Making Continuous A/R Transformation a Reality Through Scalable Solutions

Businesses in the stage of hypergrowth undergo both organic growth and also inorganic growth. Most finance organizations when looking to incorporate technology into their processes are too focused on automating current processes rather than implementing best practices with a solution that is both scalable and future-proof.
Joseph Hogan

Joseph Hogan

Digital Transformation Lead, KPMG
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Session Summary:

Takeaway 1
Decoding The Most Common Misconception About Digital Transformation and Investing In Continuous Improvement

Key Points

  • Start with understanding your business model and break it down into end-to-end process
  • Develop a high-level 5-year roadmap to fix and optimize the way work gets done
  • Partner with IT and Bussines to get them on the same page and look for opportunities to make their life easier
Takeaway 2
Planning for both Organic and Inorganic Growth to Successfully Scale Finance Organizations

Key Points

  • Use your planning and roadmap as your jumping-off point
  • Align your teams end-to-end, from the top of the house, down to the business
  • Explore leading practice tools to standardize and enable your shared services/service delivery strategy
Takeaway 3
Partnering With A Cutting Edge Solution That Can Support Business Initiatives And Can Form A Strategic Business Partnership

Key Points

  • Examine your processes end-to-end and understand what your current ERP can and cannot do to develop a hypothesis
  • Create a systems architecture, current state, and your north star, and plan your transition and investments
  • Talk to your auditors and use your network to see what other companies are doing
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Joseph: [0:02]
This is what we hear me. All that stuff just all around the block a lot of times in my career. So before we get going, how many folks in the room are in the mix? Some type of transformation effort? And basically that transformation effort is in order to cash for is it all-inclusive? Or if it’s all-inclusive, raise your hand and if it’s just going to be passionate so a little bit of pity, you know, everybody’s involved to some extent in the level of transformation. So, our ticker, what are the misconceptions about digital transformation? What do you need to do?

Joseph: [0:53]
Investing. The next piece is a binding for both organic and inorganic growth. Now, in some cases, a lot of companies are growing, but a lot in many cases, companies are changing because this landscape is right. And then the next piece is partnering with technical solutions. And obviously, we’re all here to learn more about HighRadius as a solution. But it really comes down to how do we transform our organizations using you know, automation, right? So I’m mystified. Okay.

Joseph: [1:34]
How many people think we need a huge logic to get this thing started? Right? If you think, you know, that’s fine. But I mean, people think the right thing to do. Right. The next question is, you don’t need to know everything about every single tool. Sometimes organizations get all hung up on doing exhaustive selections and off, you know, going into a huge amount of detail, understanding every single tool is out there and you don’t necessarily have to do that partnership and talking to your network. Okay, talk to your auditors talk to your consultants get an understanding of who the major players are their good work, who has good customer service. Those are the types of things you want to look for. The next question is how many people think beyond one obviously, I don’t think because companies word for acquisition and companies grow.

Joseph: [2:42]
Term diversification. You’re not always going to have the same not every single business unit within your organization is going to be on a tear walk. They may not all be on Oracle s AP or workday or something like that. They may be on an industry specific type of ERP. The next question, the next question is, do you need to fix all aspects of living? Here’s a good question. Now many people have their data.

I think everyone has a good, right.
I worked a lot.

Joseph: [3:24]
And I’m not here to talk about other solutions that are out there in terms of, you know, plugging this and plugging that but I think what’s really important is that you have to have a master data management strategy and an integration framework, point to point you know, moving data using, you know, disparate SQL server type of data is not a good approach. In my opinion, that creates a lot of risks. Because the minute that your data changes, all of that type of back end efforts don’t work very well.

So the key here is to understand how to create an evolve in your data quality.

Joseph: [4:18]
Okay, but you don’t have to fix everything immediately. But take your different parts, pick your battles, and begin to focus on what parts of it when we’re trying to work with trying to avoid boiling the ocean. I mean, times you get into these projects, and all of a sudden he’s got killed back, and all of a sudden you’re knee deep in Oh, my God.

So much good. So flying off the boil deals.
Right. So at the end of the day, we start talking about how to invest in this apartment.
I guess this is this is quite biased.

Joseph: [5:02]
But it really starts with understanding the business model and starting to different processes in the end, not just match but all your processes, right and understand the foundation of your financial and operational systems architecture, and understand how that supports the business and findings and what I would call the front office, the middle office in the back office, they all take notes. Okay. The next thing is partner with it in the business.

How many folks here feel as though they don’t have the best relationship with you got a couple of years, right? How many how many folks in the room are bronze as you can tell
I’ve worked a lot with it throughout my career.

Joseph: [6:01]
But I’ve always tried to balance the IT side of things with the business side of things in the process side of things. It’s easy for the for finance people will be like have your blinders on. Finance, finance, finance, right then, right. Sometimes you’re thinking, Oh, I gotta go talk to business, sell more stuff. sell more widgets. Right. At the end of the day. We all work together.

Joseph: [6:33]
Double firm believer that, quite frankly. All those things in general ledger all roads lead to the tank, all words in your financial statements. So I can pretty much take any situation that you can give me and I can tell you how that impacts upon you. All right. And that’s where everybody forgets, finance is going off into journal entries. It gets myopic and do what they want to do with following ologies and helping sell right doing that type of automation.

And then some operations in business modeling. Right? Not following any rules. Right.
Joseph: [7:19]
I see a chuckle right. So how do you get around developing a five year plan? Working with the business work? of defining this one with up to thank you for working with John. You know, at the end of the day, all these groups have to work together and coexist. But it’s all about collaboration and understanding. What is the architecture? What are the systems that are going to help you? And then what is that again? Because you can plan and you can prioritize and figure out what it’s going to cost these struggling babies.

Right. And then obviously, part of that is a reasonable investment. Right? Every organization has a capital budgeting process.

Joseph: [8:10]
You know, how many people today are working on your capital budget for 2020? You need to because a lot of these solutions costs money and it takes time to go figure it out. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to go figure it out. But investing 1234 years.
So get the conversation going.

Joseph: [8:39]
Okay, the next thing is look at opportunities to everybody’s collaboration. I’d say I’m kind of optimistic, the best of both. That’s always been my mantra, but starting conversations with the right people in the room and think about what are we going to do so far from what I can do two years from where we’re going to do five years. Time goes on so how do we invest further program and you keep that ball rolling? You never stop. You keep those conversations going.
And you make it away.

Joseph: [9:30]
So, as we move on to the next section, even that continuous improvement is the plan. How you analyze your organization’s level of readiness for organic or inorganic growth. Show hands yes.

No one knows it. Yes, I haven’t thought about. Well, I’ll take 3333 and 34. That’s next section. You know, planning for organic and inorganic growth is you know how many of you are in businesses that are making acquisitions?

A lot of companies are physically right. happening. You know, we’re experiencing high growth consistently.

Joseph: [10:28]
It’s always a good stock, right? More transactions, more throughput, more work. Right.

Some of you are experiencing contraction, unfortunately, because I see it happening. So in some organizations, sometimes contraction can be as difficult as no one because we have manual processes. And there’s a fixed rate of work, and people that and because we don’t have technology, you haven’t been able to variable as your organization, the very last step. And the solution, I would say that the HighRadius that very variable wise, we’ll work through automation.
And once you want to meet the business rules, and the rules related to things like cash application, more throughput, but technology can handle less demand.

Right, it’s it helps you variable wise. Other technologies, as well. The other question is, who the business? Are, is your data binding? Or is there a lack of governance, find your data that causes the cracks, and I don’t think that’s a so the next thing is, you know, the rates because it’s so fast and a lot of companies got that.

Joseph: [12:14]
Right. So the key here is, we talked about before, you said as the jumping off piece, that’s how you jump off. At that point. You have to get the different parts of your organization involved. To realize that no ERP or one team can do everything. How many people will talk to horrible salesman or every no sad you know, they can’t because they’re, they’re good at certain things, but they can’t do everything. And that’s why having quality point solutions around sub ledger transactions is really important. And again, we’re all here and high ratings. And I love high ratings, right? But there are other parts of processes whether it’s important to report to that can do some pretty magical things for a lot of your team how many people are at a corporate level?
Okay, cool. Corporate, how many people that are in the business of going to an associate of mine, she’s in the business and I think what’s important okay, in your corporate organization is a best practice to have a poor cash. Captain, whatever you want to call it, at the corporate level and to have consistent processes or consistent ways of doing things that they coordinate to the business. Okay, and the reason why we want that is because we want to have the may not have the same technology, meaning the safety or pain, but you want to address certain things what you know, what this is going to apply to batch applications.

Joseph: [14:31]
What type of business will do well apply to capture see what follows now? You may have slight differences, but if the corporate the business to align on business rules and rules that that will be, quite frankly, you know, corporate easier they know we can make the business dinner everybody on the same thing.

Joseph: [15:03]
The next is look for opportunities to standardize on their service delivery model.
This is this just does not mean shared services versus corporate person business unit close to business and things like this. This also, you know, extreme automation RPA that’s a service.
Okay, so look at how you standardize on the service delivery model across all the processes down and the reason champion, level three, level four. Does that concept register with everybody? Or cash, accounts receivable cash application? Why cash business rules 432111211 Many things like that.

Understand that you know how to turn them off. Right? And look for opportunities to be like I read this so, the key here is create the right bottle, super quantities organization and flex with the business up down sideways. Now around it sounds a little bit utopian.

Joseph: [16:25]
But at the end of the day, it’s actually a reality right it’s a matter of aligning across your organization and getting folks talking the same language. Are you on the same page? Not necessarily the same. Okay, so then move on to the next section. What is your top consideration when you’re searching for a vendor the process of creating a robot look at cost first. Solution capabilities, that’s good after vision alignment and it’s good answer as well. ease of implementation. Okay, sometimes you want a little bit of all four as I used to say to my older clients, fast leading practices effective.

Joseph: [17:24]
Okay, because it’s really important that you focus on beating practices at a reasonable price with a reasonable time and balancing it with these cheap then it’s gonna take a long time. If you want the practices if you want to slam if you want everything slammed, I don’t recommend it. It’s not my DNA but think about how you look at your transformation projects and look around how you do vendors and don’t take strategic partners. Right. So partnering, advocate solutions, what does the charitable organization do? They like to build custom solutions for commercial official show of hands were sold to show how many like build your own Yeah, I think that’s why you’re here.

Like just real short, real short. You’re on the same exact company, when I was at the company.
Okay. So you have all say, a lot of, you know binding and materials and what have you have a pretty policy complex supply chain.
Yeah, I think front office systems for many companies, if I advice should actually be your secret sauce.
Right? How you invoicing and you interact that level with the customer sometimes that has to be secret sauce, but then what were the secret sauce side of dealing with the customer. You get into accounts receivable and billing at that point. That’s when the technology should take over. And that’s where commercial off the shelf and really once you have an industry single software subledger you don’t have to do that. We got the answers in your bill.

Joseph: [19:58]
Again, so someone for high ratings, but it’s true. I’ve always thought that the secret sauce is in front of us customer to the customer tracking, the invoices tracking client cash should be pretty much you know, commercial off the shelf.

Joseph: [20:20]
How many of you have difficulty maintaining or updating systems staying current? I see some big holes in my previous life. I can’t tell you how often we’re about 10 versions, you know, exaggerating but not too far from the truth.

Joseph: [20:40]
And then given the business case for you know, either upgrading your station Why does your organization have a strong culture and culture for compliance and change control a lot of companies don’t. So, I always encourage the SAS model that will help about your minutes focusing on the business. I kind of alluded to this earlier it really focuses on the revenue side of the business in The Shining.

Right. That’s always a challenge. Right, and we talked about that. And then, you know, where does fighting sit in the priorities?

Joseph: [21:30]
You know, sometimes five minutes isn’t the backburner. So how do you how do you move up to the front? And again, it comes down to developing relationships in the business to collaborate, right? So, you know, as far as business partners, look at the processes and and understand, you know, what is your current recipe? Well, what it doesn’t do, right, develop a hypothesis and move forward. Right? research practices, like HighRadius, and automate work but then, you know, understanding where your ERPs fall down and move forward into systems architecture, current state of architecture and understanding to get from one end to the other.
And understanding is going to take time.

Joseph: [22:26]
It’s you know, it’s not going to take you know, it’s not it’s not a one year effort, it could be many years and that’s okay. It’s amazing development doctor in certain things. I like pressing the edge, you know, at times, but it’s, it’s, you know, be careful. But don’t be afraid. Especially if you work out to your network. Folks, are saying good things about the technology and the company that you’re looking to partner. And I’ve talked about this before, talk to your lawyers and the inquisitive

Joseph: [23:19]
whoever I would say that this relationship before today are essential your ability to grow and change in the future. So again, select a strategic business partner, not a vendor. I think so typing installing vendors. To get the same. Try to work.

Thank you very much for your time.

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