February 7, 2014

Use of business commerce networks, e-invoicing, e-payment solutions will rapidly rise as companies seek better cash flow

Stamford--While the global economy is beginning to bounce back, organisations are still faced with a heightened pressure to improve their cash flow and will turn to innovative payment strategies in the next year. This is one of the predictions of Basware, the leading provider of e-invoicing and purchase-to-pay solutions, for the key finance and procurement trends in 2014. Further, the fast growth of social, mobile and cloud computing will fuel the rapid rise of e-invoicing and e-payment services over the next year, as well as internal and external collaboration driven by Accounts Payable and real-time analytics.

“In the coming year, finance and procurement departments will seek to further use a series of networks to improve financial management and increase responsiveness to internal users, customers and suppliers. These trends will lead to better insight, improved processes and increased collaboration,” said Esa Tihilä, CEO of Basware. “In 2013, companies have been focused on improving their cash flow and we expect this trend to continue into 2014. Effective payment strategies will stay front of mind as organisations look to maximise working capital and ensure the financial stability of their suppliers."

Basware predicts four key elements that will transform B2B Commerce over the next twelve months:

1) 2014 Will Be The Year Of ‘E-Everything’
In today’s real-time social, mobile and cloud-based environment, business users are demanding access to information and the ability to process tasks in a matter of seconds or minutes. Finance and procurement professionals will see rapid growth of e-invoicing, e-ordering and e-payment services to meet these increasing demands. They will come to expect open, engaging digital experience and ease-of-use also in their finance and procurement solutions.

Following in the footsteps of buyers, suppliers are beginning to realise how expedited invoicing can improve cash flow and allow them to benefit from real-time financial data. 2014 will see suppliers turning to supplier portals as well as onboarding services to make invoicing faster and more accurate. Moreover, local governments will continue to play a pivotal role in pushing national economies to apply e-invoicing.

The key to transitioning to ‘E-Everything’ and achieving financial success in 2014 will be to become better connected. Networks are infiltrating people’s day-to-day lives more than ever before, so it is only natural for this to also happen in the workplace. Business networks will continue to have significant impact on the development of procurement and payables in 2014.

In the era of the connected economy, companies that use collaborative technology to connect internal employee efforts to customers, suppliers and partners are much more likely to be market leaders, gain market share, achieve higher margins and increase sales.

2) Clever Buyers And Suppliers Free Up Cash Flow
In many markets, e-payments have typically focused on consumer retail payments, but that will change in 2014 as increased market pressure and new solutions come to bear. Cash flow concerns are being fuelled by large companies looking to extend their payment terms with suppliers and free up cash for their organisations. With terms now typically 60-100 days, the impact on suppliers – particularly smaller ones – can be severe, jeopardising financial stability as well as creating risk in the supply chain.

For next year we expect to see the rise of innovative e-payment solutions that will address both sides of the payment issue: they will speed up slower invoice processing and invoice payment to ensure that suppliers will get paid upon invoice approval, while extending terms for buyers. More importantly they will be integrated with e-invoice solutions to offer huge opportunities to both buyers and sellers.

3) 2014 Will Be The Year Of The Accounts Payable Change Maker
Forward thinking finance and procurement leaders will be using technology to drive out complexity and inefficiency from core processes. They will dismantle the silos separating finance, procurement and treasury and adopt automation solutions, e-invoicing and open commerce networks to work smarter.

In 2014 the accounts payable team, which holds the knowledge of actual spend, will increase collaboration across the company. It will continue to implement social, mobile and cloud-based e-invoicing and e-payment solutions to make information more accessible and drive change across the organisation. The ability to measure key metrics will be the catalyst for the accounts payable change makers to take performance to new levels.

4) Leaders Increase Their Competitive Advantage Through Use Of Analytics
Now more than ever, companies require immediate access to spend and cash flow information to better manage finances in real-time. In 2014, companies will rely even more heavily on analytics, working not only across their purchase-to-pay process but also across their whole network of buyers and suppliers to aid decision-making.

The use of real-time analytics will help identify financial bottlenecks and opportunities for cost savings. It will collate information from across the network to uncover trends that help improve cash-to-cash conversion cycles and critical performance indicators such as days’ sales outstanding and days’ payment outstanding.

Basware provides open, secure, cloud-based purchase-to-pay and e-invoicing solutions to organizations of all sizes, resulting in greater efficiencies in procurement, accounts payable and accounts receivable.



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