This time last year, digital transformation of your finance systems may not have been the number one priority for your team.
You may have recognised that your expense process was a tad time-consuming and admin-heavy. And you might have identified that your invoices took a while to be approved, which meant you often paid suppliers just on time or even late. Yes, it would have been nice to have a bit more visibility and control over your costs, but you were used to managing with the set of data you had access to.
It always seemed that there were more important things to think about. If you hadn’t already thought about digitising your finance processes and moving them off of paper and spreadsheets, chances were that it was likely on your agenda in the next few years. But in just a few months, all this has changed.
The way we’ve all had to adapt to virtual working has brought to the fore the problems with paper-based systems for many businesses. We’ve heard stories of finance managers having to make special trips to the office to collect paperwork so they can keep the process moving – and that’s when they could find all the relevant documents.
When it’s no longer business as usual, having detailed, accurate and up-to-date cash flow forecasts are also essential. For instance, you may also need more detailed data than normal if you’re applying for funding or loans.
It’s likely that every day at the moment involves new challenges and new conundrums to solve to make sure your systems continue to function when everyone is working remotely. You’ll likely also be looking to ensure the continued productivity and wellbeing of your workforce.
In short, the chances are that digital transformation has shot up your agenda.
Why Digital Transformation Matters Now and Into the Future
At this point, it’s important to say that the benefits of digital transformation go far beyond being able to continue to function in the current crisis. Digital and automated systems enhance productivity, visibility and cost control in every situation, not just this one.
So even if you feel your hand has somewhat been forced and you’re having to consider cloud-based solutions to solve current challenges – it could be a decision that has long-term positive benefits for your business. For example, research shows the finance team in a typical small- or medium-sized business (SMB) in the UK, can expect to save 74 hours a week after implementing an automated T&E solution and 69 hours a week after implementing an automated invoice management solution. In addition, a typical SMB in the UK can expect to save £35,000 a year by implementing an automated T&E management solution and £38,000 a year with automated supplier invoices.
If digital transformation has leapt up the agenda in your business, and you’re having to take a closer look at process efficiencies and your ability to control and forecast your cash flow, here are some resources you might find helpful as you start your research:
Digital Transformation of Your Expenses Spend
To document from start to finish what an ideal expense process could look like, we’ve created The Blueprint of a Best Practice Expense Process. It covers the recommended approach to managing expense spend at each stage. It will help you gauge how you stack up and show you the next steps to set up a world-class process.
When you’re ready to explore and evaluate automated expense management for your business, this Expense Automation Solutions: A Buyer’s Guide could help. It includes:
- How to go about putting together a business case for different stakeholders
- Key considerations for choosing the right solution
- Top 10 questions to ask solution providers
Digital Transformation of Your Supplier Invoice Process
Similarly, A 10-Step Guide to an Efficient Supplier Invoice Process helps you take a step back and objectively review your end-to-end invoice process. It will help you identify where there are opportunities to streamline steps and cut out time-draining, manual tasks and risk areas.
You could also take this AP Risk Assessment Quiz if you’re worried about potential risks your business could face in the current climate, such as invoice fraud or late payments.
Embracing Finance Digital Transformation
Managing a business means managing change – responding to unforeseen challenges and embracing unexpected opportunities. Finance automation technology gives you the tools to become more resilient and more adaptable by helping you be more productive, while giving you better control over your costs. And that’s exactly why it’s at the top of many finance leaders’ agendas today.
If you’d like to talk to us about digital transformation and the implications for your business right now, talk to one of our team on +44 (0)1628 761 100.