Must have tools the modern CFO needs in growth stage startups

To spend some years leading the fintech sector at Silicon Valley Bank and now as CEO of North America at Liquidity Group, I often encounter some tools that startups in the growth phase need to adopt to get the job done. The role of CFOs in growth-stage startups goes beyond traditional financial management. The pressure must be precise and effective and establish a workflow that reduces the company’s workload without compromising quality. In fact, for many industries, including fintech, modernizing the CFO’s tech stack has become imperative for success.

The smart, modern CFO’s tech stack should include tried-and-true methods and embrace new tools. These tools should streamline financial tasks and support data-driven decision making. This stack includes advanced solutions for financial planning and risk management, expense management, and capital management.

Except for the old man

As businesses grow and mature, their financial infrastructure becomes more complex and requires advanced tools to manage financial operations efficiently.

“A good sign that you need to update your CFO stack is if your team is constantly performing manual tasks or if more time is spent collecting data than driving insights,” says . Rose PunkunusCEO of Sudozi and former CFO of Uber.

Remember that many common technologies that we all loved a few years – or decades – ago are no longer available today. You should avoid:

  • Manual data entry: With the rise of optical character recognition (OCR), voice, and even AI-based content ingestion, manual data entry is a relic of the past. Put it down when you see it.
  • Legacy systems: Older financial software that doesn’t support API integrations can stifle growth and scalability. Do an audit of your current systems and look for things that aren’t working anymore.
  • Paper-based invoice: Not only is it not environmentally friendly, but it can also be more efficient and prone to errors. If there is paper anywhere in your chain of compliance, remove it.
  • Remote financial tools: Tools that don’t offer cross-software integration can create data silos, making unified financial reporting a challenge.

(A CFO’s tech stack should include) advanced solutions for financial planning and risk management, expense management, and capital desk management.

“Say we’re talking about the procurement process. If the finance team is routing requests to different people for approvers, maybe it’s time to get some workflow automation instead of your finance team re-route emails,” Punkunus said. “In a data collection situation, if you’re constantly downloading data from one place and creating new pivot tables in Excel, see if there is an FP&A tool that can help consolidate data sources so the team can spend more time getting insights or re-forecasting.”

Financial planning and analysis

A key element of the CFO’s tech stack is financial planning and analysis (FP&A) software. Solutions like Adaptive Planning lead the way by enabling CFOs to generate accurate financial forecasts, analyze cash flows, and make strategic decisions based on real-time data. These tools help identify trends, anticipate risks, and provide financial stability by providing actionable insights.

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