A global food and beverage leader is at the forefront of developing sustainable taste and nutrition solutions. Its ingredients and flavorings are used to create new, groundbreaking products enjoyed by billions of customers worldwide.
Across its business, the company has been actively investing in innovative solutions to identify growth opportunities and respond to changing customer needs earlier. Along the way, the company found that manual and time consuming finance processes were impairing its ability to manage the cash flow and working capital needed to grow the business. To gain the agility it needed to act fast and deliver excellent customer experiences, the company needed to move its core finance processes to a data-driven operating model. This move would not only help the finance function ensure the company remain competitive in a complex industry, but also generate the insights and agility needed to manage future growth.
When tech meets human ingenuity
The team used Accenture’s SynOps platform to create an intelligent finance operating model that connects digital technologies, talent and data and analytics to provide real-time actionable insights for payables and receivable processes.
Intelligent insights help the team make more informed decisions—improving the invoice process and ensuring payments are paid on-time.
Automation matches internal credits to customer accounts and incoming customer payments to invoices—freeing finance experts to spend more time identifying and correcting late customer payments.
A third-party cloud solution prioritizes customers, collects payments and flags payments at risk of being late—improving payment cycle efficiency for low-risk customers.
A new electronic data interface (EDI) solution allows suppliers to submit invoices without needing additional software or hardware—reducing invoice misplacement.
Accenture’s Goods Received Not Invoiced Analytics tool automatically routes supplier invoices without a goods receipt to the right contact for resolution—improving quality and speed of decisions.
A valuable difference
The company is already getting a taste of the value that the optimal combination of human ingenuity, digital technologies and data-driven insights can provide. Its employees, customers, vendors and bottom line are all benefiting.
Streamlined accounting processes, paired with timely invoice payments and reporting, increased operational efficiency by 25% in just one month.
Visibility of outstanding vendor payments are helping the company realize over US$2 million in working capital benefits per year.
Over a two-month period, US$1.8 million in debit balances were recovered—reducing the company’s liability risk with vendors.
New technologies that simplified and standardized ways of working even made it possible for the accounts receivable team to seamlessly adopt a work-from-home model amid the COVID-19 crisis. The move took just a week and caused no disruption to the business or downtime in service.
Moving forward, the company will continue transforming the organization with intelligent finance operations. It will use applied intelligence and predictive analytics to identify new opportunities for addressing payable variables such as immediate and early payments, discount capture, terms rationalization and purchase order (PO) compliance. A cash flow monitoring tool and intelligent collections tool are being implemented to provide uniformity of processes across all geographies of operation. And strategies to further improve working capital by reducing electronic vendor invoicing issues are being evaluated.
These ongoing initiatives, combined with the strong core finance operations, are positioning finance as a strategic partner to the business, capable of outmaneuvering uncertainty, and boosting growth and shareholder value for years to come.