Improved productivity has become the catch-cry of the modern business. In this fast-paced world, we need to do more, be quicker, be better. As we have seen over the past few years technology is the pillar piece in achieving this productivity piece. Working smarter – not harder and utilising the data you have in your organisation to make informed decisions in line with your business objectives. Being able to anticipate change, not just respond to it when it arrives at the door.

Finance leaders are deeply involved in determining how businesses adapt to significant changes in how work gets done—particularly in places where digital and finance intersect. – McKinsey & Co

These drivers for change in the organisation, to improve productivity and produce results, often fall to the CFO to contend with. By streamlining finance processes, it creates room for CFO’s to innovate and deliver strategic value to the business. When carried through every department, using a dependable Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) tool, this ensures the delivery of productive teams and is essential to the overall success of the business.

3 ways you can use technology to your advantage, is by focusing on the following parts of your business.

1. Digitisation of business activities

Hands up if you’ve still got paper-based; data-entry processes happening in your organisation? Whilst many of these process have had to improve due to working from home during the pandemic, many processes have been band-aids measures that have been put in place to get by.

Manual processes are the headache of organisations – big or small. A quick audit of all the processes that you have will find the finance department with the bulk of the manual processes that can be streamlined and look to the removal of manual data entry through online forms, employee self-service and integrating technology to support other vertical applications such as Payroll and HR.

Big Savings for Suncare Community Services

Suncare Community Services were bogged down in manual processes and error-prone data, which was impacting productivity.

Following the implementation of ebs-plus Ezidebit, Suncare’s new automated processes have resulted in an 83% reduction in time and resources required to process the payments.

“The ebs-plus Ezidebit app has saved us an INSANE amount of time! The new process is much simpler and streamlined. It is easy to follow and the simplicity significantly reduces the opportunities for error. The reduction in duplicate data entry alone for our team has been a real game changer.” Jess Walker, Suncare Community Services.

That’s definitely something to celebrate.

2. Big data: Data is the new oil

Data is the key to measuring where you are, where you’ve been, and helps to determine where you want to go, but when information is siloed in departments and not able to be interrogated, you’ll only have part of the picture.

By integrating your departmental data and delivering meaningful reports you’ll be in a better position to make informed, data-driven decisions to support your objectives.

cohealth gain better visibility of their funding sources

cohealth is a large and complex, community health organisation. Providing health and support services for people throughout central Melbourne and the northern and western suburbs, they are a trusted within their community with a strong record of improving the lives of people from all walks of life.

Cathy Williams, Director Finance and Reporting at cohealth shared, “At a recent board meeting, we discussed the important issue of the breadth of our sources of revenue, gaining transparency and understanding the sustainability of each source. As a community health organisation, we are moving from block funding to more consumer-directed fee-for-service payments. Previously, it was a lot of work to effectively analyse sources of funding and their contribution to organisational sustainability, but now it’s straightforward with Business Central. We will always have multiple funding streams, including grant-funding and consumer-directed care, and fee for service. Now have much better financial information, which supports strategic decisions about which funding streams to pursue. Getting that richness of analysis was essential.”

 

budgeting software for small business

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Melba saves time by finding information quickly

Melba Support Services has become an Australian leader in delivering services tailored to the needs of individuals. They manage seven residential care homes, via its Community Living Support Services, which assist 42 people, many with significant health and physical needs 24/7.

Melba engaged EBS to deploy Microsoft Dynamics to help them in a day-to-day capacity. “With families and their funding, they need to know how their money is being spent, how much funding they have and how much they have left at a given point in time. To do that, we needed to report on an individual level. One of the main differences of an integrated system is that our information is now up-to-date and we know exactly where we are every day. We can get out our reporting in a really quick manner. If people have a query, we’re able to get into the system, right down to the invoice level, to what transactions are happening.”

VAACHO improves governance

Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO) Director of Business Services, Peter Mitchell, relies on complex reporting on the 84 contracts that they have across a range of government departments. “Data is the new oil. The more information you can provide about the success of what’s going on, the more governments can demonstrate why they have invested in that area. Microsoft Dynamics provides the evidence-based reporting that demonstrates the value of projects funded by the money we receive, proving to both governments and our membership that we have advocated for the right projects.

“It has also enabled us to structure our governance policies into our workflows. For example, it ensures that I am not allowed to approve a particular level of Purchase Order unless my manager has approved it. That means more questions are asked, not about the payment, but about its application.”

3. AI capabilities

When processes – both manual and online are streamlined, and the data you have is being captured in central repository – the benefits begin to roll through to the productivity departments enabling managers to become more strategic to achieving business objectives instead of being bogged down in the day-to-day. Taking this one step further, by using machine learning and intelligence it becomes easier to identify potential issues and act on these in a timely manner – saving time and money. AI (Artificial Intelligence) can be used to:

    • purchase only what you need with dynamically updated inventory levels,
    • maintain the right amount of inventory by automatically calculating stock levels, lead times, and reorder points
    • look at historical payment data to predict when a payment will be made better enabling insight into cashflow.

Australian Childhood Foundation team finds value in the AI that the Business Central dashboard brings, “Having the visibility to see the dashboard as soon as you enter the home screen of Business Central, you can see the Total Sales, and what Invoices are overdue. I also know how many invoices we’ve got to pay so in an instant, you can get a mental picture of your cash requirements which is so critical for a not-for-profit. We could never see that before.”

Business Intelligence looks promising for VACCHO

VACCHO is excited about the future. “We are constructing reporting that is specific to VACCHO, drawing data from the ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics) and our own health evidence information best practice databases to align with our needs. Once this BI tool is complete (Power BI), our team leaders and directors will be able to drill right down to the actual entries in Dynamics, to the point where they can even load up scanned copies of invoices. Dynamics is central to that, because that’s where the funding data sits.”

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