As businesses evolve thanks to technology advances, so must the role of the Chief Financial Officer (CFO).
With an ever-growing list of financials to manage, such as payroll, operating expenses, IT and software expenses, and more, CFOs have to find the right processes and choose the right tools to get the cost data they need to make informed decisions and ensure profitability for their company.
Yet, with so many great options for financial software available today, how do you choose the right platforms that will help you be successful at your job? Additionally, how do you find the right tools for each different financial responsibility you have?
To help you find the right software, this guide covers 15 tools for CFOs, organized by financial category. Here you will find some of the top options, from payment processing tools to payroll management and even cloud cost tools that will help you measure your software operating costs and unit costs (like cost per customer).
Table Of Contents
Cloud Cost Management Tools
CFOs whose companies are either migrating to or operating in the cloud must be able to fully understand all the associated costs. Yet, optimizing your cloud costs and/or seeing exactly how costs relate to business outcomes can be nearly impossible from simply reading the bill provided by your cloud platform (e.g., AWS).
These tools help you understand, measure, and optimize your cloud spend.
CloudZero is not your traditional legacy cloud cost management tool. Rather, CloudZero is a full-fledged cloud cost intelligence platform that enables SaaS and tech brands to map their cloud spend to business outcomes.
With CloudZero, teams can see exactly what they are spending on AWS and why, as well as map cloud spend to products, features, customers, dev teams, environments, and more.
CFOs and finance teams can finally answer questions like:
- Who are our most expensive customers?
- What is our average cost per customer?
- How much does this specific feature cost our business?
This is important because part of a CFO’s job is to present financial data to support decision-making. With this information, companies can make decisions to:
- Adjust pricing across different customer segments to ensure profitability
- Rearchitect software to optimize costs for different segments
- Remove features from specific pricing tiers that drive added costs
CloudZero is the cloud cost intelligence platform you need to make informed business decisions. To see it in action, request a demo today.
Pricing: Upon request
ParkMyCloud is a cloud cost management solution that allows you to optimize your public cloud spend. It monitors your usage data to reveal idol and over-provisioned resources. ParkMyCloud then automatically takes action for cost optimization.
You can use ParkMyCloud to manage AWS, Azure, Google Cloud, and Alibaba Cloud.
Pricing: Free plan, Standard plan – $3 per instance per month, Pro plan – $4 per instance per month, Enterprise plan – Pricing provided upon request
ProsperOps helps CFOs get the most out of AWS. The tool helps AWS customers manage their reserved instances and optimize cloud spend. It takes a lot of knowledge and time to optimize your AWS costs; ProsperOps makes it easier.
Pricing: AWS Savings Analysis – Free, Autonomous Cloud Savings – Upon request
Enterprise Resource Planning Systems (ERPs)
Enterprise resource planning systems (ERPs) give CFOs a unified view of all enterprise data in real-time. They enable you to evaluate your business’s performance against key performance indicators (KPIs) and identify trends through predictive analytics. You can use this information to make timely and effective business decisions.
The following ERPs will help you ensure revenue growth, rationalize costs, keep up with regulatory change, and meet your financial goals.
Acumatica is a 100% web-based ERP and requires no plugins. This makes it accessible from anywhere. It has a clean, slick interface that utilizes a flat design, and the software supports multi-factor authentication.
Acumatica allows you to control and manage your organization’s finance, banking, sales, purchases, and receivables. You can view and alter your budgets, financial statements, process, and preferences through one solid user interface.
Pricing: Feature-based. Contact Acumatica for more details.
FinancialForce is a cloud-based ERP service that’s been around for over seven years. FinancialForce helps organizations connect their front and back offices. This facilitates a seamless hand-off from sales, service delivery to finance. The platform allows you to easily automate any and all revenue streams as your business grows.
FinancialForce’s main selling point is that it is customer-centric. It offers flexible billing solutions for any product or service. You can forecast and measure projects with exceptional visibility. FinancialForce makes it all possible with its powerful resource and project management tools.
Pricing: Upon Request
6. Infor SyteLine
Infor SyteLine provides you with easy access to timely information about your business, customers, and the shop floor. It also allows you to collaborate with your fellow employees quickly. As soon as you log into Infor SyteLine’s cloud application, you are presented with your production homepage, where you can find detailed information about your operations.
It will show you the value of your jobs, resource utilization, hotlists, and more. The user interface is clean, slick, and easy to navigate. Infor has been in business for two decades. If you’re looking for an ERP solution from a company with experience, you should consider SyteLine.
Pricing: Upon request
CFOs need access to the best accounting tools in order to manage company finances effectively. Excel spreadsheets and manual data entry are outdated. Not only do modern accounting platforms help you keep track of your ledger balance but they also allow you to create quotes, invoices, financial reports, and keep track of projects.
A well-built accounting platform may even replace the need for separate ERPs or payment processing tools. If your business can’t afford a dedicated in-house accounting team, some of these platforms allow you to outsource. Nevertheless, here are three of the best.
Xero has been around since 2006, and since then, it has been at the forefront of cloud-based accounting software. Xero’s dashboard is designed to show your business at a glance.
It will instantly show you how much cash you have in the bank, which customers haven’t paid their invoices, and which bills you still owe. It will also help you keep an eye on important figures such as revenues and wages. Xero is arguably the best accounting software for CFOs.
Pricing: Starter – $20 per month, Standard – $30 per month, Premium – $40 per month
8. Accountancy Cloud
In terms of accounting software and services, Accountancy Cloud is relatively new. The software provides you with a live view of your business’s financial health — with a dashboard focused on simplicity and ease of use.
Additionally, they have an in-house finance team that will support you with any questions or issues. Accountancy Cloud makes bookkeeping, payroll, tax, and year-end reviews easy.
Pricing: Core – $565 per month, Plus – $750 per month, Growth – Custom Pricing
Freshbooks is an online-based accounting software suite that allows you to organize your business’s finances. Freshbooks is mainly targeted at small businesses and start-ups. However, large organizations may also benefit from using Freshbooks.
The software features comprehensive invoicing where you can set up payment and link it to your various accounts. Additionally, you can add your daily expenses and categorize them according to specific account titles. Freshbooks also allows you to generate detailed reports, including financial reports, collection reports, and accounts receivable reports.
Pricing: Lite – $6 per month, Plus – $10 per month, Premium – $20 per month, Select – Custom Pricing
Payment Processing Tools
Payments are the lifeblood of business. As such, it’s important to pick the right payment processing tool for your organization. A good payment processing solution should offer mobility, cost-effectiveness, and be connected to all aspects of your business.
However, despite the name, modern payment processing tools aren’t limited to facilitating the trade of legal tender. Some also offer reporting, inventory management, invoicing, and website building. Here are three of the best.
Stripe powers payment processing for companies such as Amazon, Google, and Uber. It’s currently used by over 100,000 websites globally, processing over 100 different currencies. Stripe is essentially the industry standard at this point.
Pricing: Integrated – 2.9% + 30¢ for every successful card charge, Customized – Contact sales
11. Square Point of Sale
Square Point of Sale is perfect for lean start-ups. It allows you to convert any mobile device into a point-of-sale device. All you need to do is download the app, sign-up, login, and then create a list of all your items and products. They’re displayed in a simple 5×5 grid.
Creating new items is a breeze. All it requires is a series of taps. Square Point of Sale’s user interface is seamless and intuitive. Not only does it facilitate physical payment processing, but it allows you to build a website and process payments online.
Pricing: Processing Rate – 2.6% + 10¢
Chargebee is a cloud-based software solution that enables you to manage your subscriptions, billing, and revenue operations. Chargebee is a great tool for SaaS and subscription businesses. The platform automates and optimizes the subscription billing and management process for you.
Chargebee also helps businesses with reconciliation. It will automatically import transactions from your payment gateway into your accounting software. Additionally, Chargebee automates the entire invoicing process, including tax management and prorations, so customers always receive wholly accurate and compliant invoices wherever they are.
Pricing: Launch – $0, Rise – $249/month, Scale – $549/month, Enterprise – Custom Pricing
Payroll And Human Resource Platforms
The bulk of a company’s capital is often distributed among its technology and personnel. It is pretty common for a CFO to be involved in a company’s talent management, considering how much of its success hinges on it. Even if they’re not responsible for the hiring or vetting process, CFOs still need to understand capital is distributed among human assets.
Among other things, the following platforms allow CFOs and managers to track employee performance and gauge how much each one costs or benefits the organization.
CloudPay is a global payroll platform that uses advanced analytics and robotic process automation. It features a unified calendar to organize your entire global footprint. It also allows you to view your payrolls within the payroll cycle. This includes deadlines and information for required activities.
You can select which payrolls you want to view on the calendar, allowing you to focus on a particular location or get a complete global view. CloudPay can also be integrated with HCM platforms like BambooHR. It will receive data automatically when a submission deadline nears. This will allow you to easily manage and view the payroll for all your company’s employees.
Pricing: Upon request
14. ADP Workforce Now
ADP Workforce Now is a cloud-based HR suite that makes it easier to manage your workforce. As you look for ways to enhance value within your organization, Workforce Now gives you the visibility you seek. In addition to time and attendance, talent management, and benefits administration, ADP Workforce Now features payroll management.
You can access all payroll features through a single unified user experience. It helps you complete routine tasks or specialized payroll runs with extraordinary accuracy and speed. Additionally, it enables you to summarize data through presentable visualizations quickly.
Pricing: Upon request
Gusto is an online platform that can be used for running payroll for your business. Payroll and benefits systems today can be overly complex. They require too many manual tasks and use language that only payroll and tax experts can understand. Gusto was built to be intuitive and straightforward. Gusto uses a simple, clean, and organized user interface.
Pricing: Core – $39 per month (+$6 per person), Complete – $39 per month (+$12 per person), Concierge – $149 per month (+$12 per person)
Picking The Perfect CFO Software Stack
The role of a CFO is exceedingly demanding, especially in the tech and SaaS industries. CFOs must manage employee, accounting, business, operating, and software financials. Tools like Gusto and Xero are well-known platforms that make it simple and easy to manage payroll and your accounting books, respectively.
However, for tech and SaaS brands operating in the cloud, determining your COGS, unit cost, cost per customer, and other important financial metrics related to your cloud spend is a much more complicated task.
Cloud providers, such as AWS, provide you a monthly bill that shows how much you’ve spent that month on their services but not how and why. Additionally, seeing how those costs translate to the business metrics you care about is not possible with the tools offered by your cloud provider.
That’s where a cloud cost intelligence platform, like CloudZero, can help.
CloudZero enables companies to drill into cost data from a high level down to the individual components that drive their cloud spend — and see exactly what AWS services cost them the most and why.
What’s particularly helpful for finance teams and CFOs is the ability to answer complex questions around cloud spend. Finance can measure their software COGS, cost per customer, feature, team, and more.
Ultimately, CloudZero enables your engineering teams to see the cost impact of their work and gives finance the cost data it needs to make informed business decisions. to see how CloudZero can translate cloud spend to the business outcomes and metrics you care about.