On behalf of, Matthias Niessen, Solution Manager OpenText
A first wave of innovation hit the finance organization already a while ago: SAP linked material and supply chain management to the corresponding financial transactions. In an ideal world, this would also include the full streamlining and optimization of the procurement process.
The reality is that many organizations are still trying to find the right balance between bureaucracy and agility. Vendor and material master data are not maintained to full extent and purchase requisitions or business trips are not always pre-approved. As a result specialists in the finance organization spend a relevant part of their working day with transactional work. They need to copy and paste; lookup information in different tools and at multiple places; talk to suppliers and colleagues to match invoice items against orders; chase others for approvals.
The situation is even worse if the stakeholders need to access information on paper – like an incoming invoice or a travel receipt: Well organized departments first make a copy of all incoming documents and keep the original at a secure place. Routing the paper copies with in house mail adds additional costs and also causes delays.
Another important aspect is, that a growing organization can’t centralize important tasks: Manual processes require intimate knowledge about the responsibilities: Whom can I ask to solve a problem or dispute?
Companies therefore frequently maintain local accounts payable departments in order to process incoming invoices in time. Economies of scale don’t apply in such setups: Busy times require hiring temporary resources even if other parts of the organization have capacity in excess.
The following graphic shows where the technology gap impacts the bottom line:
Avoiding paper; optimizing, standardizing and automating the processes are key success factors to reduce transactional work in the finance organization.
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