March 5 by Nav Kalra

The CFO holds one of the most engaging, multifaceted roles in the enterprise. In order to be an effective leader, he or she needs a software solution with the capacity to match the dynamism of a CFO’s daily tasks.

With the immense benefits of transparency and agility delivered by the new generation of business applications platforms, transformation to the Cloud will create a new breed of CFO’s who have the opportunity to significantly impact their business. Implementing a SaaS Quote-to-Cash platform enables the enterprise CFO to outperform and exceed the traditional controller role.

While serving as a translator of the business externally to financial markets and analysts, the CFO’s balancing act also includes monitoring and adjusting sophisticated internal controls and systems. In addition to the setting the tone on accountability, compliance and risk levels on behalf of all senior decision makers, the CFO also has degrees of responsibility over IT, HR, or even operations. And, if the company CEO is more sales and marketing oriented, the CFO might be the one who communicates in financial shorthand directly to the board of directors.

The CFO sets the tone for the entire executive suite, creating standards and best practices for accuracy, efficiency and accountability. Thus, the CFO must always have an eye in the rear-view mirror in order to package and report accurate and timely financials. Hindsight and historical data enables the company to establish baselines for evaluation when planning for future growth. In this reverse-looking role, the CFO is best served with standardized and unified information.

Implemented correctly, SaaS Quote-to-Cash can give access to a single system for all customer orders, transactions, renewals, and invoices; meaning, the controller sees a single source of truth for customers, revenue forecasts, and regulatory compliance. This approach elevates CFO confidence to properly evaluate risk, asset allocation and compliance.

From pricing to billing to resolution, control can be centralized. Accuracy is automated across variables such as product catalogue, price segmentation, exchange rates, taxing entities, credit approvals, bank processing partners, pricing tiers, regulatory standards, provisioning and returns.

Much attention has been paid to the deployment of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and cloud-based CRM as an enabler to sales, marketing and customer service functions. Putting cloud solutions such as CPQ and Contract Management at the disposal of the CFO is where the next significant evolution will occur.

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