Remember the early days of personal digital assistants and cell phones? Before they were “smart”? We were wowed by the first hand-held computers like the Palm Pilot and Blackberry, but few among us knew then that in a few short years, we would become dependent upon them in all aspects of our personal and business lives. Technology and time march swiftly on, and business moves fast. Senior finance executives are reimagining not only the finance function, but also the entire organization—and how work gets done more efficiently, all while driving profitability.

Finance professionals of the future will embrace these five emerging technologies to scale gracefully and remain competitive.

One: Data and Analytics

Sanjay Sehgal, Principal at KPMG, confirms that, “Leaders are looking at the best strategies for organizing and standardizing their data, which is a pain point for many organizations.” But while getting a better view of internal data is critical, advances in machine learning and unstructured data processing will assist CFOs in becoming more accurate in estimating revenue and profitability, and making smarter business decisions.

And that is only the first step. Looking ahead, prescriptive data analysis will identify new markets, customers, services, and channels—all leading to profitable growth.

Two: Risk Management

Yooz chief innovation officer and COO, Laurent Charpentier, expresses a frustration shared by many CFOs and risk managers, “Up until now, we had to have a human that could actually decipher the information from risk evaluation, which was a nearly impossible task.” Fortunately, that is changing. Now, AI and more robust data analytics will enable AP departments, as well as the finance team, to make more informed decisions about cash management, investments, and lending, thus reducing the risk of being caught short of capital to fund mission-critical projects. Further, Charpentier says, “Future AI tools will have the ability to analyze a lot more data than is currently possible to detect fraud before it gets too far.”

Three: Robotic Process Automation (RPA)

While today’s “robot” may not wander around your finance offices flailing its arms and shouting, “Danger Will Robinson” (for those of you that admit being old enough to remember the 1960s TV series, Lost in Space), it might be your new favorite co-worker. The RPA of today is freeing AP teams from mundane data entry and manual invoice processing to focus on more strategic value-added activities and contributions.

Four: Blockchain

Cryptocurrencies continue to be a darling or a devil in the finance industry, depending on what day you’re listening to the news. But blockchain is emerging as a potential solution to supply chain payments and other financial transactions. It holds the promise of creating a payment ecosystem with valuable partners that provides a fast and secure way to process transactions, identify and limit risk, eliminate overhead, and create a strong audit trail.

Five: Cloud Applications

Now we get to the good part—the power driver. In this day and age of being connected 24/7 and needing real-time information anywhere any time has sparked an increase of cloud applications, otherwise known as edge computing. Business leaders are pushing for faster and more agile applications, and cloud applications perform data processing at the edge of the network, near the source of the data, to provide users with the fast, real-time analysis needed for smart decision-making.

Look for a cloud-based P2P automation platform is already leveraging all five of these key technologies to provide the finance teams of the future the tools to escape mundane processing tasks, up-skill and prepare to scale gracefully and remain competitive, build a P2P automation ecosystem that is easy to manage, and increase collaboration between co-workers, vendors, partners, and customers.

For more information about the Yooz cloud AP automation solution, visit us in the Sage Intacct Marketplace.

This article is based on the 2018 e-book, Five Factors That Will Shape the Modern Finance Office, published by CFO, an Argyle® Company, and underwritten by Yooz. To learn more about how emerging technologies will make AP and finance a strategic contributor to the bottom line, download the complete e-book.