“The pandemic fundamentally changed how businesses ran their day-to-day operations. Organisations have much to consider, from remote work to real-time payments and analytics, when reviewing their P2P process for the next decade,” said Basware.
1. Future proof operations with automation
When it comes to automation, Basware sees those organisations already embracing automation will use such capabilities in more advanced settings focusing on highly strategic tasks to future proof their operations rather than simply replacing repetitive activities.
“Doing just one or two things exceptionally well probably won’t cut it. Nor will working in isolation. The future of Finance is all about managing across functions, building the right combination of capabilities, and establishing a strong data foundation. That’s what will distinguish tomorrow’s winning organisations,” said Deloitte.
However, while CFOs (82%) in 2021 intended to increase their digital investment, many were not clear on what a digital business meant and the technologies needed to have a significant impact according to Gartner. As a result, Basware expects the finance function to continue to struggle, those that are tech-savvy will rise.
“If you haven’t already automated, you’re way behind and at risk for falling even further behind unless you act now. Now, more than ever, it is important to have a short term as well as long term automation roadmap to future-proof your operations,” said Basware.
2. Data and analytics
Gartner expects that by 2023, augmented data management will reduce the reliance on financial analysts for repetitive and routine data management tasks free up 20% of their time.
“Soon will be gone the days of analysing data and rehashing what has already happened. Instead, we will see more and more organisations using data in a more advanced, predictive way going forward – to not only drill down but to alert up,” said Basware.
Using data for actionable insights can empower organisations to look beyond the current state of operations making proactive and informed plans for the future.
“In particular, predictive analytics can help you better identify potential bottlenecks, forecast your spend, and track budgets. You can even minimise supply chain risk with advanced analytics and information gathered from your system and other external data sources,” said Basware.
3. Supplier diversity
The Hackett Group expects that by 2025, there will be over a 50% increase in diversity spend goals, with an average target of 13% of spend dedicated to under-represented groups.
Supplier diversity programs are a natural element of businesses’ corporate social responsibilities (CSR) and are quickly gaining in popularity [...] Its rise in importance comes at a time when consumers are expecting increased transparency and ethical prowess from the businesses they buy from,” said Basware.
Accenture research identified that adding diverse suppliers to a potential sourcing pool helps to increase competition for contracts, improve quality and cutting costs.
4. Global financial compliance
Currently, 48% of finance and procurement professionals state that they rely too heavily on trust over data insights, with 34% not being able to ensure that global regulatory compliance with worldwide invoicing mandates.
“E-invoicing is here to stay. And while the benefits are clear in the private sector, there’s been a notable shift towards public entities driving the adoption of e-invoicing over the past years,” said Basware.
5. Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML)
Today, 54% of finance and procurement professionals want to invest their money into AI and ML in order to support their data-based decision-making.
“A wise decision,” said Basware, “as we predict that ML and AI will continue to be enablers of a completely new era in finance and procurement. Enterprises are seeing the benefit of automating repetitive processes in more and more finance and procurement contexts for increased efficiency, where a lot of transactional data is being processed.”
6. Best of breed
“Typically, around 30% described their procurement technology architecture over the next five years as most likely to be ERP-led with surrounding best-of-breed tools. The second most common was a source-to-pay suite with complementary best-of-breed tools, followed by a combination of source-to-contract (S2C) and P2P suites,” said Deloitte.
Many analyst firms are recommending procurement functions to adopt an ecosystem approach that is built around the business. This results in the organisation not relying on a single vendor to deliver technology to automate all the S2P stages, instead they can benefit from an open technology architecture and multiple solutions that work alongside each other.
“This approach has picked up pace with analysts for many reasons, but namely because it offers faster time-to-value as it speeds implementation time and increases the ROI on the technology investment,” said Basware.
N|o longer just a ‘nice to have’, 44% of CFOs state that their company already has or is working on greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets. However, roughly 50% of CFOs reported no targets, with 80% of these having no plans to establish targets.
“The pressure is growing with regards to Environmental, Social and Governance, or ESG, and while many companies are proactively doing their part, the time is coming where taking action will be much less of a choice,” said Basware.
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