I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Basware’s very own AP Change Maker: our CFO, Mika Harjuaho. If you haven’t met Mika, you wouldn’t realize he looks a bit like Clark Kent: suit and tie, glasses, and an understated strength of personality. I think the comparison is apt because what we are really looking for in every Change Maker is a bit of Superman, aren’t we? Mika Harjuaho fits that bill pretty well.
His time at Basware (6 years) has been spent consolidating and standardizing processes within Finance including AP and AR. This has included rolling out various Basware solutions including AP Automation, e-invoicing and our Scan & Capture service. I’m pretty sure there has been an SAP upgrade recently too – never a dull moment in Finance, that’s for sure.
Over the years, I’ve spoken to many AP Change Makers, and they all (at some point or another) echo the sentiment that while technology plays a role, people and processes are the key. Mika described how valuable it is in the beginning to understand exactly where you are and where you want to go. This initial effort pays itself back many-fold. It supports all of the subsequent work: finding the right solutions to support your goals, implementing that solution, and doing all the post go-live refinements. He spoke of the internal practice at Basware where all new acquisitions immediately go through a financial standardization and harmonization process to bring them in line with the rest of the organization – makes sense when you have strong processes in place.
A couple years back I spoke to a retailer in Sweden that spent 2 years understanding their processes while detailing their requirements. When they finally got around to implementing Basware, the new process and the results were perfectly in line with their expectations, and they were quite satisfied.
I asked Mika about his role as the Change Maker vs. the role of his team. He was quick to point out that it’s impossible to effect so much change alone: it’s definitely a team effort. Mika pretty clearly described how having the right goals makes a longer term transformation possible – no quick fixes means a lot of consistent team effort is required. He also said that giving people time to achieve their individual goals was important in order for the team to achieve the broader goals.
As for the future, I know from talking to Mika that additional automation is still possible within Basware’s AP process. And, there is lots more value to be gained from increased use of the Basware Network and supporting services. As Mika put it: “We eat our own dog food.”
Listen to the recorded AP Change Maker webinar »