3 Reasons Why CFOs are intimidated by Automation

Among all the new technologies being implemented by companies, automation has to be one of the hottest. It seems as if there’s always new information on the benefits of automation, new use cases, and how companies of any size can leverage it to their benefit.

So why do so many CFOs hesitate to implement automation in their finance processes?

We’ll cover a few of the biggest barriers to automation adoption along with some simple workarounds that may help turn the tide.

1. Investment Cost

An obvious sticking point for companies is cost. As amazing as automation sounds, it’s a big change. Aside from the up-front costs, it’s a system that will require multiple departments to redefine their work processes.

On top of that, many C-level executives don’t see the value of automation as a given. They may be more focused on project costs, implementation timeframes, and the training required than the long-term value of the solution itself. 

Fortunately, the automation landscape has changed over the past few years. Automated platforms aren’t as costly as they were. CFOs have more use cases to examine that demonstrate the value of automation as a strategic finance function. These factors may reduce the effort needed to get executive buy-in for financial process automation.

To make the expense more palatable, look for accounts receivable collections automation vendors offering a clear deployment roadmap and encourage you to experiment with their platforms before committing to a purchase. There’s no better way to understand accounts receivable collections automation benefits than to see these solutions applied directly to your business processes. 

2. Technophobia

Many professionals (especially those at the C-level) have an “old school” way of thinking. They cut their teeth on paper files and Excel spreadsheets, never considering that newer solutions for receivables management were worth the investment. Some may even find automation intimidating because cloud-based software requires a different type of know-how to operate. 

This is a tough hurdle to overcome. Change isn’t easy, and it’s hard to convince professionals the way they’ve been doing things for years is outdated. Nevertheless, companies hoping to reap the benefits of automation need to overcome this skepticism. A good way to start is to appoint a collections automation champion who can research and relay key information points to stakeholders on their terms.

Ideally, this point-person will find an automated accounts receivable collections system that solves multiple bottlenecks at once without substantial implementation time.

Modern financial process automation solutions can help manage most processes that A/R collection teams deal with on a daily basis:

  • Approvals
  • Audit trails
  • Data capture
  • Invoicing
  • Supplier management

…and more, all without significant onboarding or user training required. Backed by these user-friendly solutions, even technophobes may come around on financial digitization as a best practice for A/R management. 

3. ‘More Technology Isn’t the Solution’

Another common argument against investing in new solutions is “Technology doesn’t solve all problems.” While there’s some truth in that, many CFOs underestimate the impact that financial digitization will have on their organizations. 

When you automate collections, you do more than just bring a new solution into your workflows. You’re adding a digital enablement tool that supports your A/R team across the board.

Assuming you have the right talent on board to run these solutions, an automated accounts receivable collections system reduces the effort of manual tasks, automates key processes (such as data entry and reporting), and overall, makes collaboration easier among all financial stakeholders.

It’s not just about adding more technology or leveraging a hot new trend. Automation is about giving your team the tools they need to stay effective and agile, regardless of company growth or how your long-term goals may change.

And that’s a benefit that’s hard to beat!

Overcoming the Barriers to A/R Automation

Some CFOs may not be ready to embrace accounts receivable automation benefits for the transformative processes that they are. Over time, this will change. Companies of all sizes can see how even simple tools to automate collections can completely redefine their workflows. As more and more companies validate A/R solutions in the marketplace, we may soon reach a point where automation isn’t just a luxury – it’s a must-have for A/R collections efficiency. Contact our team at Gaviti for more details about our automated A/R collections solutions and the benefits they bring to your business!

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