Our Chief Product Officer Rob Lunn explains how the Fennech F3 platform can help you transform and automate your finance operations.
Digitalization and digitization are words we see used frequently, often in articles and presentations encouraging businesses to adopt the latest digital technologies, but what do they actually mean?
For many people, digitization is about turning information from sources such as paper documents, pictures or sound, into digital data. In finance, there have been technologies around for years that do this effectively, such as OCR. Yet if we want to adopt more efficient business models that provide the full benefit of new technology, we need to move beyond simply turning analogue information into digital data. We need to capture the data and process it as seamlessly and efficiently as possible.
Recently, a leading ERP provider admitted that while they have been successful in digitizing information, they have still to make progress when it comes to processing that information efficiently. This is a good illustration that, while many strategic consultancy firms write interesting white papers about digitalization of finance, there are very few tangible solutions available yet.
So, what are the specific challenges in using digital technology in the financial sector?
Many companies have invested large amounts of cash in different systems to support their various finance activities; accounting systems, invoicing platforms, ERP, Treasury management systems etc. Each provides a functionally rich, but relatively narrow range of features focusing on one aspect of finance. Yet many finance activities, such as reconciling a bank statement against a ledger, cash forecasting or fulfilling regulatory reporting, need information out of several of these point solutions. The existing systems are often difficult to integrate and use different references to refer to the same transactions or entities, resulting in a frequent need for manual intervention. Often this is hidden from some senior managers; they may see a detailed set of reports that meet their needs, without appreciating the manual effort needed to produce them, or appreciating the risk of error in the process.
>The result is that many finance processes are still highly manual, costly, and inefficient. Perhaps more seriously, having a clear, accurate view of the company’s cash position, and being able to control the processes effectively, is more difficult.
We at Fennech Financial, are happy to say that the Fennech Financial Framework, or F3, our Platform as a Service (PaaS), is a unique, credible solution that can resolve these issues. It is cost effective, already available and can be deployed far more easily than many more traditional platforms.
>F3 can gather all relevant data from business applications, ERPs, accounts payables and receivables platforms, via API or specific data loaders. F3 then converts this information into a very granular view of the financial obligations between 2 parties. In simple terms, it combines the data from multiple applications into a single view of who owes what, to whom and when is it due. F3 stores that information into human and machine readable, self-executing objects called “Digital Contracts”; for each Digital Contract one or more Smart Transactions hold the data of the individual amounts owed and the due dates.
Therefore, at any point in time, F3 understands in detail what should be paid or received, by and from whom, when and for what purpose. F3 also supports connectivity to banks, meaning expected receivables under the Digital Contract can be compared to transactions arriving across a bank account for reconciliation, or expected payables can be automatically converted into payment instructions and sent to the bank.
Clients can set their own business rules on F3, and together with the platform’s Machine Learning capability and Open Banking connectivity, F3 will automate the execution and processing of the Smart Transactions. The result is that financial tasks that would previously have taken teams of people to work on multiple systems, can be executed seamlessly and efficiently. The clients’ own business rules ensure that the right controls are put in place, and the capability to visualize all the activities on the platform provides accurate visibility to management.
>F3 is cloud-based, and data from upstream systems can be ingested via APIs, meaning there is no lengthy deployment program. Fennech’s pricing model also ensures clients pay only for the functionality they use, recognising the value this creates. F3 is therefore simple to deploy and cost effective.
If you want to embrace modern technology and benefit from true, end-to-end digitalisation of your finance functions now, please get in touch with one of the Fennech team.