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Part 1 – Accounting, Budgeting and Billing 

It’s no secret that the modern-day business landscape requires CFOs to go beyond core finance functions. Gone are the days when the CFO was just an expert accountant or revenue wizard. Today’s CFOs need to be well-rounded business consultants, an asset to executive leadership, and most importantly, ensure and drive the digital transformation of the business. To do so, modern CFOs need to leverage different SaaS tools, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and in some cases, blockchain.

The role of CFO is becoming more and more technical, with many now referring to a ‘Finance Stack’. While getting the right tools is crucial for staying ahead, finding the right one isn’t easy. With Christian’s help, we’ve made a list of suggested tools per finance function. 

Christian Sellnow-Zint, is one of Europe’s most in-demand Interim CFOs with an extensive background in Finance Transformation. His experience in Assurance consultation and years of Commercial Finance experience in Media and Real Estate has given Christian a foundation with which he improves and modernises the finance functions and processes for the businesses he joins as interim CFO.

Christian’s broad background across industries gives him the ability to improve day-to-day finance operations by means of pinpointing which processes to automate, which tasks his finance team are spending too much time on and how to mitigate the likelihood of human error. 

Automation of finance processes is a very important task for today’s CFOs. Efficient finance processes will not only speed up your Finance teams, but other business departments will also benefit from the process optimisation. Getting these measures in place stabilises the company and will enable and support future growth.

A few key things to remember 

Choosing the right tool can be a very powerful advantage. Use innovative and effective tools with as many useful functions and avoid having too many tools

Don’t rush it. You’ll want to avoid changing these often, so consider carefully before picking one! 

Have the resources? Develop it in-house! If your software development team has the capacity to create a bespoke solution, use this to the company’s advantage. Creating a bespoke solution ensures you can develop software that incorporates your own team’s knowledge of internal processes. 

Why fix it if it ain’t broken? Changing tools is a massive undertaking. Sometimes what you have will be more efficient and less costly. Consider your business priorities and goals alongside finance goals. 

You can still have Excel. Or Google Sheets for that matter! There’s a reason Excel is still trusted by finance professionals across the world. Make sure you remove the manual data entry by automating these processes. 

With these in mind, let’s get going, shall we?


As the frequency and value of business transactions increase, manual mistakes become exponentially more damaging to companies. As a rule, good budgeting software should include live expense tracking, an intuitive interface, process automation and cloud-based data. 


One of Christian’s personal favourites when it comes to budget planning is to integrate cash flow data with a liquidity planning pool seamlessly. Agicap gathers all your cash flow relevant data from your banks and business tools to provide an accurate view of your cash flow and KPIs. 

Best for: SMEs

Favourite Feature: Daily monitoring of budget relevant KPIs


Spendesk is a powerful spend management tool that helps finance teams easily integrate various company cards, expenses, invoices, reports and budgets. Voted as one of the Top 20 Accounts Payable Softwares, 2020 and has bank-level security (FCA and PCI Regulated).

Best for: Payment processes

Favourite Feature: Monitor & optimise budgets in real-time

Accounting Tools 

Enough with the paper trail and extensive usage of spreadsheets. If you haven’t moved to cloud-based accounting solutions for better visibility, you will have a hard time leveraging automation. Christian suggests getting an ERP system in place as your business grows from small to medium-sized.

Here are some of Christian’s favourite accounting tools with their key functionalities. 


Exact is a well-known business software leader in the Benelux. Their market-leading technology enables SME’s and their Accountants to automate accounting, financial and ERP, HRM, and CRM processes. Imagine a world where all your team’s functions are connected and carried out within a single system. 

Despite the growth of your SME, EXACT is easily scalable, supporting sustainable growth and setting you up for more automation in the future. Setting industry standards with their innovative cloud solutions combined with powerful AI. 

Best for: Small to Medium-Sized Businesses

Favourite Feature: A wide range of deployment options 

Making the process more efficient is key when we are speaking about Finance tools for the modern age. A function like invoicing can be digitised and automated to save time, maximise productivity and enable teams to use cloud-based solutions.


If we’re talking ERP systems, there’s a reason SAP is trusted by millions of users across the globe. If you are looking for a comprehensive suite that gives you an overview of financial management and accounting systems SAP could offer a lot of value to your organisation. Known for their financial close functionality and on-demand reporting, SAP makes it extremely easy to integrate different processes. 

Best for: Large Enterprises

Favourite Feature: On-Demand Reporting 


For SMEs in Germany and other European countries, DATEV is the go-to accounting solution when starting a business and working with third-party tax advisors. The systems reports include functional business management analysis and account overviews which create a foundation to steer the company, scale the business and optimise processes . DATEV will allow you to present your business transactions and the company as a whole. 

Best for: Small to Medium-Sized Businesses

Favourite Feature: German Gaap Compliance and fast setup

Microsoft Dynamics

One of the biggest challenges finance professionals face when making changes to financial software is the user experience and ability to deploy changes. Microsoft Dynamics also allows for a hybrid environment – both local and cloud-based which allows you to still run your on-site finance data in combination with your cloud based environments. 

Best for: Medium to Large Enterprises

Favourite Feature: Complexity available if needed

Billing and Payment Processing

Invoicing is an essential yet time-consuming business activity, but the right invoicing software can help you take control and win back some of your team’s valuable time. 

Young companies are often challenged with scaling and still controlling the business. A tool that will support monthly reporting should be prioritised early in the companies growth.


Billwerk is a fantastic option for companies who are based in Europe and who require a bespoke solution for a subscription-based business model. 

Their RESTful API and ready-to-use integrations with countless European third-party providers make it almost effortless to manage Recurring billing, Debtor Management and 

Subscription Management. 

Best for: Subscription-based business models

Favourite Feature: Monitoring & Analytics


Let’s be honest, nobody in the finance industry wants an overrun budget. Finway’s software has been engineered to help finance teams proactively manage budgets, use it for payments, approve expenses and help users to set up clear cost centres and get a complete overview of all business budgets. 

Best for: Efficient controlling of expenses

Favourite Feature: Cost Center Controlling


SumUp offers a tailor-made product suite for more than 3.5 million merchants in over 30 markets worldwide. They say dynamite comes in small packages right? The pocket-size card reader is connected to their savvy app which gives finance teams in small businesses countless possibilities. Not only will the SumUp card reader serve as a point of sale system, but you can also set up business accounts and manage invoicing directly from the app. 

Best for: Small to medium-sized businesses

Favourite Feature: Easy to use card terminals & Online shop feature

Making the process more efficient is key when we are speaking about Finance tools for the modern age. A function like invoicing and debt management can be automated to save time, maximise productivity and enable teams to use cloud-based solutions.


Stripe is a modern solution that offers finance teams a fully integrated suite of payment products. Stripe brings together everything required to build websites and apps that accept payments and send payments globally. With a wide variety of integration options, their software and API allow businesses across all sizes one tool to manage Payments Processing, Invoicing, Subscription Management, Fraud and Risk management, Accounting and VAT and Sales Tax automation. 

Best for: SMEs with websites and Apps

Favourite Feature: API


Aifinyo is a great billing partner for entrepreneurs and freelancers to automatically process the billing, financing and payment of invoices. Aifinyo offers speedy international transfers in just a few clicks with an invoice upload functionality that is backed by powerful AI. 

Best for: Entrepreneurs and Freelancers

Favourite Feature: Affordable International Transfers and AI-based invoice capture. 

Wrapping Up

With so many finance management tools available, CFOs often struggle with choosing the right ones. The key to finding the right fit lies in understanding the tech stack that will help you automate time-consuming processes, manage high-volume tasks, eliminate manual errors, and offer total visibility into the financial status of the company. 

Focusing on checking these boxes will ensure you get the most out of your chosen software, both currently and moving forward.

Follow us for Part 2 of our CFO’s Guide for Finance Tools: HR, Payroll, Tax and Inventory Tracking. 

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