The finance department is what people remember most about the early days of the Pandemic. If members of the team were working remotely for the first time, it became a challenge to send and receive payments, access documents and get signatures.

In many cases, additional challenges came to the fore as the shift to remote work went on. Managing the finance team is included in the responsibilities of the CFO.

During interviews for the PYMNTS series “A Day in the Life of a Digital-first CFO,” these professionals shared their own experiences and how they have dealt with the new normal of remote work.

Watercooler conversations are recreated.

The CFO of Onbe said in a January interview that one of the challenges of remote work was replicating watercooler conversations.

CFOs are moving beyond bean counting to collaboration and efficiency.

When Onbe began holding weekly, 30-minute videoconferences between employees and leadership, it turned what would have been commute time into something more productive.

If you communicate with lemons in ways that make them more efficient, you can make lemonade out of them.

Access to information is improved.

The CFO of Paymentus said during a February interview that the demand for easy access to information was increased by the Pandemic.

CFOs must seek internal, external opportunities to drive digital effficiencies.

Teams have had to make day-to-day decisions to keep companies moving forward as there has been a greater need for information during the Pandemic.

As an organization, the more we can do internally and take things out of spreadsheets, the quicker we can respond to those things.

Understanding the limits of collaboration

Understanding how collaboration can help and disrupt a business is an important lesson to learn, and one that can help CFOs shape their digitization roadmaps, LoginID CFO Vince Man said.

CFOs seek a delicate balance in collaborative technology.

Man said that there is a lot of opportunity because of collaboration technology. To improve processes and the way we do business, CFOs need to leverage the acceleration of that technology to get everyone collaborating on creative ideas. We have time to do our work, but we also have to make sure we don’t collaborate too much.

It’s empowering the enterprise with data.

Featurespace CFO Jonathan Crossfield said during a March 2021 interview that the prioritization of the finance function and customer relationships was reinforced by the increase in product demand.

In the video, Digital-First CFOs empower the enterprise with data.

To support the shift from in-person customer outreach efforts to online marketing and webinars, finance teams collaborated with sales and customer success teams.

Digital interactions created an opportunity to use data from client interactions and use it to guide other financial initiatives, even though being restricted to virtual customer meetings could be frustrating.

Crossfield said that they want to make sure they have all of the data to support their customers. In the customer support, engineering area or implementation area, we use that to drive our investment decisions.

The Camaraderie should be maintained and the focus should be on joint goals.

With the start of the Pandemic and the move to remote work, Plastiq focused first on protecting employees and then on making sure there is still camaraderie and a focus on joint goals, according to the CFO of Plastiq.

Plastiq CFO says CFOs need to make sure companies are built to last.

Going forward, each company will find a combination that works for them, because the employees at many companies went from spending their entire working lives in an office to spending no time in an office.

The people are the most important asset to be thought of, and to make sure we find the highest level of efficiency for. For most tech companies, the greatest asset is their employees. That is where I would say we focus.

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B2B payments need more tech and personal touch to reach their full potential, while PayCargo will put $130 million in funding toward global expansion.

Launch Africa gets $36.3 million for B2B and business-to-business-to-consumer startup investments, Groyyo will boost its manufacturing, Paysend streamlines small business payments, and specialty auto dealers are relying.

The Pan African VC Fund has raised $36.3 million.

The $36.3 million fund was mostly used for investments in B2B and business-to-business-to-consumer startups.

Kuda, a neobank based in Nigeria, and MarketForce, a B2B retail platform, are two of the companies that the company helped. Launching Africa would continue to expand its geographic footprint and invest in other countries, according to the managing partner.

B2B firms are embracing embedded finance to win younger buyers.

Embedded finance can easily power online payment methods, tools and channels in the B2B space. The B2B payments industry has seen strong preferences for payment solutions such as digital wallet by the younger generation.

Because many of them now hold decision-making roles at their organizations, they are involved in their companies’ buying decisions and want more consumer-like B2B payment experiences. Merchants feel they have to consumerize their B2B ecosystems away from traditional payment processes in order to have more opportunities for embedded finance in the B2B payments space.

B2B startup Groyyo raised 40 million dollars to expand its manufacturing teams.

B2B manufacturing and automation startup Groyyo has raised$40 million in a combination of debt and equity through a Series A funding round that it will use to grow its manufacturing teams and develop its product and technology.

According to the report, the Mumbai-based company plans to increase its employee count in manufacturing in India, Bangladesh, the United States and European Union.

Qashio is the first company to offer corporate card and spend management.

The first corporate expense management card and software platform for the U.S. is being created by Qashio, which is expanding expense management resources and software for B2B transactions.

Qashio’s expense management platform gives business owners and finance leaders full visibility and advanced control of all expenses, according to the company press release. The cards can be issued instantly, and companies can choose between virtual or physical cards.

Specialty dealers use tech to break check dependency.

When members of the accounts payable teams at specialty dealers suddenly had to start working remotely, they quickly realized that they needed to change their ways of doing things.

Many people were able to pay their bills online when they transitioned from paper checks to digital payables solutions.

PayCargo has raised $130 million for global expansion.

PayCargo raised $130 million in a Series C funding round from one investor. The startup said it would use the funding to expand into Asia, the Middle East and Latin America.

PayCargo helps companies in the ocean, air, trucking and rail industries facilitate and manage their payments.

Paysend launched a business solution to power small business payments.

According to a Wednesday press release, Paysend is introducing a business solution to provide small- to medium-sized businesses with end-to-end payments and other tools to boost growth and diversity.

Paysend is a new money transfer platform that allows people to send funds in any currency to a Visa, Mastercard or China UnionPay card in more than 150 countries. The startup works with a lot of customers.

B2B payments need technology to reach consumers.

In an On the Agenda discussion, a group of payments professionals said that commercial payments are taking a cue from the everyday experience of buying and selling things online.

The consumerization of B2B payments has gotten a push from the COVID-19 Pandemic, according to Sarah Billings, senior vice president and head of payment products, operations and strategy. Financial institutions and corporations need modernized payments. B2B payments, cash management and invoice reconciliation are simplified by upgrading. It gives access to supplier portals and real-time revenue reporting.

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