The disruption of the global economy by the pandemic has clarified how important it is for CFOs to think strategically, especially when it comes to business strategies that keep companies in touch with their customers.
For starters, the pandemic has accelerated the adoption of digitization in all financial operations of companies. This digitization speeds up payments and helps businesses strengthen their customer relationships. The digitization of payment processes helps many organizations continue to run smoothly with lower operating costs while ensuring they are meeting customer demands.
PYMNTS findings explain how CFOs see the pandemic as an opportunity to rethink their processes and workflows, and many investments in digitalization over the past two years have been shaped by how CFOs want to revamp these operations.
In The Strategic Role of the CFO Playbook: How AP and AR Digitization Supports Customer Growth and Increases Value, a PYMNTS and Versapay Collaboration, PYMNTS assesses how the digitization of payment processes is helping businesses improve customer relationships, win customers, and revamp their business strategies.
We interviewed 400 CFOs in March and April 2021 to provide first-hand testimony on how companies are investing in digital innovations in accounts payable and accounts receivable to accelerate their cash flow. Participants came from US-based companies in 18 industries that generated at least $ 25 million in annual revenue.
PYMNTS research found that 62% of survey respondents cited two goals that have grown in importance over the past 18 months. One of the goals is to oversee projects with significant financial implications and the second is to focus on strategic issues that could potentially shape the long-term future of an organization.
Most CFOs say their interest in increasing customer value has grown since the start of the pandemic. Our findings underscore that business leaders are using the pandemic to rethink operations and develop strategies for how their businesses should operate as aspects of the crisis ease and the economy settles into a larger pattern. predictable. CFOs play a fundamental role in these efforts.
Smoothing and speeding up financial processes can help businesses improve the responsiveness of their operations to customers. Seventy percent of CFOs say they try to increase overall customer value by making Accounts Receivable / Accounts Payable (AR / AP) more transparent, and 62% hope to increase customer value by making AR / AP more efficient.
With such an intense focus on digitization initiatives during the pandemic, it’s understandable that 96% of CFOs say the main reason they’re digitizing AP / AR functions is to benefit customers and suppliers. This objective trumps other justifications, such as speeding up processing, reducing costs and maintaining competition.
The pandemic has prompted CFOs to refocus their systems on reducing costs and improving efficiency. Much of this was achieved through the integration of AR / AP systems, considered by 83% of CFOs to be one of the main benefits of the digitalization process. Other benefits of digitalization include improved payment security – which 61% of CFOs expect – and faster receipt of customer payments, expected by 53% of CFOs.
The results indicate that the increased digitization of payment processes offers CFOs opportunities to improve the customer experience.
More than half of CFOs say the AR / AP digitization they have implemented since the start of the pandemic has enabled them to increase the volume of payments processed through methods such as the automated clearinghouse (68 %), PayPal (64%) and credit cards (64%).
Digitization speeds up customer payments and helps businesses improve their cash flow. At the same time, many companies expect digitized processes to improve the customer experience and help them build deeper relationships with key customers over the long term. As this process unfolds, CFOs anticipate that more revenue will be generated over the lifespan of these customer relationships.
To learn more about the steps CFOs are taking to digitize their accounts receivable and accounts payable operations to improve efficiency, accelerate cash flow and improve customer relationships, To download The report.
About the report
The Strategic Role of the CFO Playbook: How AP and AR Digitization Supports Customer Growth and Increases Value, a PYMNTS and Versapay collaboration, explains how companies are investing in innovations in accounts payable and digital accounts receivable to accelerate their cash flow and improve customer relationships.