If Paystand CFO Scott Bennion were to break his three-decade-long finance career into different chapters, the software finance leader would likely agree that he and many of his peers have recently opened a new one.
As a starting—or concluding—point, the chapter that has just ended might simply be titled “The Data Set,” in order to focus our attention on the means by which Bennion and others of his ilk have over the past decade extended their lines of sight into the business well beyond those of any previous generation of CFOs.
For Bennion—who remembers tracking CD shipping costs during the desktop computing era—the latest marker or evidence that a new page has been turned has been made visible by Paystand’s product engineering and development team.Read More
“After having deployed AI tools and generative AI, we’re able to actually see a 4x increase in productivity by our product and engineering teams so far,” reports Bennion, who minces no words when asked about AI’s impact on company finances.
He continues: “From a finance perspective, I see a massive opportunity for improved ROI through doing more with less. From a legal perspective, I see that we need to be making sure that we do this in a smart way so that we don’t accidentally hit any legal third rails.”
Bennion believes that the adoption of AI tools within SaaS organizations is not unlike what he previously observed firsthand in the open-source software environment.
“New tech is often a developer-led initiative that comes into the organization through the side door, but once it’s in, you need to embrace it,” observes Bennion, whose resume includes a stint as CFO of an open-source software company.
Moreover, when it comes to some of the legal concerns associated with AI, Bennion suggests that just as happened in the open-source world, commercial licensing will be used to address some of the go-to-market concerns related to potential software infringement.
As far as Bennion is concerned, when it comes to AI, the hands of time have already begun to move.
“You need to embrace it,” he advises. “You can’t not embrace it.” –Jack Sweeney
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CFOTL: Tell us about Paystand … what does this company do, and what are its offerings today?
Bennion: Paystand offers a next-generation B2B payments platform to midmarket enterprise customers that enables them to achieve what we like to call “radically better treasury economics.” We do this with an ROA model that has three elements: eliminating fees, automating payment workflows, and reducing the time needed to move cash through the business cycles.
What we find when we go to market against some of our competitors is that they usually focus on one of those elements. We take a more holistic approach by helping companies to process and automate payments on all of their rails to achieve a better ROI through investing in the Paystand platform.Read More
Our goals right now include continuing our balanced growth. We’ve always been a balanced growth company, so it’s all about keeping up this strong and profitable growth. Of course, we always need to be thinking about our ROI. Also, I think that it will be very important to continue leveraging new technologies like AI and blockchain in our offerings.
I think that for all CFOs right now, a big question has to do with where the markets are going to land. The pricing on everything from fundraising to services has not settled down. I think that it’s gotten a little bit better, but this is something that we’re looking at.
It’s important to note, too, that Paystand is an acquirer. We look for opportunities to acquire companies, so keeping an eye out for good acquisitions that add more value to our offerings is always one of our missions.
These are the things that we’ll be prioritizing over the next 12 months.
Paystand | www.paystand.com | Scotts Valley, California