Skip to main content

7 Ways CFOs Are Getting Insight Advantage From Their ERP

October 25, 2023

mfg-businessman-working-office-wearing-suit - article banner

As the finance leader within your company, you are focused on containing and reducing costs while driving innovations across the organization. Your ERP system should help you with access to information that supports various layers of decision-making, both low-level (operational) and high-level (strategic). Additionally, your ERP should help with efficiency improvements that drive performance and process improvements across the company to reduce costs and enable innovation. 

There are seven ways an ERP system should help you get an insight advantage to meet your business goals.


Minimizing repetitive and routine tasks is an ongoing process across most companies and one that your ERP system should be capable of helping you achieve. Many finance and accounting activities can be automated to reduce errors, improve transparency, and increase productivity using a modern ERP system, including integrations with other systems like HR, customer relationship management (CRM), and document management. Automating processes can help address workforce challenges where there are not enough team members to do the work.

In a recent survey, CFOs of larger organizations told us that finding experienced finance and accounting people is one of their biggest challenges. Your ERP system should provide ways for you to automate processes and reduce the number of procedures your teams conduct. Optimizing your team's processes and supporting them with a configurable ERP system can help reduce the risks of needing more people to do the work, improving efficiency across the organization.

Data Consolidation

Data silos and data management are becoming increasingly significant challenges for companies as access to data becomes more available. For CFOs, the opportunity to access new data sources is tantalizing, but it comes with the challenges of managing the data to optimize the desired results. Your ERP system is foundational within your data management system—your business's financial and operational data is stored in your ERP. Data from the ERP system is usually the cleanest and most well-kept database within a company, due to its vital role in the company’s daily operations. As you consider new data sources and how to consolidate and manage them, keep in mind the foundational importance of your ERP data, now and going forward.


Removing data silos will help improve visibility into the state of your organization. The data in your ERP system enables you to see what has happened and what is happening, while the use of business intelligence software and AI technology can help you predict what might happen. Your ERP data is essential for getting the big picture of where your company may be headed in the future.

Improved Decision Making

Knowing what has happened and what is happening across your organization is vital when making smart decisions. However, bringing in other data sources and having consolidated data as close to one source of truth as possible also improve the quality and agility of your decision-making process—for you and for everyone in your organization. Your ERP data is amplified, and your decision-making capabilities are finer tuned when you integrate your data with other data sets.

Financial Reporting

As a CFO, one of the critical activities you perform is delivering financial reporting and financial insights. Your ERP system is the backbone for providing this vital information, as it helpsinform your insights about the financial standing of the business. Maintaining high-quality, reliable data in your ERP system keeps you well-prepared for delivering informative reports and insights across the organization.

Conversational Interfaces

An embedded communications tool within an ERP system provides CFOs with real-time access to financial metrics and alerts. These tools also facilitate better communication across departments, promoting data-driven decision-making. Using an AI-enabled virtual assistant, CFOs can easily query ERP data using natural language. They can select notifications they want to receive through a self-serve menu, such as being alerted when a new bank account is created. Immediate event notifications with relevant, drillable data links and charts simplify the financial oversight process. Online discussions within the tool's message streams enable swift and informed choices by team members. Moreover, having this capability enhances compliance and risk management. Built-in security measures, such as secure groups and moderator functions, help ensure that all financial discussions meet regulatory standards like GDPR and SOX. This advanced functionality transforms the ERP system into a real-time hub for business intelligence and team collaboration, empowering CFOs to excel while helping the company meet its goals.

Today, AI and machine learning are integrated with ERP systems to analyze structured and unstructured data, transforming it into actionable insights. natural language processing (NLP) via an AI-enabled virtual assistant allows CFOs to query ERP data in their own words, making retrieving specific information and charts easier without requiring specialized query language knowledge. For example, a CFO could ask, "What are the emerging financial risks in the tech industry?" and receive an informed response based on external data and industry trends—all without leaving their ERP systems' secure environment.

Deeper Insights

By combining the capabilities of AI, machine learning, and NLP with traditional ERP functionalities, CFOs gain a more comprehensive and nuanced understanding of their company's financial landscape. This marriage of conventional functionalities with breakthrough technology enables you to make more data-driven decisions, quickly identify trends or anomalies, and gain deeper insights into your organization and the industry.

Many CFOs aim to deliver high-quality products at a low cost and maximize profitability. The biggest challenge is often getting information fast enough to make informed decisions. A modern ERP system should be the foundation that helps you gain an insight advantage.