How to Get Your Finance Function Up to Speed? Think Like a Private Equity Firm


Chris Rellaford

VP Business Development – Business Process Transformation
To keep pace in today’s world, companies need timely access to business-critical data. 
Much of that information resides in a company’s finance and accounting (F&A) function. 
Too often, though, outdated manual processes keep F&A insights from reaching decision makers quickly enough. Meanwhile, digitally transformed competitors are beating them to market, operating with faster and more relevant information. 

It’s no wonder Private Equity (PE) firms prioritize improving F&A in newly acquired companies. 

PE firms realize that although many businesses don’t picture the back office when they think of digital transformation, that is precisely where outdated processes can have the biggest drag on a company’s momentum. Getting F&A up to speed is therefore key to increasing business value and competitiveness. And what company doesn’t want to do that?

The good news? You don’t need to be a PE firm to benefit from thinking like one. Whether you’re acquiring a new business or growing through other means, upgrading F&A should be a vital part of your corporate strategy.
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The benefits of F&A digital transformation

Here’s what a successful digital transformation of the F&A function lets you do:

Drive better business outcomes

Automating F&A reporting drastically speeds up delivery of crucial insights to the C-suite. Rather than spend significant time entering countless manual inputs, back-office employees can focus on modeling analytics that yield swift and actionable intelligence for corporate leaders. This can substantially shorten the decision-making runway as companies contemplate future capital spending and react to real-time developments, including ones that could be game changers for their business. 

Free up cash and other resources 

By streamlining F&A functions via robotic process automation (RPA) and other digital solutions, companies can run their back offices with fewer employees, redeploying them to revenue-generating activities. Reducing back-office overhead also frees up cash, giving a company more working capital to invest in growth initiatives.

Improve customer experience

By applying machine learning to a large database of standard customer inquiries about payment, refunds, returns, etc., customer service agents can pull the right information in real time when dealing with those issues. This leads to swifter resolution of queries, which in turn results in higher customer satisfaction and retention. Automating accounts receivable, meanwhile, markedly reduces the time it takes a company to collect payment on each sale.  
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Strengthen security

As many companies permanently adopt remote workforce options, corporate back offices will remain fanned out among various home offices post-pandemic. It is imperative, therefore, that companies keep F&A and sensitive customer data safe by enlisting a trusted security partner with expertise in remote workforce protection.

Move quickly in a fast-changing world

Time is money. Many companies balk when they hear it will take half a year to digitally transform their F&A function. They think that’s too long. And they’re right. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. A speed-to-value partner with deep expertise can bolt new technology on to your legacy systems in short order, as well as nimbly respond to follow-on needs.

Why wait? 

You can be sure your top competitors aren’t waiting. So, why are you? Start thinking like a PE firm today and get your own F&A transformation underway.