KUALA LUMPUR – While the role of finance has gradually evolved over the years, recent ones have seen radical transformation as businesses embraced digital models.
Chief financial officers (CFOs) are now called upon to be business strategists, providing visibility into the organisation’s assets and real-time financial standing. This is allowing the C-suite to make critical decisions that would set the pace for an organisation’s long-term business direction.
Finance conversations are gradually shifting towards the perspective of value, rather than just cost, and enabling innovative change across the organisation.
As a result, there is now a progressive shift towards intelligent finance. As the heart of the business, the finance function ensures a strong digital backbone that enables businesses to increase efficiency, visibility, and streamline processes.
Transforming the finance function not only enables an always-on, real-time capability, but allows the organisation to ‘micro-adjust’ the way they operate and ensure business continuity – a reflection of the reality of the modern business and increasing succession and frequency of unexpected disruptive events.
Just a tap for real time data
Intelligent finance solutions essentially leverage powerful technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and advanced analytics built into the digital core – or the ‘nerve centre’ of the entire organisation – to consolidate internal and external elements into a single, ‘living structure’. This in turn connects all processes to provide live information and insights in real time.
By tapping on the cloud-integrated intelligent solutions, workflows and processes are automated, simplified, streamlined and, in some cases, with redundant processes being removed.
The key to this is upskilling finance employees to leverage the digital technologies that can help them do their job more effectively and efficiently. Freed from number crunching, employees can immediately obtain critical information with the highest accuracy, tapping on AI and machine learning driven insights to create predictive forecasts.
These benefits ladder up towards organisational success – finance leaders now have the critical data to present and help the leadership shape and executive strategy, with detailed, real-time insights to inform and enable the organisation for success.”
Malaysia companies open to new age intelligent finance
Post-pandemic, numerous businesses in Malaysia have undergone a period of ‘reset’ and have adapted their business models due to technological advancements and new work cultures.
On the finance front, digital technologies transform processes for practical and logistical reasons. They facilitate remote working and remove lower-value tasks, freeing employees up to focus on more meaningful, valuable tasks.
Take the case of Malaysia’s Celcom, a leading communications provider with the widest 4G coverage and largest broadband network in Malaysia. As part of a company-wide digital transformation programme, Celcom had looked for a cloud-based travel and expense management solution that integrated tightly with its SAP finance management system.
After assessing several solutions on the market, Celcom chose SAP Concur, including Concur Expense to manage claim processes and Concur Audit to ensure claims are compliant with company regulations. SAP Concur is a cloud-based solution which improves automation, integration and analytics across travel and expense processes.
Within a month of the launch, most personnel were using SAP Concur for expense claims and Concur Audit had significantly cut non-compliant claims. Celcom estimates SAP Concur would enable the business to save RM3.4 million in operational spend in its first year of implementation.
Note: The above commentary was adapted from a statement by SAP Concur.
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