For CFOs, digitalization not only means savings

Small businesses tend to view their digitization efforts as a way to eliminate manual processes and reduce costs, according to “Business Payments Digitization,” a PYMNTS and Corcentric collaboration based on a survey of chief financial officers (CFOs) of companies that generate between $400 million and $2 billion in annual revenue.

Get the report: Digitization of commercial payments

Of the CFOs of the smallest companies included in the report — those with revenue between $400 million and $750 million — 71% say digitalization is primarily about automation, while only 29% say it is about transformation.

In contrast, most CFOs of companies across three large enterprise categories say digitalization is primarily about transformation, meaning they see digitalization as an opportunity to transform their payment operations and reconsider completely how payment methods connect them to customers and suppliers.

This is the answer given by 58% of those in small businesses ($750 million to $1 billion), 71% of those in medium-sized businesses ($1 billion to $1.5 billion) and 89% those of the largest companies (from 1.5 to 2 billion dollars). billion).

Realize the benefits of digitization

While both groups – those prioritizing automation and those aiming to transform their payment processing – have realized some benefits from digitization, the differences in their reasons for digitizing help illustrate their varied strategies and level of success.

Larger companies tend to see digitization as an opportunity to transform their payment processes. Rather than expecting limited improvements, the CFOs of these companies see digitalization as a large-scale change that reduces costs and allows them to rethink their operations and completely evolve their collaboration with customers and suppliers.

These transformation-focused companies want to leverage newly digitized operations to revamp everything they do with payment transactions.

The smaller companies included in the report, on the other hand, are more likely to see digitization as a way to automate existing manual processes or eliminate some altogether to streamline operations.

These companies are almost certainly saving money, improving efficiency, and speeding up their workflows. However, they may need to put more effort into adapting their internal culture than large companies in order to take full advantage of these changes.

Ditch manual processes

CFOs are moving away from manual processes to achieve greater operational efficiency, holistic cash flow and working capital, seamless integration of operations, and enhanced security, Corcentric Chief Operating Officer Matt Clark written in a recently published PYMNTS e-book.

“Innovation and investment in technology enables treasury and accounting functions to maximize cash flow and optimize working capital across the entire payment ecosystem,” Clark wrote.

Read more: The Impact of Innovation on Payment Trends for CFOs in 2022

Having decided to digitize payment processes, many companies hope to move forward with more efficient and lower cost payment operations that will also allow them to increase their level of interaction with customers and suppliers.

Although great economic uncertainty remains about the future, one thing is certain: the new economy will continue to follow the trends of the past two years and will be fueled by a much larger share of digital payments than before March 2020. .

Companies that have implemented digital payments infrastructures within their financial services are better prepared to deliver what they need to succeed.