Essential Tools to help the CFO in making strategic decisions

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CFO tools

Every morning a CFO is greeted with numerous reports the moment he checks his email and till he reaches his desk he has already planned his meetings and the decisions he would take along the day. Such is the evolution of the business environment which is dynamic and rapidly changing, with every change the CFO is poised with making a financial decision that is advantageous for an organization and also doesn’t disrupt its operations. The team reporting to CFO spends most of its time in data analysis and prediction which focuses on the availability of accurate financial information.

With technology up-gradation, many tools eliminate manual errors and tasks to give accurate reports quickly. These tools reduce the time and effort spent on collecting, processing, and structuring the data and provides reports which help the CFO in making strategic decisions.

Evolution of CFO tools- from Excel to Cloud-based accounting models:

Even after 3 decades of its introduction around 1985, Excel is still the leader in spreadsheet software because of its extensive list of functionalities. Advanced Excel users use inbuilt macros, add-ins for generating reports and with the introduction of the Office 365 Excel version, one can achieve better collaboration of data and controls.

But changing times call for changing measures, the wide use and continuous availability of internet connection have prompted web developers to provide cloud-based accounting solutions so that information and reports are available on the move. If accounts are kept on the online platforms one can retrieve them whenever the need arises and you do not need to keep going to your desktop. This cloud accounting software saves time, money, and also protect the organization’s valuable data. With numerous applications available on the mobile phone one and access and work on the reports at the tip of their fingers, such as the ease of using cloud-based accounting software.

The pool of tools and principles of selection thereof:

There are numerous tools available for use, but it is important to select the right tool to get the desired result. These high-end accounting tools help companies manage operations across their various departments and various locations. They help firms to manage their inventory, process invoices, payroll management, processing online payments, manage bank accounts, generate financial reports, etc.

These packages are a one-time solution to all the business operations and are very helpful for small businesses where the business owner may not be proficient in all business operations and need to focus on their core business activities while these tools take care of the other important operations. They also help large organizations to integrate their processes and provide ease of business operations that further facilitate growth and success as information and reports provided by these tools help them to make informed business decisions.

Though some businesses need all in one package, some organizations only need an accounting package only for specific activities for which they may not have the necessary expertise or activities that they do not want to spend their time, money, and efforts.  

Based on their need and the amount of money that a firm would spend on accounting tools there are accounting tools to make the payroll process easy, accounting tools for tracking expenses while some firms need to track their employees who work in shifts or are placed at various sites.

Let us look at some tools that are widely used by organizations that ensure the smooth functioning of their business operations:

A) Accounting Tools:


1. FreshBooks:

FreshBooks is an all-in-one package tool that can easily integrate with a firm’s bank accounts, payroll services, process business-related payments, generate financial reports, track employee’s expenses and timesheets, generate invoices, etc. This is simple and intuitive and can be customized as per your business needs.

2. QuickBooks:

QuickBooks is a very versatile accounting solution it can provide you with invoices, online payments, and receipts to generate invoice records, profit and loss accounts, balance sheets, and ratio analysis. It also accounts for payroll and can even use pictures of expenses receipts to record expenses; it also tracks employee’s timesheets and syncs business bank accounts. Thus, providing ease to business processes.

3. Xero:

Xero is an amazing accounting tool to be considered when you want the benefits of both FreshBooks and QuickBooks. Along with all the above-stated features of accounting software, it is very helpful for large organizations as it allows adding multiple users at no extra cost. It is user flexible and also allows for a quick and easy switch from FreshBooks.

4. NetSuite:

NetSuite software is an online service that helps businesses to keep all their key business processes in a single system. Organizations use NetSuite as an ERP for managing their financials, track inventory, and also CRM

B) Collections and Payments Tools:


The accounts collection and payment tools help to make the entire process so easy that you do not need to stress over late payments and follow-ups as these tools do this job without extra effort and increasing cash flows. These collection and payment tools offer:

  •   Email payments- where the customer receive their invoices via mail with a payment link which allows the payments received to be synched with the accounting software
  •   Recurring billing process which sets up the schedule of payments where customers will be charged automatically on the due date, either monthly, quarterly, or yearly
  •   Customer Payment Portals helps in easy cash collection where customers are directed to the payment portal and can select payment options as per their convenience. Some common and convenient payment gateways are Razorpay, Wepay, Chargebee, etc.

C) Financial Planning and Analysis


Accounting software that performs data warehouse, data scrubbing, and data mining with help of the artificial intelligence provides structured and error-free reports making financial planning, budgeting, and forecasting an easy task with total business confidentiality. These tools accelerate business performance because they are integrated with every business process and provide timely insight by covering every asset, process, resource, and risk in every business function. With the best outcomes, a firm is very confident of the decisions it takes and it helps optimize the firm’s cost, revenue, and profit. An organization can make use of Excel, Power BI, Procurify, etc as financial planning and analysis tool for ease of workflow and automation.

D) Payroll made easy tools:



1. Gusto:

This tool offers a lot of benefits for large as well as small businesses. Gusto offers several features like accounting software integration for QuickBooks, employee on-boarding, automatic tax processing, enrolling for health benefit plans, retirement plans to manage the Human resources issues, etc., and all these services can be accessed on your mobile.

2. WagePoint:

If you are looking for a tool that offers the basic payroll functions, then WagePoint is your go-to tool. It is a simple payroll tool saving your time and money. WagePoint helps in making employee payments, deal with statutory payment-related obligations, and help you submit statutory forms online.

3. SurePayroll:

In case you need a tool only for payroll processing and no extra benefits, you can depend on SurePayroll which offers no-frill benefits and quickly manages your payroll schedules, and generates your payroll reports online.

Speak to our expert at Diligen.

Our Virtual CFO services will act as the single point of contact for your organization to support your business planning and growth needs. At Diligen we have dedicated professionals who are well trained and experienced with the accounting software which is mentioned above, thus making us your one-stop solution to all your business needs.

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