Technological Transformation of the Financial Industry

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Technological Transformation of the Financial Industry

Jeff Banaszak, Chief Financial Officer, Creative Dining Services

Jeff Banaszak, Chief Financial Officer, Creative Dining Services

1. In your opinion, how has the finance industry evolved over the years? What are some of the advantages of the current technological evolution?

The greatest evolution in the finance industry is the merging of technology with finance and accounting. I probably would not have enjoyed this career as much if it was still the days of paper and spreadsheets. This evolution accelerated during the last two years of the pandemic and has forced many companies that were previously moving too slow, to finally embrace all this era has to offer. My company, along with many others, has moved to a hybrid-work schedule and we have become even more efficient with our work, thanks to a working environment that is totally digitalized. I remember when we remodeled our current offices and were concerned about not having enough filing cabinets. Fast forward to today, those filing cabinets are pretty much empty.  Without a doubt, our finance team is doing more work, and more accurate work, than ever before.

 2. What according to you are some of the challenges plaguing the finance industry and how can they be effectively mitigated?

Working with a variety of different software partners - such as one for accounting, one for payroll, one for credit cards processing, etc. - has moved our focus to system integrations and the constant needs to keep these connections working. Eventually, we are hoping the main software firms will handle all of these functions with one system. On the plus side, there are so many good new companies and software solutions to evaluate, and it truly is an exciting time. For now, we hire team members that are technology savvy as a primary skill and work with them to develop their finance skills.

3. Which are a few technological trends influencing the finance industry today? What are some of the best practices businesses should adopt today to steer ahead of competitors?

We recently switch to a new expenses management software partner called "Ramp". This company provides the expense management software for free, plus provides both physical and virtual purchasing cards that pay an industry leading rebate. They also have real-time synchronizing of transactions and text messaging notifications, along with easy integration to our accounting system. This is good example of two separate tools - purchasing cards and expense management applications - into a single product and we are thrilled with this time saving switch. We look forward to more solutions in this manner, helping us reduce the number of separate software partners.

4. Do you have any advice for industry veterans or budding entrepreneurs from the finance industry?

I recommend we all fully embrace digitization in the finance industry. If you have any paper in your office, you are still behind. For budding entrepreneurs, please know we are struggling with too many software partners and would like more one-stop providers.

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