Use it or lose it? Isn't that what executives used to say about technology budgets? As the beginning of the fourth quarter approaches, it's time for finance executives to tally up what's left and uncommitted and decide whether there is anything out there

that will give them a fiscal-year bang for their buck. The good news: For those CFOs who still have a few dollars left, there are new and innovative technologies that should rank high on the list of those worth considering.

These are technologies that are not only having an impact in terms of cost savings, but given that it's getting late in the year, don't require long implementation cycles to get up and running. Some, as in the case of accounts payable systems, are bringing automation to areas that have long been dominated by manual, paper-based processes, and early adopters are seeing unexpected windfalls. Others are new twists on existing technologies in areas such as working capital management and cash flow forecasting. But the key to the best is the technology's capacity to create a clear picture of an activity across an enterprise that finance can use to develop business strategies and plans.

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