Budgeting and forecasting properly have never been more important than in today’s uncertain financial climate. CFOs and finance leaders must develop future-focused strategies to adapt to ever-changing business environments. 

A new survey by Sage examines how CFOs around the world approach common business processes such as planning, budgeting, forecasting, and reporting. With the advent of new and improved technologies, business budgeting is changing dramatically. Let’s examine the changes in more detail.

Technology and Finance Joining Forces

This year’s survey highlights the fact that technology and finance must work together to automate the planning, budgeting, and forecasting process. Today’s CFOs are quickly becoming part of their companies’ tech departments.

The survey found that 33% of financial professionals have made significant changes to their budgeting, planning, and forecasting cycles this year. Technology has played a major role in many of these changes.

  • 79% of survey respondents feel that automation of tasks and data capture is important
  • 78% of respondents are interested in investing in IT and forming a closer relationship with IT
  • 75% believe they should standardize processes throughout their organizations

It is possible to streamline and standardize the accounting automation process by using enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. When the right technology is in place, data capture and automation become natural parts of the workflow.

The CFO has become an integral part of the technology evaluation and purchase process, unlike in times past when the IT department was solely responsible for making such decisions. For this reason, the selected ERP system supports the company’s financial processes and fits in with the rest of its technological architecture.

Resources Stretched Thin

Despite the benefits of including finance professionals in ERP evaluations, many feel too time-constrained to give it their full attention. According to the survey, most have only one to three months to devote to finance transformations. This compressed timeframe further strains the finance team’s resources and makes digital transformation projects feel unachievable.

Forecasting and Budget Reporting Investments Increasing

Technology is also transforming the forecasting process. The survey found that 90% of respondents would like to invest more time in forecasting. Approximately 73% believe budget reporting requires increased investment, and 70% want more investment in risk assessment and reporting, and compliance.

Forward-thinking financial leaders are now turning to technology to streamline forecasting and budgeting. By using the right technology, they can access accurate and timely financial data at any time, and this simplifies the budgeting, planning, and forecasting cycle for businesses.

Choose the Right ERP System

If you’re a financial professional looking to automate your company in the new year, consult an ERP consultant to help you choose and implement the right ERP system. You don’t have to struggle through the evaluation and selection process when you have the right partner. Find out more with a free consultation.