Whether your finance team is just a few individuals or several hundred employees, the role of the finance department is crucial.
Today’s CFO sits at the centre of an organisation, working across all business areas to support informed, data-led decisions. Insight from the finance department drives investment and cost down initiatives, using data analysis to drive growth.
But where does this data come from? In many cases, the information required may be available via your existing CRM system. Particularly if you are a Salesforce user.
Far from being a simple sales tool, Salesforce has the potential to be a key component of your finance strategy.
By utilising the full power of Salesforce software, including the various apps that build on the platform. You can also access consolidated financial data to empower and inform your business goals.
How does Salesforce support finance management?
Salesforce is a familiar tool for many businesses. With over 150,000 users in all kinds of industries, there’s a good chance you already have experience of this essential CRM platform.
Designed to bring companies and their customers closer together, Salesforce uses cloud-based technology to provide real-time access to revenue data. CFO’s may asked the question ‘Does Salesforce have a finance module I can use’? For CFOs, this means the platform can deliver a consolidated overview of your company’s financial data to inform strategic choices.
With a clear view of customer data, forecasting will be easier and financial predictions more accurate. Supporting your finance department to see the bigger picture and track important details with ease.
Here are four ways in which Salesforce is tailored for finance – making this platform the CFO’s best friend.
One source for revenue data
Financial planning and analysis are a vital part of any CFO’s remit. On a daily basis, this involves gathering financial data and organising it to discern trends and forecasts that will inform business decisions. Data consolidation can be challenging, however, often involving several different software systems. You may need to access data from other departments, which can be difficult with remote working. Salesforce simplifies this task by providing a single, consolidated view of business data.
Siloed systems and separate spreadsheets are replaced by a single source of information. This can improve productivity for the entire finance team. Furthermore, with a unified system for all data, including expenses, you’ll have instant access to real-time revenue data, supporting accurate forecasting and revealing new insight for intelligent decision making. With transparent access to relevant data, you will be equipped to combat today’s uncertain financial conditions with a clearer understanding of business performance and budget forecasts.
Facilitate customer focused strategy
Your customers sit at the heart of your business. As a CFO, that means you’ll want to keep the customer at the forefront of your mind when making investment decisions or developing business strategy. When customer information is split across multiple systems or software platforms, this can be hard to achieve. By bringing data together in one location, you’ll find it easier to see how business decisions could impact the customer experience. Salesforce helps CFOs take a customer-centric approach, supporting intelligent analysis of customer retention and churn.
With access to real-time data, financial predictions will be more accurate, helping you better identify those investment opportunities with long term growth potential. This reduces the cost of sales and improve customer retention and it could also improve your bottom line. If you are already a Salesforce user, extracting maximum value from your existing IT investment makes sense, potentially reducing your overall IT budget.
Coordinate sales and finance activity
As the CFO’s role expanding to include strategic decision making and ‘big picture thinking’, financial forecasting is increasingly under the spotlight. Inaccurate reporting, incorrect sales forecasts, or a lack of clarity on renewals all add pressure to this task. Effective coordination between the sales and finance departments is essential. Salesforce addresses this challenge by enabling finance and sales teams to collaborate seamlessly, with joint access to customer data. When everyone has real-time data at their fingertips, it is easier for all team members to understand how business decisions will affect customers and impact revenue.
As an added benefit, Salesforce also allows companies to manage expenses intelligently, further promoting collaboration between your sales and finance teams. By running expenses on Salesforce, you will have insight into the real value of any expense spend. Access to customer and revenue data on one unified system helps identify the ROI that expenses will unlock for your company. Empowered with this information, you will be able to budget better, forecast outgoings, and easily make data-led choices about company activity.
A scalable solution for finance
As a unified cloud-based platform, Salesforce promotes efficiency. With no need to enter data across multiple systems, members of your finance and sales teams can access data remotely. And with just one source for customer data, opportunity for error is greatly reduced. Security is always a priority, but with Salesforce, remote working is not a risk. Features such as multi-factor authentication and regular security health checks ensure customer data is secure. Finally, for the CFO looking to adapt to changing business needs, utilising the software-as-a-service model ensures you can scale Salesforce to your needs. This flexible platform can be tailored to your finance department by seamlessly adding pre-built apps such as AccountingSeed to your system.
A future focused finance solution
The demands on CFOs are multifaceted and rapidly changing. New technology and automated processes have relieved finance teams of repetitive tasks, freeing them to focus on adding value.
As a future focused CFO, you are constantly looking to make strategic financial decisions that improve business results. You need real-time data analysis to understand the risks and opportunities.
If you would like to integrate your finance function within Salesforce, get in touch to find out how we can tailor the platform to your needs.