams to categorize, view, and analyze data effortlessly. Treasurers can create cash flow scenarios rapidly through natural language prompts, reducing time spent on financial analysis. 

treasury management software for cfos

Trovata AI also aids in historical data searches based on various variables, streamlining day-to-day finance and treasury tasks.

Achieve Real-Time Data with Trovata

By embracing the transformative power of APIs, machine learning, AI, and advanced analytics, CFOs can lead their organizations towards efficient treasury management with real-time data. 

The outlined steps provide a roadmap for leveraging technology to enhance data quality and elevate finance capabilities, enabling organizations to stay agile and competitive in today’s dynamic business environment.

Leading the charge in innovation, Trovata provides a platform that streamlines cash management, guaranteeing efficiency, transparency, and strategic insights. Choosing Trovata’s solution empowers your business with a holistic financial overview, fortified by top-notch security and compliance standards.

Embrace transformation and enhance your treasury operations. Schedule a demo with Trovata today to experience firsthand how our platform can revolutionize your approach to cash management.

bottom cta the cfos playbook to drive agility and achieve real time treasury

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