Level Up Your Corporate Finance Team with ERP Banking

In today's fast-paced business environment, it's crucial for companies to utilize the skills of their teams effectively. Aligning team members in the right way not only saves time and money, but also helps organizations reach their goals. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)  Banking has become a critical tool in this effort.

"ERP Banking" refers to the integration of banking products, like cash management, payables, and receivables tools, directly into a business's system of record, such as their ERP or accounting software.


Corporate finance teams play a critical role in the success of an organization. To perform their role effectively, finance teams must be efficient, accurate, and able to make informed decisions quickly.

This is where ERP automation can play a critical role, helping to streamline operations, increase efficiency, and unlock new opportunities for growth.


Automation is often viewed as a replacement for team members, but it's actually a more efficient use of time and resources, allowing teams to work smarter, not harder to focus their efforts on more strategic or value-add initiatives rather than tedious data entry or other manual work. Companies are increasingly interested in hiring financial professions that can navigate digital transformation according to the Association for Financial Professionals. The U.S Bureau of Statistics projects that business and financial occupations will grow 7% from 2021 to 2031, resulting in about 715,100 new jobs over the decade.


The Changing Role of Finance & Accounting in Corporations


With advancements in technology, the role of finance and accounting is changing rapidly. Traditional manual processes are being replaced by automation.

Precise financial data is crucial for a business. Companies have come to rely on technology to automate accounting and financial operations. Automation has reduced the number of human errors, duplicate entries, and overall increased the accuracy of financial data. 


It has been reported that employees in finance and accounting roles spend an average of 35% of their time on manual data entry tasks, and 66% of employees believe that manual data entry negatively impacts their job satisfaction. By automating these tasks with ERP Banking, finance teams can relieve manual tasks, improve employee satisfaction, and increase efficiency in the finance and accounting department. By bringing banking into the ERP, employees can focus on more important tasks, aligning their goals with those of the C-suite.


Research from Deloitte has also noted that in response to the challenges around data entry, 77% of CFOs intend to redesign job functions around leveraging technology in a way that makes better use of human working hours. As a result of being able to maximize employee working time with the benefit of technology, many CFOs are opting to reduce team sizes by up to 20%.


The role of finance and accounting in corporations has changed to increase the importance of data-driven decision-making and the need for real-time insights into financial performance. 


According to a recent article by EY, the move to ERP Banking is becoming increasingly critical for corporate finance teams. In fact, the report found that 87% of CFOs see they will need to be upgrading skills for the future, 76% believe that change in technology has had a significant impact on finance and 78% will be turning to external partners with specialized knowledge and technology for finance processes.  The reality is that with ERP Banking, finance teams are able to move away from the nuts and bolts of data entry, allowing finance teams to focus on financial strategy and reporting.  


Integrating Banking into Your ERP


ERP systems have traditionally been an asset in improving activity management, supply chain management, accounting and workflows, as well as many other processes. The biggest exception to this has been banking. In order to meet strategic priorities, many companies are turning to solutions for integrating banking and financial transactions with already implemented and successful ERPs.


ERP automation through embedded banking can provide huge benefits to finance teams. It can increase data visibility, reduce manual errors, and streamline cash management ultimately reducing tedious and redundant work. 


According to Bain & Company embedded finance already accounts for 2.6 trillion or approximately 5% of US financial transactions in 2021 and it is set to exceed $7 trillion by 2026. Embedded finance continues to grow because of the demand for improved customer experiences and better financial access. 


Finance professionals have been troubled with the laborious age-old tasks of reconciling, streamlining, and organizing the data from ERPs, accounting softwares, bank portals, and accounts payable tools. The integration of systems has become increasingly important in cash management and payment tasks. Embedded banking allows finance professionals to more easily manage bank relationships and diverse systems to better oversee cash flow and reduces the time and labor intensive accounts payable (AP) process. 


What exactly is Embedded banking? Embedded banking is the act of integrating banking services or tools into non-financial services. In this context, it is bringing the bank into Enterprise Resource Planning systems or accounting software. It is streamlining banking capabilities into financial professionals' everyday accounting workflows. Embedded banking empowers finance leaders to have better control, more visibility, and increase data for decision making. 


Strategic Treasurers 2022 B2B Payments Survey Reported that 75% of their survey respondents are asking for API integrations with their accounting/ERP platforms. Companies are demanding a more embedded experience for payments within the ERP. 


The report also found that companies believe invoice processing, reconciliation, invoice approval, and payment approval could be further automated to increase efficiency. The motivating factors driving the need for increased automation are time, money, and error reduction. 


It has been found that 88% of companies that have implemented ERP Banking integration have more customer interaction and engagement. This figure demonstrates a key prospect for companies with limited resources and labor capacity.


How to Increase Efficiency for Your Finance Team


In the modern business context, technology is outpacing labor in terms of training and efficiency. However, for intellectual and customer-facing processes, a blend of automation and employee services is ideal and can work together as a value creating feedback loop.


How can employees keep up with the ever-changing pace of technology?


  1. Leverage ERP Automation: ERP Automation could mean taking advantage of software workflows or leveraging third party integrations to bring systems together. According to Accenture, up to 80% of financial processes can actually be automated to free up 60-70% of financial professionals time. Another figure estimates employees are spending 520 hours per year, or 25% of their working time, on repetitive tasks. 


  1. Clarify Work Flows: Employees spend an average 28% of the time in any given workweek reading and responding to emails, which equates to 13 hours per week per employee. Software can be leveraged to clarify and articulate financial workflows so that communication is streamlined and integrated with other teams.


  1. Batch Processing: Another repetitive task that can be streamlined is the desire to process invoices and other piece-work items as soon as they arrive. Instead, CFOs should consider a time and a tool to process the whole batch of items at once.


  1. Plug Productivity Leaks: A best practice for any finance department strategy is to seek out needless productivity leaks. These may include processes that are not optimized, unclear workflows and communication, and manual tasks. 


  1. Integrate Teams: Finance teams rely on work and information incoming from other departments. If the finance team is siloed, workflows will be disrupted. Continuous integration is a process that creates a shared repository of information that members of different teams can access in real-time.


  1. Stick to your Strategy: Having at least one team member on the financial team responsible for keeping track of your KPIs through analytics and reporting will help both the financial team and entire company remain on target.


With the assistance of ERP Banking, many of these best practices can become a reality.

Are You Getting the Most Out of Your ERP?


It is not news to say that in 2023, ERP systems have become critical components to corporations of all sizes around the globe.


In short, ERPs can help with the following:

  • Efficiency
  • Tracking and Visibility
  • Reporting
  • Enhanced Control
  • Saving Time and Money
  • Greater Automation
  • Customer Service


However, integrating your teams and processes in an ERP system does come with its challenges. One of the biggest challenges is that ERP integration can present a steep learning curve. Employees may need to be retrained, or new teams recruited.


Another challenge is moving data from legacy ERP systems to more efficient and more capable ones. Data migration relies on the team’s ability to locate information that may be spread across multiple teams, buried in both paper and electronic files. This is why planning ahead is such an important step in the process.


Some teams may also benefit from a change management consultant to ease the transition. Confusion and inadequate training can be a major roadblock that can lead to resistance among the workforce. Once morale is on the decline, it can be difficult to turn the tide.


To ensure that you are getting the most out of your transition to an ERP system, it is important to set a roadmap for implementation. A good ERP solution should offer:

  • Minimal demand on technical resources
  • Low cost and rapid onboarding
  • Seamless connectivity from your ERP or accounting software to your Bank statements and products
  • Your bank’s security and trust protocols integrated within your own business environment
  • Early access to new Bank product pilots
  • You will get access to new products and future-proof your company’s evolving treasury and finance requirements
  • Engagement with a network of treasury services professionals
  • Opportunities to share information and collaborate on industry challenges

According to a report by Datacor, setting the roadmap for implementation is key to maximizing the benefits of ERP automation. Adapting to a new ERP (or even new ERP aspects) can be a massive undertaking, and should be prepared for as such. New system implementation relies on sufficient planning, managerial involvement, time allocation, training and testing. Moreover, leadership and employees need a clear grasp of expectations or risk losing buy-in.


FISPAN allows companies to connect their ERP with banking solutions so commercial clients can also connect their banking services with your ERP in minutes, for rapid integration. In fact, FISPAN offers many integration options and operates with both modern and cloud-based systems. If you'd like to book a free personalized demo, click here.


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