Technology alone cannot transform a finance team from simple reporters to strategic advisors. True digital transformation requires a cultural shift with finance leadership at the helm, ready to reshape how people embrace innovation and use data to drive decisions. Equip your team to view disruption as an opportunity, not a threat, by building a digital change management strategy supported by specialized finance expertise. 

Digital Change Management Is a Blind Spot for Companies Facing Disruption

Any new technology requires a learning curve for a company’s accounting team. Your team wants to simplify their workload with new technology, but it can take time to fully master it while keeping up with a normal workload. Only 46 percent of companies prepare their organizations for digital change, so finance leaders have a great opportunity to get ahead of the disruption. 

Change management in digital transformation is not just the process of training teams on new technology. It’s also the process of supporting your team by addressing their skill gaps, listening to their feedback and tracking their performance along the way. Change management strategies allow your company to become more competitive while providing needed support to your finance team.

Assessing Readiness and Resistance to Change

As you begin shaping your change management strategy, you want to determine which technologies to invest in, where to use them and who will have access to them. A part of digital change management involves assessing whether your current operations can support the new technology. In some instances, you may need to retrofit or upgrade existing infrastructure to support new equipment and software.

It’s important to listen to your finance team. They may voice instances where a new product can make their workload easier, but they may also have insights into technology that could unnecessarily overcomplicate a task. Surveying possible resistance to these changes is part of the process. Does resistance come from a lack of knowledge or simple uneasiness? The answers will help you develop a positive communication strategy to promote buy-in and communicate the benefits.

Conducting assessments also allows you to gauge the current technical fluency of your finance staff, so you can find the skillset limitations that are most important to target right now. From there, you can find opportunities to train your team or hire part-time consultants to manage initial system integrations, advise on best practices or provide training in specific software or analytical capabilities.  

Develop a Change Management Strategy Your Team Can Trust

Your strategy needs to set a clear vision for the digital finance function. The strategy should go into detail regarding every finance professional’s role or responsibility in using new technology. Provide policies around using business data for both in-house finance staff as well as finance experts working remotely. Ensure that all professionals are kept up-to-date regarding these policies and any future updates.

A fractional CFO, controller or senior-level expert can also help your business navigate the transition in a number of ways, including:

  • Identifying the right applications, software or AI tools to invest in against your current tech stack and the team’s surveyed pain points.  
  • Communicating potential risks or pitfalls based on their experience from previous implementations. 
  • Filling immediate skill gaps and helping you hire the right talent to fill those gaps for the long term. 
  • Building the necessary operating procedures or timelines for implementation. 
  • Developing the appropriate KPIs to track ROI and align performance to business objectives. 

The most important part of digital change management is open and clear communication throughout the process. You want to convey the benefits of digital transformation to fully engage and motivate finance staff, celebrating champions of change along the way. Build trust in the changes and give your team an added boost by bringing in experienced support to help you lead the charge. 

Don’t Delay Innovation, But Take It Slow

To promote positive approaches to digital transformation, consider piloting or phasing in the digital tools gradually to discern potential issues. This makes the changes less disruptive to your team, while improving morale and increasing flexibility to test and learn. 

In addition, you should actively solicit user feedback from finance staff regarding the use of the tools and processes. Find out how they feel about the technology—for example, whether it’s user-friendly—and offer support resources so that staff can find answers to common technical problems.

Make Your Workforce Future-Ready 

Any technology you adopt should align to your company’s strategic objectives. You want to leverage the right technology at the right time to gain a positive return on investments. Then develop an enterprise-wide digital culture that focuses on having a workforce that is engaged and ready for future innovation. 

At Paro, we provide fractional finance expertise for companies seeking to enhance their finance or accounting team’s potential. Our expert provide decades of experience to help your business assess its systems, lead new system implementations and augment team capabilities and skills.