5 challenges a finance department faces and how to deal with them

Efficiency, automation and digitization - these three words echo in our ears every day and for the finance department, it is extra important to have a process that is digitized to be able to automate, to become more efficient. Only then the administrative tasks will be reduced and you will lower your costs and save time.

The finance department are strategic advisors to the company's management and ensures that the entire organization follows rules and laws. If the finance department devotes too much time to administration (which many unfortunately need to do today) with the strategic perspective often suffers. So, what are the biggest challenges for companies that do not yet have an automated workflow in place?

The time perspective

Having an analog process i.e. Managing all supplier invoices manually, is time-consuming and requires a lot of resources. Just purchasing an electronic invoice management system with support for scanning and e-invoicing makes it possible to handle, review and approve all invoices digitally in your computer or smartphone, whether you’re at work, in the grocery store or sitting on the train on your way to work.

Approval flow

Not keeping track of where the invoices are in the process and who is next in turn in the approval flow creates bottlenecks. The approval process becomes slow, unstructured and results in reminders and interest on overdue payments. E-approval gives you greater quality assurance, reduces the risk for scam invoices and minimizes the risk of not paying on time. The persons on accounts payable are given complete control over the entire approval flow.  

Poor overview

It’s very difficult to get an overview of the invoices that haven’t been registered since they do not show digitally until they are approved and ready for payment in the ERP system. Instead, get a helicopter perspective on all the invoices in real time, how many invoices are about to expire? What is the average time to process an invoice? Did you receive the invoice on paper, PDF or as an e-invoice? With a good overview of the flow, accounts payable get a chance to streamline their daily work.  

Archiving the invoices

Having to go to the binders every time you want to look at a processed invoice is just an annoying task. Forget paper piles and binders. All invoices are stored in your invoice management system and it’s possible to access all already processed invoices with a push of a button.

Risk of error

The risk of something going wrong is major when all amounts, accounts etc. are being handled manually. If you receive an e-invoice, the risk of errors is practically non-existent. Of course, not all suppliers will be able to send e-invoices, but software for interpreting and validating paper and PDF invoices reduces the risk of errors.

If you’re using financial processes that are outdated or manual, then it is time to review these. No company is too small to invest in an automated workflow to handle the invoices. Everyone can automate and streamline their own time - but you have to find the system and the supplier that matches your needs and who understands what challenges you have today.

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