3 technology rules every modern finance department should follow

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    There’s no denying that technology and process digitization has changed your department’s role immensely in recent years.

    Hours spent scanning invoices have been replaced by electronic file transfers. Traditional paychecks have been traded for direct deposit. Paper receipts have been swapped out for phone app pictures.

    It’s required your staffers to adapt … a lot! But it’s not a smooth transition for everyone. And if staffers struggle to adapt, you could encounter process delays, dips in efficiency and missed opportunities – all of which the modern, trailblazing CFO can’t afford.

    To help your department stay current in today’s digitized business world, here are three general rules Finance should heed that you can share, courtesy of software company SmartVault:

    1. Standardize for success

    You know that it’s no longer realistic to customize processes for each trading partner your company works with. To stay efficient, staffers must standardize workflows to keep things moving at a good clip.

    Plus, as your company grows, staffers should be able to put certain repetitive tasks on auto-pilot with the help of technology. Standardization lets you do that and avoid unnecessary hiccups and risks that occur when you make special exceptions for specific vendors, customers or even employees.

    2. Maintain a lean ‘tech stack’

    Yourtech stack” is a compilation of all the applications, programs and systems your department uses. And you don’t want anyone on your staff to catch “bright shiny app syndrome,” as SmartVault calls it, where departments just keep adding more.

    Instead, you can encourage Payroll, A/P and A/R to each map their processes to find glaring gaps and choose apps that fill those specific gaps. And before adding to your tech stack – especially if it includes a financial investment – you’ll want to be sure your staff has fully explored the apps you already have. Some apps may include features staffers previously weren’t aware of that could be useful.

    3. Exercise the ‘principle of least privilege’

    You may need to introduce some of your finance staff to this popular IT security principle: Essentially, it means they shouldn’t give people more access than they absolutely need to do their jobs. (For example, A/P may be able to see all vendor data in your master vendor file, but Purchasing can’t view banking details. And only you and one staffer can change vendor info in the system.)

    Remind staffers that this principle applies to both finance data and system. With it, they can dissuade wandering eyes and lower the security risks that technology brings.

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