Why Are CFOs Going Beyond ERPs In Their Quest For Better Financial Controls?

Finance leaders around the world are reimagining their future. They are looking at ways to be true business partners to the CEO. Ways in which Financial insights can shape their organization’s strategy.

However, to do all of this, Finance leaders must set their house in order. As long as there is chaos, or inefficiencies, there will be constant pulls and pushes towards fire-fighting. There will be no time to reimagine their roles.

On the one hand, the future is promising. Artificial Intelligence, Robots/ Bots and Big Data Analytics have the potential to be game-changers in the Finance function in any organization.

On the other, it’s imperative to get the basics right. Control spend, reduce costs of procurement and Accounts Payable, and mitigate risks of frauds or non-compliance.

The Challenges:

To get the basics right, Finance teams have worked hard in the past 10-15 years to get their ERPs implemented. ERPs have become well entrenched, but have not fully delivered on these aspects:

  • Spend Visibility and Insights, so as to find cost saving opportunities
  • Enforcement of Delegation of Authorisation (DoA), wherein every action which can result in spending of money, is authorized as per the DoA.
  • Agility in actions: Mobile apps and internet access has not been implemented by most ERPs
  • Changing Rules in a Changing World: Rules are changing in every country – be it GST in India or VAT in Saudi Arabia; ERPs need to be able to change fast.

As a result of which, Finance leaders are struggling with high costs of ERPs but with expectations not fully met.

Spend is spiraling upwards, business heads are complaining about turn-around time, and headcounts in Finance and Accounting are increasing.

Why are ERPs not delivering to meet expectations?

There are 7 key reasons why ERPs are not meeting expectations are these:

  • Giving user licenses to thousands of managers across branch offices and departments is prohibitively expensive, as a result of which, all users are unable to get on an online platform for purchase requests or approvals of procurement or payments.
  • Business users do not like the old ‘green screens’ or ERPs. They are used to ‘Amazon-like’ experiences. Hence, often, ERPs are bypassed and processes fitted in retrospectively into the ERPs. Example, creating a PO after receiving a Supplier Invoice!
  • ERPs once fitted in, don’t like to be changed! It’s a costly and time-consuming exercise.
  • ERPs do not typically provide mobile apps.
  • Modern functionality are often hard to get in ERPs. Example, manager sitting at the airport reading her email, and can click a button to approve a PO. Many such examples abound.
  • Specific processes which result in Travel Spend are not fitted in ERPs. Example, pre-trip authorisations, Travel Supplier Bill reconciliation, etc. Yet, these spend categories are spiraling out of control in many industries.
  • Bringing in Suppliers onto the same page, via Portals, is not the forte of ERPs. ERPs tend to be “back-office systems” and not portals to bring in external partners.

What is the solution then?

The solution lies in modern product suites, which fill in the gaps in ERPs, and extend processes to be ready for the modern world.

What Finance leaders expect from today’s product suites are these solutions:

  • Professional procurement processes using RFPs and automated comparisons of Suppliers
  • Empanelling Suppliers with complete information, and then generating their ERP code
  • Online Negotiations using Reverse Auctions
  • Supplier Contracts
  • Mobile based Purchase Requests, coupled with agile Authorisation tools which follow the DoA
  • Automation of POs with publishing of these on a Supplier Portal. Auto computation of taxes.
  • Implementing Supplier Contracts for negotiated Rates
  • Getting eInvoices via a Supplier Portal
  • Automated checking of Supplier Invoices using Artificial Intelligence
  • Travel processes, pre-trip and post-trip, automated
  • Fixed Assets tracking and reconciliation

How can Expenzing help?

Expenzing offers all of above, in a modular manner, so you can pick and choose automation objectives based on your priority. Our solutions talk to your ERP so that you have better processes. Our solutions are on the cloud, thereby reducing your Cost of Ownership.

Companies across the globe have adopted Expenzing solutions, and are now finding it easier to create time for strategic value addition to the business, to reimagine their function in the organisation.

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About Ila Imani, CEO @Expenzing

Ila has over 25 years of experience in the industry, working in the field of business process and automation enhancement. Prior to founding Nexstep Infotech, she has worked with 3 organizations in the area of system analysis and design. She overlooks the product direction at Expenzing and takes a keen interest in changing technology trends and business requirements of clients. Ila is an IIM-C alumni with a specialization in Systems. She is deeply involved in several social causes, loves to travel and read.

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