Payments & Receipts in Financial Management – Driving Deeper Efficiencies with Compliance
Corporations across all industries are looking for opportunities to propel themselves forwards, even if that means entering or more strongly leveraging adjacent industries.
The power of connectivity between well-established corporations is today under-emphasized. It is in fact a very relevant and significant material driver in powering meaningful digital enablement. To some extent it has been overshadowed by generic non-specific commentary about cloud platforms being a panacea for all current financial management and accounting challenges.
Currently, many end-to-end accounting processes that are driven over the life cycle of a transaction are executed in multiple disconnected stages across various business financial management systems, with accompanying compliance initiatives often lagging.
Connectivity x-application within an organization, as well as x-ecosystem (including cash related processes), are significant in that they remove the need for multiple manually executed steps, not to mention those somewhat inefficient ad-hoc spreadsheets.
Fundamentally, driving step change through the use of latest technologies is now possible for two reasons. First, corporations are now able to define any end-to-end transactional accounting process on an ultra-granular level basis, including connections to multiple internal and external business ERP systems. Second, that today’s financial management software is more optimized to the latest hardware to provide the compute power to execute it.
Financial Management Software optimization here is more about the simultaneous parallel processing ability at any single point of time for complex transformational processing (i.e. bringing multiple data sets quickly together for meaningful reporting/ workflows), combined with the overall time for execution. Accounting software opportunities to improve sustainability through reduced power consumption are also slowly emerging.
Changes: Payments and Receipts
Incumbent banks, virtual neo banks (regulated as banks but which have no legacy system cost structure), and electronic money accounts (balances not government protected), all represent existing or new entrants to facilitate payment & receipt processing in financial management, noting that this market is going through significant local, regional and global regulatory change today. This is in order to drive increased competition levels within the financial services industry.
This initiative has been achieved through new regulatory frameworks mandating that Open Banking API’s for specific functions are made available to both existing and new third parties. API’s are being rolled out in controlled phases, but the end result will be the ability for all companies to innovate and gain visibility into competitive offerings in the corporate and consumer banking space when it comes to payments & receipts (domestic/ overseas), and other banking services in financial management.
Of very significant interest here to both corporates and banks, is the concept of being able to put richer Embedded Finance options within corporate processes. Think here of deep change being possible as providers leverage alternate ways of executing financial transactions.
This includes the use of different global communications and settlement networks, the support of enhanced richer messaging capabilities under ISO 20022, and different Open Banking API’s.
Each provider has solution differentiators which cross common areas such as lower execution costs, full process transparency, transaction execution time, fx rates, speed of execution, and different levels of physical or virtual customer service.
So with the above in mind, corporates can now partially or fully automate the end-to-end handling of transactions for any required tasks that are related to financial management. Timely information and improved data quality, combined with the latest accounting software described herein, reduces the gap between the books of account & actual bank position to provide a corporate with overall improved holistic visibility and transparency.
Getting more specific and using a lease as an example. These can be exploded automatically into the accounting entries (including amortizations) over the life of a lease. Analytics can be driven within the entire end-to-end process itself (i.e. not at the end) and required contextual actionable reporting or workflows can be generated @anytime @anywhere within it, for reporting around contracts, segments, countries etc. Holistically, overall results can be used to fine tune the overall local & international business models, including model variant simulations.
The same is also true for procurement and employee processes. In these cases single or multi-tiered in-budget actions can be mandated. Payment processes can also be augmented (based on materiality) to tackle Business Process Compromise (BPM).
BPM is a situation where threat actors aim to divert cash funds for bonuses, capex, and other material payments to bank accounts under their control, all whilst using credible social engineering techniques against targeted staff members.
As another example, capex processes can be enhanced to drive other secondary processes, such as: how an asset will impact any ongoing sustainability KPI’s; is the asset to be insured; cybersecurity considerations; and whether building modifications will be needed to place the asset in its final location. Enriched information goes to facilitate more complete and accurate processing to remove mistakes in connected financial, HR and property management processes.
Significant improvements in banking platforms, particularly around Open Banking API’s and the availability of electronic money accounts has moved the goal posts for banking forwards to provide improved transparency and reduced costs.
Advancements in process based technologies allows for granular end-to-end processing to be deployed x-application and x-ecosystem and for payment options/ embedded finance to be incorporated @anywhere within a process for customer, supplier, and employee focused transactions.
As always, you will need to set priorities, and particular attention should be given to include, 1) all relevant stakeholders in a specific process design, and 2) ensure that skills are available for financial management systems integrations, including their longer term management. The end result is timely and high quality information that will empower users to drive and execute business decisions more efficiently with lower cost.
FlexSystem is a financial, human resources, and operations business software vendor to 1 in 10 Forbes Global 2000 (May 2020), and 1 in 5 Global Fortune 500 (August 2020), operating at the intersection of new digital process and payment technologies, whether on-premise or cloud, to provide you with iterative opportunities for value creation.