Financial agility in a near-time economy

Product Marketing Manager

Managing finances is a challenging task, particularly in current fluctuating or uncertain economic environment. Like in the previous years, finance executives continue to look for ways to optimize working capital, manage cash and control spend more effectively; as well as to cut costs from processes.

Misaligned teams, manual processes, fragmented data, and legacy reporting solutions have resulted in incompatibility issues that require labour intensive consolidation of data from multiple sources. Rarely organisations have a single real-time view across the financial cycle for their business to drive financial agility, or to drive cross-functional collaboration in spend and supplier management. Even those organisations with dedicated business intelligence (BI) resources find themselves slow to produce precise and real-time information beyond the needs of corporate management.

In today’s near-time economy, financial decisions can’t be made anymore only by finance executives that rely on legacy reporting solutions or other manual data extracts. Organisations need to become more agile and obtain greater visibility into the financial data and processes.

It’s definitely right time to empower people with financial information that is near real-time, meaning just a few hours old instead of days, weeks or months. Deploying easy purchase-to-pay analytics across the organisation can be the answer to drive both financial agility and cross-functional collaboration.

Financial agility with collaboration and actionable insights

Gaining financial agility starts with obtaining actionable insights that enable not only corporate management but everyone across the organisation to drill down into actual spend and their financial performance against KPIs. As a result, financial, accounts payable and procurement leaders can collaborate together across purchase-to-pay process with shared KPIs. This can help Accounts Payable and Procurement departments to work together and identify the most important suppliers, biggest saving opportunities, or trends in spend and payment terms. In addition, they can jointly spot problems, identify their causes and take action across the entire purchase-to-pay cycle. For example, bottlenecks in purchasing processes slow down business from obtaining quickly products or services, and in invoice processing they hinder business agility and flexibility to manage working capital.

Collaboration doesn’t limit into above mentioned functions but also involves business managers to become more self-reliant to track their cost centre’s spend against budgets. Visualising financial information and making it accessible to everyone is what can transform an organisation and its people. Consequently, everyone can make better and more informed financial decisions to contribute for organisation’s financial agility.

Financial agility should not only consider collaboration within the organisation but also encompass actionable insights and collaboration with their suppliers. Connecting suppliers into “networked” purchase-to-pay process helps to increase financial agility of both own organisation and the suppliers. Receiving electronic invoices from suppliers with true e-invoicing enables more automated AP process and increased visibility into organisation’s current cash position with option to optimise working capital and gain visibility into potential to capture early pay discounts, as well as extending payment terms to increase cash. Suppliers connected electronically through Basware can also leverage new financing services to get paid faster with greater certainty and less hassle for their receivables.

Regardless how long the current fluctuating and uncertain economic environment continues, the new financial agility is available today by leveraging Basware’s networked purchase-to-pay and actionable insights.