Drive efficiencies in your financial back-office operations to avoid unnecessary cutbacks
The year that is about to end was highlighted by supply chain disruptions, increasing interest rates, high levels of inflation and the beginning of a trend towards layoffs in some companies and industries. An economic slowdown or perhaps even a recession is here, and for those of us who have been doing this for a while we have seen this movie before and we know how it plays out. As budgets are submitted and planning is underway for 2023, the financial back-office, i.e., Accounts Payable (AP), Accounts Receivable (AR), Procurement, Payroll and many other back-office functions are in the cross-hairs for cutbacks. When the economy slows and your company feels the effects of slowing sales growth and margin contraction, financial back-office operations are among the first functional areas to be targeted. This fact is largely due to the perception that these departments are cost centers that do not substantially add value to the enterprise beyond the services they provide. Typically in these downturns financial and procurement back-office functions are among those groups who are asked to do more with less.
There is a silver lining and your back-office organization has the opportunity to get the attention of senior management and implement systems and processes that drive efficiencies and allow you to do more and add value to the company. So instead of enduring draconian cutbacks and layoffs in the financial back-office, you can save money and add value by increasing the efficiency and productivity of your operations, and in some cases, even help improve improve the bottom line with tools like dynamic discounting.
While these opportunities present themselves for all of the various back-office functions and departments within an organization, we will focus here on two specific areas that deal with vendors and have a direct impact on a companies spend and therefore have a direct correlation to future budgets and financial decision making: finance/accounts payable (AP), and procurement (sourcing, purchasing). Both of these areas have processes that are generally very manual in nature and therefore labor intensive and prone to cutbacks. But by being proactive you can help address those areas of the procure-to-pay cycle (PtoP) that are not particularly automated or efficient. ICG can provide modular solutions that can be deployed individually to target areas that are the least efficient first, then scale to deliver a full function PtoP system in a phased, modular approach. An example of these financial back-offce, configurable, cloud hosted solutions includes:
- Vendor Portal / Supplier Portal
- On-line Invoice Submit
- PO Flip
- Payment Inquiry
- Payment Dispute Submission/Tracking
- Vendor Onboarding / Supplier Onboarding
- Company Information
- Tax (TIN check)
- Insurance Submission & Renewal Notification
- Internal Approval Workflows
- Real-time Collaboration with Vendor
- PO Dispatch & Update
- Automated PO Dispatch
- Request Real-Time Vendor Updates
- Dispatch PO Updates & Communications
- AP Automation
- Remote Approvals
- PO Matching
- Workflow Management
- On-Line Forms
- Data Capture
- Dynamic Discounting
- Early Pay Discounts that YOU define
As times get more economically challenging you and your back-office team can be prepared for the challenge by operating more efficiently and doing more to add value your your company. Be proactive in your approach and don’t fall victim to the budget ax that can take a toll on your staff. Be a value creator, not just a cost center.
The business tools mentioned above are important elements that can not only help you to operate more efficiently, but enable a high degree of vendor self-service where many manual, non-value add tasks can be performed by the vendor. Contact ICG today for more information or request a demo of any of our suite of back-office automation solutions. To watch a brief video on ICG’s back-office solutions CLICK HERE.