The role that finance teams play in organizations is changing. While accounting and budget planning skills are a given, modern finance teams need to present the CFO and higher-level executives a well-rounded picture of the business. Mere numbers don’t make the cut anymore.

McKinsey and Company report that the number of functions and roles reporting to the CFO is increasing, as every company’s digital activity grows. As a side-effect of this trend, finance teams now have to cover wider ground, and they need robust tools to ensure this happens.

Here are four tools that are essential for any modern finance team’s tech stack.

Enterprise resource planning

ERP functions have a vast footprint in any company. Most ERP processes benefit from automation, but manual intervention is often necessary to account for edge cases that technology cannot handle. NetSuite’s cloud ERP software offers a perfect blend of automation and manual feedback.

For starters, financial teams can automate many of their processes, such as pulling financial data from different departments. They can also gain insight into inventory levels and supply chain receipts to quickly verify transaction-level data. The result is accurate accounting reports and automated data validation.

Often, order management (OM) processes tend to be a bottleneck when planning future production. NetSuite’s OM functionality allows finance teams to seamlessly pull demand data and use it to project budgets and other tasks.

At a higher level, Netsuite’s ERP increases efficiency by creating clear audit trails that upper management can use to track inefficiencies throughout the organization.

Financial planning and analysis

Finance teams spend most of their time dissecting numbers from various departments across the organization and using those data to create accurate budgets. Ideally, the process should be seamless, with all departments transmitting data to the central team on time.

In practice, companies use shared Excel files that have multiple hands editing data at once, in different formats. As a result, FP&A teams spend more time cleaning and formatting data instead of analyzing it. There’s also the challenge of minimizing the lag time on monthly closes and reports created with projected instead of accurate, dynamic data.

DataRails solves all of these issues elegantly. For starters, teams can use the company’s platform to automate data sourcing and formatting. They can slice and dice data endlessly and create highly engaging visual reports that update real-time as data is entered. This makes ad-hoc reporting a breeze and eliminates the need for technical knowledge when querying data.

Additionally, DataRails integrates with Excel, bringing its filtering functionality to the spreadsheet. Thus, teams can work within Excel and still access DataRails’s powerful features to create reports. By automatically pulling data from different sources, DataRails makes it easy for FP&A teams to create a single source of truth.

Thus, audit trails and reporting become a breeze, and FP&A teams can provide CFOs with more insight via value-added tasks, instead of spending their time on clerical ones.

Global payroll

Payroll is a company’s most significant expense. It reflects the number of resources a company is willing to make on its most precious asset: Its employees. As organizations go global, payroll can quickly turn into a nightmare thanks to different regulations and tax policies. Add to these non-variable costs such as bonuses, expenses and equity provisions and you fuel the nightmare for payroll teams.

Papaya Global simplifies the process by making payroll easy. It integrates fully with enterprise HRIS and ERP systems which eliminate compliance issues. Workers receive payslips in their native language and can access data through a secure portal.

The platform also makes it simple for payroll teams to view consolidated reports, via its integrated analytics dashboards from across the organization, no matter how many divisions exist in multiple countries. As a result, payroll analysis becomes simple, and teams can design compliant packages that satisfy workers and reduce cost overheads for the organization.

Papaya Global also offers worldwide EOR services, which makes hiring and managing a remote workforce without a local entity easy. Their expertise extends well beyond payroll aiding an organization’s growth and daily operations.

Expense tracking

Expense management and reporting are a constant headache for employees and finance teams alike. Employees routinely face lengthy wait times for claims approval and compensation, while expense teams chase receipts, decipher illegible data, and correlate spends to lengthy credit card statements.

Certain Expense apps, such as Chrome River, remove all these hurdles and brings much-needed tech to the picture. For starters, the app is responsive, which means it works on any platform whether it’s desktop, mobile, or tablet. Teams can automate an array of expense approvals thanks to the app’s powerful business rules engine.

For instance, teams can create expense rules based on the jurisdiction the employee is traveling in, while taking into account where they’ll be reporting that expense. If an American employee is traveling in the EU, claiming VAT refunds is a routine source of trouble. However, Chrome River’s automated engine captures receipts, files them in dashboards, and prompts teams to file the necessary paperwork to simplify the process.

The app also works in multiple languages, which means global organizations can scale expense automation easily. Thanks to its endless customizability and powerful reporting, along with easy integration with other software, Expense by Chrome River is the best expense automation tool for enterprises.

A robust stack

Finance teams have much to gain by adopting technology. As the financial teams’ footprints increase in their organizations, these tools will help them stay ahead of the curve and add value to their businesses.