The CFO’s Core Fintech Stack

Building Your Financial Stack

Building a financial technology stack with the right fintech tools has never been more important for organizations in the era of remote work. Finance and accounting teams can now leverage the best tools to digitize their regular processes and systems and enable mobile access.

What is fintech?

Fintech is the term for software companies that provide finance and accounting products or services to organizations.

In fact, Anna Khan, General Partner at CRV, calls this “finance-as-a-service, a subsector of SaaS that is proving to be equally if not more valuable in the long run,” when compared to traditional back-end financial and accounting processes.

The numbers are rapidly growing too. Just scan through a recent article published on Forbes by fintech influencer Ron Shevlin about all the fintech firms providing free technology during the coronavirus crisis: good luck trying to scroll to the end of the page! One thing is clear: it’s fintech’s time to shine.

What is a fintech stack?

A fintech stack, or financial technology stack, is a group of connected fintech tools used to run, support, improve and optimize finance, accounting, and operational processes at an organization.

In the marketing world, the infamous Martech 5000 was built in 2017 to summarize the 5,000+ different marketing technology organizations across the industry. It’s allegedly the most frequently shared slide of all time. With the growth of fintech companies and the rise of heightened spend controls during the economic lockdown, it’s now critical to create an equally important fintech stack.

Why is a fintech stack important?

The fintech industry is growing rapidly and financial technology is becoming more vital to a CFO’s portfolio of tools. Long gone are the days of relying on paper documents and Excel spreadsheets. Accounting and finance teams are now replacing their technology toolkits to leverage value-added services such as insights and reporting, while automating as many processes as possible. While Excel is still widely used for some processes such as financial modelling, faster tools can improve data capture and other workflows.

As back-end processes evolve with the rise of technologies, CFOs need to know what tools to invest in and where to prioritize their budget. Organizations need more than one tool to keep daily operations running smoothly. Also, different companies require different financial tools depending on sector, stage of growth, and business goals.

How do I pick my fintech stack?

Select your fintech tools carefully.

Assess every fintech tool against the seven criteria below. We recommend selecting tools that meet a minimum of five criteria.  If they meet all seven attributes, that’s a bonus!

Questions to consider when building a fintech stack

“Early-stage founders don't have time to deal with manual, non-strategic work. So picking a provider who will automate as much as possible is key.”

What is the core fintech stack?

We’ve created a visual infographic to help companies understand the growing fintech landscape. The core categories include:

*Wait, what’s the difference between spend management and expense management?

Expense management software processes and reimburses employee expenses from credit cards such as out-of-pocket business expenses and travel and entertainment. 

Spend management software is the evolved version of purchasing and procurement software that helps companies manage costs beyond COGS and employee expenses. Companies use spend management to oversee all activities in the entire procure to-pay process including requesting, approving, purchasing, receiving, paying, and analyzing real-time company spend. Some spend management systems also incorporate functionalities for expense management (like Procurify!), however, spend management presents a holistic management framework for all spend, not just employee expenses.

READ MORE

Learn more about the difference between spend management and expense management. If you’re interested in using the same system for spend management and expense management, book a demo with Procurify.

Learn how the core fintech tools integrate together and the jobs they do in the infographic below.

Example of Fintech Stack

Here’s the fintech stack with recommended tools from CFOs.

“RoseRyan’s Emerging Growth Tech Stack includes NetSuite, QuickBooks, Bill.com, Procurify, Expensify, Gusto, Stripe, Brex, Adaptive Insights, and ADP.”
TRacey hashiguchi, Head of the Emerging Growth Solutions, RoseRyan

Build your own visual fintech stack for your organization using our template.

After downloading our template, add in your existing tools. Send the visual to your team to start a conversation about what's missing and how you can improve your existing fintech ecosystem together.

Download the template

The bottom line: what you need to know about building a fintech stack

With the growth of AI, machine learning and cloud-based systems, technologies will only continue getting faster, smarter, and more valuable.

“In years past, the finance function within a company was a limited role. The person or team responsible was usually slated to make sure the accounting was in line and taxes were prepared for the year. With the growth of cloud, functions that were previously manual like billing customers, managing expenses, and forecasting budget, became actions that could be productized — which led to a better experience for the user (the finance role) and the end customer (the payee, the customer, and one’s own employees.) Growth in cloud was one big change.”
Anna Khan, General Partner at CRV

Although there is “no one-size-fits-all” fintech stack, there are core systems as we’ve outlined above to ensure the company manages its cash inflows and outflows properly. Every company must build their own customized fintech stack to suit their business goals and organizational structure.

CFOs need to strategically select the right digital tools for their fintech stacks by aligning them  to the overall business goals and growth plans. Examples:

If your business goals and long-term plans are...

Whatever fintech stack you choose to build, one thing is clear: CFOs, financial leaders, and accounting teams everywhere need to start strategically evaluating, testing, and implementing different tools as soon as possible to reap the rewards of greater productivity, efficiency and value-add for their organizations.

What does your core fintech stack look like? Let us know by tagging @procurify and using hashtag #fintechstack on Twitter.

For additional guidance and resources for finance, accounting, and operations teams, visit our Resource Center.