From the adoption of remote work to the growth of telemedicine, the pace of digital transformation has rapidly accelerated in recent years. Technology has shifted the way we work and live our day-to-day lives.

Some changes, like a pandemic-fueled surge in online commerce, are obvious because they literally show up on our doorsteps.

And some changes we hear much less about, but are no less significant, like the so-called “invisible” transformation of back-office functions like finance and accounting. But this shift is top of mind for strategic finance leaders, and it’s revolutionizing the way that businesses take payments.

The Strategic CFO

The Chief Financial Officer has a unique perspective across the business as a whole. In addition to serving as a partner to the CEO and leading the finance team, their role has evolved to become less operational and increasingly strategic. And they are looking for technology solutions that can help them better allocate resources and leverage tactical advantage from Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable.

Strategic CFOs recognize that payments are no longer a back-office function that can be handled with manual processes.

In fact, 93% of US firms with at least 25 million dollars in revenue are currently integrating digital technologies into their accounting operations. To learn more, we surveyed current research and spoke with some forward-thinking CFOs to learn more about what is top of mind for them right now when it comes to payments.

Watch this video, or keep reading, to discover how they are rethinking their strategic approach to payments.

Big Changes, Big Innovation

As CFOs take on a bigger role in attracting and retaining customers and building those customers’ lifetime value, they have quickly realized that seamless, modern payment capabilities are essential – across both consumer-facing and B2B organizations.

And they’re making technology investments accordingly. Companies that started or sped up projects to digitize their payments systems are leading the way in a post-2020 world, reporting significant improvements like improved cash flow, more efficient operations, and stronger integration with key functions across the organization.

Fortunately, organizations that have been slower to make payment improvements are positioned to catch up quickly, and even gain competitive advantage. When considering specific digital transformation initiatives, more than half of finance leaders have identified automation as an area of opportunity to realize benefits like higher productivity and cost savings.

One area where CFOs can quickly realize ROI is by automating accounts receivable processes – using a powerful, configurable tool like Chargent’s Automated Collections to improve payment collections for improved cash flow, lower Days Sales Outstanding (DSO), and stronger customer relationships.

What’s Ahead for the Strategic CFO

What should CFOs and finance leaders pay attention to as they consider their long-term plans?

In the consumer space, the rapid, omnichannel growth of mobile payments and digital wallets is expected to continue growing by double digits – with B2B digital payments as the next frontier. Some finance leaders are already putting the technology infrastructure in place to accommodate this shift.

One other trend we expect to see accelerate is that digital transformation will look very different across different industries. Unsurprisingly, technology firms are leading the way in tackling digital payments, in order to meet the needs of their early-adopter customers. In manufacturing and other traditional industries, finance execs are prioritizing moving away from legacy processes, and overhauling company operations around invoicing and payment systems. In finance and insurance, modernization efforts are focused on improving payment processing and settlement time.

Are you a finance leader tasked with making critical decisions around digital transformation?  We’re always here to talk strategy. Get in touch and let’s start a conversation.