DCFO Spotlight

CFO Deep Dive Series: Key Trends, Challenges, and Opportunities in the Machinery Manufacturing Industry


26 May 2023

Sander Berkhout, Chief Financial Officer, APAC, TK Elevator

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented disruptions and uncertainties to various industries, not least the machinery manufacturing industry. Throughout the ups and downs (pun intended), the pandemic has compelled companies like TK Elevator to adapt and innovate in the face of adversity. 

While it’s a niche sector, there are common lessons to be gained. Sander Berkhout, Chief Financial Officer, APAC, TK Elevator shares his insights with DigitalCFO Asia on the emerging trends that are reshaping the sector as well as the challenges, and unique opportunities they faced. 

What Goes Up Must Come Down – Challenges in the Post-Pandemic Landscape 

“Supply chain disruption continues to pose one of the greatest challenges for manufacturing companies in the post-COVID era,” says Sander. 

“It’s a hurdle that TK Elevator, as an industry-leading innovator, must navigate as we strive to develop and deliver cutting-edge solutions. Particularly, the scarcity or limited availability of parts and components, notably semi-conductors, presents a significant obstacle.” 

This is of course not unique to the machinery manufacturing industry. Looking at the broader economic landscape, fierce competition for a shrinking pool of business has emerged as a critical concern. Many countries and markets worldwide experienced a slowdown or decline during the pandemic, resulting in reduced economic activity and diminished consumer confidence. To remain competitive, companies resorted to exhausting their inventories rather than focusing on innovation. This forced them to undertake painful transformational measures like reorganizations and aggressive cost-cutting initiatives.

The pressure on the bottom line has also intensified. Global inflation and supply chain limitations have driven up material and labor costs, while fierce competition has stifled manufacturers’ ability to offset these increases through price adjustments. Consequently, only companies with robust cost structures and stringent cost control mechanisms have been able to adapt and maintain their competitive position.

Last but certainly not least, the pandemic has brought the importance of health and safety in the workplace into sharper focus, demanding unwavering attention as a responsible employer. Manufacturing-intensive companies must continually enhance protocols and safety measures to safeguard employees from hazards and risks. Simultaneously, they must strive to minimize operational disruptions caused by outbreaks and other adverse health and safety events, ensuring the well-being of their workforce while maintaining operational efficiency.

Opportunities that the Post-Pandemic World Has Brought to the Industry

The post-pandemic era heralds a remarkable transformation, characterized by a rapid shift towards digital technologies, evolving market demands, and an unyielding pursuit of optimization. Amidst this dynamic landscape, businesses that can seize these opportunities stand poised to not just survive, but thrive.

One such opportunity lies in introducing new, technologically advanced products and solutions

“In times of adversity, customers become acutely aware of cost and efficiency considerations. Hence, innovative products and solutions that offer enhanced efficiency or significant cost savings are poised to capture their attention,” says Sander. 

Take, for instance, TK Elevator’s digital maintenance solution, MAX. This cutting-edge offering has garnered immense interest from property managers and owners, thanks to its ability to reduce costs and minimize equipment downtime. 

Moreover, this era presents an unparalleled chance to expand market share. With overall market growth constrained, fierce competition looms large, forcing weaker players to exit the stage. This creates a void waiting to be filled by strong, resilient companies like TK Elevator, providing a unique opportunity for exponential market share growth.

But the potential for growth extends beyond mere market share and into the possibility of transformation. In times of adversity, such as during a global pandemic, the need for transformation becomes undeniably apparent. This creates a favorable environment for implementing successful transformation initiatives, positioning organizations to outshine their peers once the market rebounds.

In addition, this challenging period presents a silver lining in talent acquisition. Unlike periods of robust global economic growth, the intensity of the so-called “war for talent” has somewhat subsided. Consequently, it becomes relatively easier to attract exceptional talent, offering attractive packages and enticing prospects to join the ranks of TK Elevator.

The post-pandemic landscape is teeming with opportunities, waiting to be seized by those with foresight and audacity. By embracing technological advancements, striving for market dominance, driving transformative change, and attracting top-notch talent, TK Elevator is poised to not only weather the storm but emerge as a trailblazer in the industry.

What Are the Rising Trends in the Industry?

The machinery manufacturing industry is undergoing a fascinating transformation. Driven by the rise of digitalization and modular construction, these emerging trends are reshaping the landscape, offering compelling advantages and ushering in a new era of innovation.

“For TK Elevator, we foresee that digitalized elevator maintenance and connected elevators represent a paradigm shift in their industry. Beyond saving manpower and costs for customers, these advancements align with the evolving building trends, particularly smart building management.” Elevators which were once seen as mere vertical transportation devices, are now seamlessly integrated into building management automation and optimization. This integration not only enhances efficiency but also paves the way for a more interconnected and intelligent future.

In addition to digitalization, modular installation and modernization solutions are revolutionizing the way elevators are deployed. 

“By embracing a modular approach, TK Elevator can install products with reduced lead times and minimal disruption to customers and users. This streamlined process ensures swift implementation while maintaining operational continuity,” says Sander.

Furthermore, the modular design enables the effortless removal and reuse of components from previous installations, boosting the sustainability performance of projects and contributing to a more circular economy.

From a macro-economic perspective, the machinery manufacturing industry mirrors broader economic trends, albeit with a slight time lag of 6 to 12 months. As the general economy moves towards recovery, TK Elevator closely monitors the developments in the real estate sector, which has shown increasingly positive indicators in recent months. 

“Keeping a watchful eye on these dynamics allows us to capitalize on emerging opportunities and align our strategies with the shifting market landscape,” says Sander. 

The machinery manufacturing industry is at the forefront of a transformative journey, guided by digitalization, modular solutions, and a keen understanding of macro-economic trends. By embracing these innovations and staying agile in their approach, TK Elevator is poised to not only meet the evolving needs of their customers but also lead the industry towards a more efficient, sustainable, and interconnected future.

How Has the COVID-19 Pandemic Affected and Changed the Industry?

“In some of the markets we operate in, business was not conducted face-to-face for a very long time, and our manufacturing operations had to operate in a closed-loop model due to prolonged COVID-control measures,” reveals Sander.

Risk management strategies in light of the pandemic situation became essential; revenue projections, contingency plans for supply chain and operational disruptions, as well as managing resources to ensure financial stability were some of the key challenges for Sander and his team during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In general, the machinery manufacturing industry is less vulnerable to shocks due to its robust service and maintenance business. The need for elevator service by the public are only to a limited extent impacted by the economy, thereby maintaining a stable revenue stream for companies providing these services. Nevertheless, there remain several factors that can still significantly impact manufacturing companies no matter how shielded they are from the effects of the pandemic.

Firstly, price pressure can squeeze profit margins which can lead to reduced profitability and financial strain. In addition, delayed new projects can disrupt financial planning and increase overhead costs if alternative arrangements need to be made. Furthermore, suspended contracts can further exacerbate financial challenges by reducing revenue streams.

Secondly, workforce management becomes a critical aspect affected by these challenges. If manufacturing companies face financial difficulties or reduced demand, they may need to optimize their workforce. This can result in reduced employee morale, and the loss of skilled workers, which can have long-term negative effects. 

Additionally, these circumstances can pose a threat to business continuity and market competitiveness. Manufacturing companies may struggle to maintain customer relationships, fulfill orders on time, or invest in innovation and technological upgrades to stay competitive. These challenges can hinder growth opportunities and weaken their position in the market.

Lastly, manufacturing companies rely on a complex network of suppliers and vendors which means that disruptions caused by delayed buildings, closures, or suspended contracts can ripple through the supply chain. This will result in inventory shortages, increased lead times, and difficulties in sourcing essential raw materials or components.

To mitigate these challenges, manufacturing companies may need to carefully manage costs, explore alternative production arrangements, diversify their customer base and adapt their strategies to the evolving market conditions. These measures can help companies navigate through the difficulties and maintain their competitiveness in the machinery manufacturing industry.

DigitalCFO Asia Podcast Series – How Esker and InvoiceNow Overcome e-Invoicing Challenges with Innovative Solutions


10 May 2023

Once you experience the reliability, efficiency, and user-friendliness of e-invoicing, you’ll question how you ever coped without it.

Tired of drowning in a sea of paper invoices and receipts? Well, it’s time to say goodbye to the headache-inducing mess and hello to e-invoicing. With e-invoicing, businesses can kiss the days of manual data entry and lost invoices goodbye. Imagine a world where you can effortlessly send, receive, and manage all of your invoices electronically. Not only is it more efficient, but it’s also environmentally friendly.

Enter InvoiceNow, a new nationwide e-invoicing method by Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) that allows an invoice to be sent digitally between the systems directly of your suppliers and buyers. The invoice is sent automatically to your supplier and customer’s backend systems through a secure network and a standard format (Peppol InvoiceNow) therefore, it’s seamless.

With this e-invoicing solution, it’s like having a personal assistant for all of your invoicing needs. It integrates seamlessly with your existing systems, and you can customize it to fit your unique needs. With an e-invoicing solution that is reliable, efficient and so easy to use, you’ll wonder how you ever managed without it. 

Get ready to hear all about Invoicenow in the latest episode of DigitalCFO Asia’s podcast, where we chat with Derrick Sun, Director of Business Development at Esker.

The Challenges Companies Are Facing Today with e-Invoicing

In the podcast, Derrick talked about two major challenges in eInvoicing. The first one is the misconception that just sending invoices via email as a PDF counts as eInvoicing. But let’s be real, it takes more than just sending an email attachment to be considered tech-savvy. True e-Invoicing involves verifying the authenticity of the document and extracting information to be pushed into ERP systems for posting.

The second challenge is deriving value from adopting e-Invoicing. Sure, it might seem like a boring regulatory requirement, but with a little creativity, it can actually make life easier. By taking a holistic view of the Accounts Payable (AP) and Accounts Receivable (AR) process, companies can identify painful manual steps that can be eliminated with eInvoicing. Plus, for companies with global operations, it’s like playing a fun game of eInvoicing regulatory whack-a-mole – just hop from country to country and try to keep up with all the different regulations.

What is InvoiceNow?

Imagine e-Invoicing like a party – you can’t just show up with any random dish you make at home and expect everyone to understand what it is. You need to bring something that fits in with the theme of the party. In the same way, e-Invoicing requires structured formats and a common language to ensure everyone is on the same page. That’s where InvoiceNow comes in, like the host of the party, making sure everyone is speaking the same language and having a good time.

Esker offers automation solutions that can improve a business’s productivity by streamlining the upstream and downstream processes of their AP and AR invoicing activities with InvoiceNow. This expands the viewpoint of InvoiceNow from just a regulatory mandate to a tool that can fit into an ideal state of a business’s finance processes, powering the business into the next phaseIn addition, IMDA provides implementation and utilization grants for businesses, which Esker can assist in applying for.

Want to gain more valuable insights on e-Invoicing in Singapore? Tune in to DigitalCFO Asia’s second podcast episode to learn more!

To find out more about Esker, click here or connect with Derrick via Linkedin.

To find out more about InvoiceNow, click here.

The Finance Wizard’s Magic Wand: How Technology is Changing FP&A


5 May 2023

We all know what FP&A stands for – Financial Planning & Analysis – but do we really know what FP&A does? To give a simple analogy, FP&A is like a crystal ball for the financial future of a company, except that there’s no magic involved – it is smart people using technology to make accurate forecasts, spot trends and help steer the organization towards financial success. 

With fancy algorithms and lightning-fast software, FP&A teams are now able to process huge amounts of data in the blink of an eye. They can simulate different scenarios, test out strategies and create aesthetically pleasing reports. Teams can collaborate online seamlessly, monitor real-time financial performance and even run complex scenario planning exercises in a matter of minutes. FP&A has gone from being finance’s dull, tedious uncle to its dynamic and exciting cousin brimming with innovation and creativity.

When it comes to the transformation of FP&A through technology, there is one name that keeps cropping up – Jedox. Akin to a Swiss Army knife for FP&A, Jedox is a software solution with all the tools you need to keep your financials on track. With its advanced analytics tools and user-friendly interface, Jedox has been transforming the way we do finance, and making FP&A fun for finance professionals. 

To delve into the world of FP&A, DigitalCFO Asia sat down with Mr Andrew Soon, Vice-President of Sales, Asia, Jedox for a quick chat.

How Has Technology Transformed the Traditional Methods of Planning & Forecasting?

Technology has made data collection from multiple sources a breeze. These data can provide real-time insights into consumer behaviour and market trends, which can be used to improve forecasting accuracy. With AI and machine learning, analysis of large amounts of data can now be automated, patterns identified and predictions made more quickly.

Here’s the most impressive part – technology integrates and consolidates all data available into one common database. FP&A practitioners can create best-case and worse-case scenarios at the push of a button. Any data can be used as a driver – weather, seasons or logistics cost. This means planners can spend less time stressing about the “what ifs” and more time developing valuable strategies to adapt to any scenario that comes their way.

What Are The Key Benefits of Using Technology for Planning & Forecasting Processes?

Thanks to technology, businesses can now make informed decisions in real time using data and insights from machine learning and predictive analytics. With advanced analytical tools and algorithms, forecasting software improves the accuracy of predictions, reducing the risk of errors and unexpected outcomes. Responding faster to market changes gives businesses a competitive edge. Technology also allows for more flexibility in planning and forecasting as scenarios can be quickly adjusted based on new data. Plus, technology can help cut costs associated with manual data entry and analysis.

Can Technology Help Businesses Overcome Challenges in Forecasting Accuracy?

Forecasting financial performance is like predicting the weather – it can be tricky, especially in today’s fast-changing business world. Sudden shifts in the economy or unexpected events can stump even the most experienced planners . But with the right tools and skills, businesses can navigate these challenges and make informed decisions. Accurate forecasting requires a deep understanding of the business and industry, as well as the ability to analyze and interpret data, just like a professional meteorologist.

This is where Jedox comes in. We help organizations improve their planning and forecasting capabilities, for example finance leaders can easily incorporate external drivers into their forecasting models, allowing them to develop more accurate and comprehensive forecasts. Jedox also offers powerful visualization tools, such as time-series plots, scatterplots, heat maps, bubble charts, and geographic maps, which can help businesses identify patterns and trends in their data and improve forecasting accuracy. With these capabilities, organizations can drive better business value and achieve their financial goals.

What Are The Risks and Challenges Associated With Implementing Technology-based Planning & Forecasting Systems?

There are always challenges when it comes to implementing a new software. One main challenge is the need for technical expertise, which may not always be available in-house. This can lead to delays and increased costs associated with outsourcing or hiring specialized staff. Additionally, there is always a significant cost outlay when it comes to purchasing and implementing the new technology. Employee mindset is a key challenge too, as some employees may be resistant to change, leading to slow adoption rates and reduced effectiveness. 

“Efficient implementation is a key differentiator for enterprises looking to achieve quick time to value. To that end, finance leaders can prioritize solutions that facilitate faster data integrations through prebuilt connectors and offer an intuitive user experience to drive adoption.”

Andrew Soon, VP of Sales, Asia, Jedox.

How Can CFOs Ensure They Have The Right Data and Analytics Capabilities to Fully Leverage Technology for Planning & Forecasting?

CFOs are in the driver’s seat to set the direction on which forecasting methodologies to adopt and the strategy to get there. . For example, in a fast-paced consumer business, CFOs will want to adopt short planning cycle, and put in place right metrics that drives demand. In this case, perhaps they want to adopt a continuous forecasting methodology instead of the common quarterly or monthly forecast adopted within the finance team. 

These are some suggestions on how to build the right data and analytics capabilities:

Agile team: Build an agile team by selecting the best-fit team members to take on this project. Having someone with the understanding of both functional requirements as well as appreciation of tools to build the digital transformation plan. In addition, ensure you have business SMEs and finance experts to help you define the goals, requirements, and existing gaps.

Process: It begins from the top. You can have the right people and technologies, but having the right mindset is extremely crucial to success. Build a digital culture where you take on measures to cease all traditional processes that do not support your strategy. With increased adoption, capabilities will evolve within your organization.

Technology is revolutionizing the way we approach financial planning and analysis (FP&A). With advancements in data collection, advanced analytics, and scenario planning, businesses can make better-informed decisions and respond more quickly to changes in the market. Technology allows for more accurate predictions, increased flexibility, and cost savings. However, implementing new technology can also pose challenges, such as technical expertise, costs, and resistance to change. Nevertheless, with the right tools, finance leaders can easily navigate these challenges and unlock the full potential of technology to drive business value for their enterprise.

If you would like to know more about how you can utilize technology to reinvent your planning & forecasting functions, catch Andrew at the 2nd DigitalCFO Asia Singapore Symposium 2023 on 11th May at the Sofitel Singapore City Centre. The Symposium will see over 120 forward-thinking finance leaders come together to discuss and exchange insights on how CFOs can be the key changemakers of the organization in leading digital transformation.

Reserve your seat at https://digitalcfoasia-symposiumseries.com/singapore/#registration

To find out more about Jedox or to request a demo: click here.

Connect with Andrew on Linkedin here

CFO Deep Dive Series – Challenges & Opportunities Faced By The Food Delivery Industry


17 April 2023

Jamie O’Mahony, Chief Financial Officer, foodpanda

The food delivery industry has undergone significant changes in the last few years due to technological advancements, shifts in consumer behavior, and increased competition. One of the key reasons for this is that mobile apps have become an integral part of people’s lives. So much so that healthcare and food are accessible right at their fingertips.

With the widespread use of mobile phones, customers can now place food orders from anywhere, at any time, without having to visit a restaurant or wait in line. This has made food delivery much more convenient for customers, especially those with busy lifestyles and fortunately, this became more than just about convenience during the pandemic when lockdowns were in place. 

To find out more about the challenges faced by the food delivery industry during the pandemic as well as the post-pandemic landscape, DigitalCFO Asia spoke with Jamie O’Mahony, CFO, foodpanda

The Challenges That Food Delivery Companies Are Facing In The Post-Pandemic Landscape

The biggest challenge is adapting to shifts in consumer behaviour. Prior to the pandemic, it was easier to anticipate where the orders were concentrated, and the times at which orders would peak.

Let’s take Singapore as an example. For instance, pre-COVID, orders would usually peak around lunchtime, and they were largely concentrated in office-dense areas such as the Central Business District (CBD). Now, as people enjoy more flexibility in where they work from, orders are coming in from various locations around the island at differing times. The challenge therefore lies in the company’s ability to anticipate this demand as accurately as they can, so as to ensure that they have enough delivery partners to deliver the customers’ orders in a timely manner. 

“With restrictions removed, we see opportunities to provide even more value to our consumers,” says Jamie. 

At the height of the pandemic, people had little choice but to rely heavily on delivery platforms – either to get food, or groceries. Now that movements are no longer restricted, foodpanda is excited to enhance their services such that customers will still see value in using the foodpanda app as they go about their day-to-day.

Opportunities That The Post-Pandemic World Has Brought To The Industry

The pandemic brought about a huge transformation for the delivery industry. Many customers, restaurants, and merchant partners came onboard foodpanda for the first time, and the company is glad to see that many of them have stayed on the platform till today. This shows that they see value in being part of foodpanda’s ecosystem, and now post-pandemic, the company sees plenty of opportunities to continue enhancing their app offerings to serve new retail habits. 

One way that foodpanda is doing this is by launching dine-in. Now that more people are dining out, they saw an opportunity to continue providing value to customers who want to eat out – by enabling them to enjoy extra cost-savings when they become a pandapro subscriber. pandapro, which is their monthly subscription programme, allows subscribers to enjoy a pandapro-only feature called dine-in, which shaves off up to 20% off the entire bill when customers eat at selected restaurants. On top of that, pandapro subscribers also enjoy exclusive added perks, including unlimited free delivery when ordering from thousands of restaurants, online grocery store, pandamart, and retail marketplace foodpanda shops. 

“The post-pandemic era has also created a number of opportunities for us to be more efficient in our operations,” says Jamie. 

With more businesses participating in quick-commerce, foodpanda launched pandago – a Logistics-as-a-Service offering that utilizes their current fleet of delivery partners to send parcels on-demand. pandago  is also available to customers, who have found this service useful to retrieve urgent items, such as forgotten keys, or medicine. Without huge investments, foodpanda were able to provide customers with an additional service that meets their needs in the post-pandemic world, while at the same time providing delivery partners with increased income through more orders. 

The Rising Trends In The Industry

“I believe that personalisation of services will be a huge must-have moving forward,” says Jamie.

With millions of customers placing orders on their platform everyday, foodpanda has a wealth of data on customers’ preferences and purchasing habits. There is more that the company can do to leverage this and continue elevating the experience they offer their customers. 

“When faced with too many options, consumers will find it hard to choose. I am sure we’ve all faced the same situation when choosing a show to watch on streaming platforms – eventually, we end up watching re-runs of  shows we’ve previously watched,” says Jamie. 

The same concept applies when choosing what to eat or items to buy. By curating the list of options based on the customer’s past preferences and purchasing habits, foodpanda wants to narrow the options to those that the customer is likely to choose – therefore simplifying the ordering process. 

Outside of the food delivery industry, Spotify does a really good job of using data to personalize the experience of each user. Jamie believes there’s an opportunity for foodpanda to do the same on its platform – by providing spot-on recommendations for each consumer based on their preferences and purchasing behaviors. 

Recap On How The Food Delivery Industry Was Impacted By The Pandemic & The Changes Made In The Last Two Years

During the pandemic, all delivery platforms saw a boost in demand for delivery, driven out of necessity given restrictions. Customers had to rely on delivery platforms for their meals, and even groceries, as they preferred to stay home to keep safe. Restaurants that were not previously offering delivery had to quickly pivot as they were unable to serve dine-in patrons. With travel and hospitality industries impacted, individuals who were out of jobs turned to platform work to tide them through. 

“Our efforts were focused on ensuring that we were able to support the increased reliance on foodpanda, without compromising on the quality experience that we want all our stakeholders to have,” says Jamie. 

This meant mobilizing their teams to accelerate the onboarding process for restaurant and delivery partners who were keen to come onboard. Having more restaurants means more options for customers, and having more delivery partners meant that the company was able to fulfill their promise of delivering customers’ orders in a timely manner. 

There was also agility required to ensure that foodpanda’s operations take into account the safety and health of their delivery partners and customers. Which is why, they very quickly introduced contactless delivery, and provided delivery partners with sanitisers and reminders on how to keep themselves safe while they conduct deliveries. Now, contactless deliveries are still an option for customers who prefer minimal contact. 

On top of that, foodpanda was also operating in a low interest rate environment, which enabled the industry as a whole to grow at an unprecedented rate. Now, the company is facing a much more challenging business environment, contributed by inflationary pressures and rising cost of capital. It’s likely that such macroeconomic factors will persist for the foreseeable future, and foodpanda will need to continue to display the same characteristics of agility and flexibility that they did during the pandemic to grow the business. 

“I believe we have reacted swiftly to cater to customers of the now with the launch of new services, and are well-placed to meet the needs of customers of tomorrow with upcoming partnerships and enhanced offerings,” says Jamie. 

The Evolution Of Finance Business Partnering And Its Impact On Business Performance


13 April 2023

Collins Ke-afoon, Senior Financial Planning & Analysis Leader Drilling Services-APAC, Baker Hughes

Over the last two decades, there have been significant changes & evolutions in what a traditional financial planning role would entail ,versus what businesses require today from finance business partners. There has been a move from being a back office support function  to one at the forefront, contributing to strategic business decision making. 

To find out more about the evolution of finance business partnering and its impact on business performance, DigitalCFO Asia spoke with Collins Ke-afoon, Senior Financial Planning & Analysis Leader Drilling Services-APAC, Baker Hughes.

Finance business partnering requires the extensive use of data analysis, technical accounting and finance knowledge, an in-depth business & commercial acumen as well as influential & leadership skills to drive & impact long term and sustainable business performance. The profession has quickly evolved from one focused purely on numbers, variance analysis & technical capabilities to one requiring closer business partnerships, commercial acumen & understanding of underlying business operations driving the numbers.

Several factors have contributed and served as catalyst on which this evolution has taken place. Few of these are but not limited to:

  • Data availability: The last decade has seen more data and data sources becoming available, be it if from internal or external sources. These have enabled broader and more meaningful analysis based on which stronger correlations & relationships could be drawn to aid businesses make the more informed decisions.
  • Information Technology (IT): The continuous and ever developing IT landscape has made available tools to the finance world which were previously not readily available. These tools such as ERP systems, data gathering, transforming, modelling and analysis tools just to name a few, have revolutionized the speed at which data is obtained, processed and analyzed & shared.
  • The Demand For Different Finance Structures: We have increasingly seen companies structure their finance functions by separating the accounting function from the financial partnering function. This split within the finance function has provided the opportunity for financial analysts to get closer to operations, understand the commercial & underlying business operations driving the numbers. As a result, able to provide better insights , using the vast amount of data available to support strategic business performance & growth. 

Key Areas That Many Businesses Look At When Considering Finance Business Partnering

There are several areas where businesses should consider focusing finance business partnering efforts. These could be categorized and ranked according to the greatest value added activities, return on investment ( capital and/or time invested) by the partnering activities.

Each business would have to perform a deep dive of its current financial & operational performance, and through this exercise, identify against a set of KPIs, areas that need improvement in the short & long term.

By utilizing the right set of data to perform detailed analysis, business can come up with:

  • Clearly defined business value drivers – Areas of focus which will bring the greatest return & value to the business and prioritize these ,
  • Identify value creation & added activities that can be operationalized through finance partnering efforts.
  • Operationalizing these into the business operational rhythms to ensure the greatest value is derived from these activities.

Business In Allowing Companies To Meet Performance Goals Amidst Rising Concerns & Challenges In The Post-Pandemic World

One of the takeaways from the pandemic from a finance perspective is the adaptability of the finance function. With little notice, lifestyle and work schedules had to be changed to adapt to a new reality while trying to minimize the impact of these changes on businesses.  Post pandemic, we have seen many businesses scale down on their work force and the need for a lean finance structure with depth & breadth cannot be overemphasized.

Finance business partnering ensures companies have a well-rounded finance function who support business operations beyond the expectations of providing back office support. The advent of having finance business partnering being at the core & forefront of most businesses , means that  they can benefit from proactive & predictive analysis to drive value creation rather than have to perform post mortem analysis on why things went wrong. Trusted finance business partners are critical & at the core of most successful businesses today.

Things Organizations Must Take Note Of In Order To Have A Successful Partnership

The benefits of a well-oiled financial business partnering function are immense. However there are several critical aspects that must be embraced and done right by businesses in order for the partnership to flourish.

Strategic focus on value added activities: Finance partnering activities should be aimed at investing resources on key business areas that will drive the most value.

Aligning the role & the skill sets required to deliver strong business performance: Organizations need to set out to hire and retain individuals who best fit into the finance partnering roles. These individuals need to be leaders with influential capabilities, strong commercial business acumen on top of their technical finance & accounting skills

Reporting structure: Organizations need to have finance business partners reporting functionally to Finance & have a dotted  reporting to operations. This is critical to maintaining a close relationship with the core business , focus, drive & share goals & objectives with operations.

IT Tools & data availability: Ensuring that both internal & external data is available, easy to analyze and equip finance business partners to perform their roles.

Why Is Finance Business Partnering Becoming An Essential Part Of Every Competitive Business In The Market?

“I would say the importance of having a world class finance business partnering function cannot be overemphasized in order for businesses to be and remain competitive,” says Collins. 

Strong Finance business partnership will ensure operations goals are aligned with financial objectives taking into consideration the limited resources available to the organization. Better and more rounded quality business decisions will be made, and the greatest value will be created for the organization as a result.

DCFO IWD Series: Equality vs Equity – Why The Difference Matters?


23 March 2023

Fairness really only functions when everyone is equal at the outset.

The International Women’s Day campaign theme for 2023, “Embrace Equity,” aims to start a global conversation on why “equal opportunities are no longer adequate” and can actually be exclusive rather than inclusive. Giving every person or group the same resources or opportunities is referred to as equality. Recognizing that every person has unique circumstances, equity distributes the precise resources and opportunities required to get an equal result.

Giving everyone what they need to succeed is a definition of equity. To put it another way, not everyone receives the same thing. Giving everything to everyone in the hopes that it will make everyone equal makes the assumption that everyone started out in the same position, which can be wildly wrong because no two people are alike.

As it’s frequently believed that “being fair” entails that everyone receives the same treatment, the concept of “fairness” might be challenging. Although we were frequently told this as children, “fairness” really only functions when everyone is equal at the outset.

Kris Giswold, Senior Vice President Finance, AMEA, Mondelez and Shenola Gonzales, CEO, Alevate Solutions and Fellow Chartered Accountant (FCA) with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) and Koren Wines, Managing Director, Xero (Asia) provided their perspective and insights on equity and equality in the workplace. 

The Importance Of Understanding The Difference Between Equity And Equality In The Workplace

Firstly, it’s important to acknowledge the impact which intersectionality has on equality. Simply explained, intersectionality refers to the various aspects of people’s identity which intersect to create who we are, like our gender identity, race, religion, politics, sexuality, socioeconomic status, access to education and so much more. Some aspects of our identity are advantageous, and some create barriers to opportunity, but everyone’s identity is different. So throughout their lives and with this understanding in mind, creating an equal or universal “solution/tools” to successfully overcome these barriers to opportunity is impossible.

When it comes to equity, it’s important for us to reflect on where we have advantage and subsequently power because of that advantage. Through that reflection, we can look to use that power positively in the workplace by focusing on the outcome we want to achieve and making decisions and implementing structure and process which removes barriers and adversity and breaks the bias for those without the power, that’s equity.

– Koren Wines, Managing Director, Xero (Asia)

We can’t talk about achieving equitable outcomes without first acknowledging that each person  has different circumstances with different starting points and needs. As such, we wouldn’t  necessarily achieve an equal outcome by providing everyone with the same resources and  opportunities. Equity is a better and more inclusive approach because it is about serving these different needs and removing systemic or structural barriers to create an inclusive environment  where people can thrive. 

Equity is especially crucial for global companies with diverse workforces like Mondelēz, where individuals from different backgrounds need to collaborate with one another. Mondelēz recognizes the diversity of our talent pool and this is why we have added equity to our D&I  strategy to become DE&I (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion). By maximizing the power of our  employees, it will enable us to serve our consumers better and deliver even stronger  performance. 

– Kris Giswold, Senior Vice President Finance, AMEA, Mondelez

The terms equity and equality are often used interchangeably, causing confusion about their distinct meanings. Although both are significant, it is crucial to understand what equity truly means. Equality ensures that everyone has the same access to resources. However, equity goes beyond this one-dimensional approach and recognizes that not everyone starts from the same point, as some have advantages over others due to factors such as economic status, education, or relationships.

To illustrate this, equality centres on offering the same starting point to everyone, while equity focuses on achieving an outcome by addressing individual needs and setting a specific goal. Understanding this key difference between equity and equality is essential because it can have a significant impact on the workplace.

In a workplace that values equality, everyone is treated the same, and opportunities are provided equally to all employees. However, this approach does not consider that employees may have different needs and backgrounds that require unique support to help them succeed.

On the other hand, a workplace that values equity recognises that employees have different needs and experiences, and it aims to provide resources and support that are tailored to each employee’s unique circumstances. This approach can help level the playing field and create a more inclusive and supportive work environment.

By implementing equity-based policies and practices, companies can foster a workplace culture that values diversity and inclusion, ultimately leading to increased employee satisfaction, engagement, and productivity. Additionally, it can attract and retain a more diverse workforce,  increasing both its intangible (brand value) and tangible value (profitability). Throughout my career, I have had the opportunity to work in organisations that were both equitable and inequitable.

I was very fortunate to begin my career in a very equitable workplace, Ernst & Young (UK) – and this is going back almost 20 years! They were way ahead of their time. Looking back and comparing it to my subsequent roles, I believe it was the DNA of the firm, which was highly driven by the Code of Ethics as emphasised by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales (ICAEW). This drove the behaviour of the firm and in turn fostered a very equitable workplace. 

– Shenola Gonzales, CEO, Alevate Solutions and Fellow Chartered Accountant (FCA) with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW)

The Harm Gender Stereotypes Have Caused To Women’s Opportunities & Capabilities In The Workplace

Gender stereotypes are harmful in two ways: It impacts the way women see themselves and  how decision-makers view them. 

Various research has shown that internalized gender stereotypes can cause women to question  their own abilities which results in hesitation or reluctance when speaking up in meetings or  going for new opportunities like promotions. As such, it holds women back from achieving their  full potential in the workplace. 

On the flip side, when decision-makers in the workplace hold biased views due to gender  stereotypes, it may affect the way female employees’ performances are evaluated or credited,  and this in turn affects their career progression or opportunities provided to them, such as  leadership roles. 

– Kris Giswold, Senior Vice President Finance, AMEA, Mondelez

While the number of women in senior finance leadership roles is increasing, the number remains small. The finance industry, like other industries, unfairly judges and limits women due to gender stereotypes. 

Women are hesitant to show empathy or female gender traits when in a senior role, for fear of being viewed negatively. As such (and I speak from first-hand experience) women often conform to male leadership styles which has resulted in the birth of negative nicknames such as ‘Ice Queen’, ‘Bossy’ or ‘Dragon lady’ when describing a woman leader. The equivalent male leader is often positively termed ‘Cool headed’, ‘Assertive’  or ‘ Tough minded’.  

This narrative needs to change as it undermines the value of unique female traits and abilities, resulting in less diversity and fewer opportunities to address gender stereotypes. If this trend continues, it can become a vicious cycle as the finance industry, which is already male-dominated, may attract even fewer women. This, in turn, can harm the industry’s competitiveness and effectiveness as a whole.

Throughout my career, I have experimented with different approaches to leadership, but the one that brought the most fulfilment and success was when I embraced my authentic self. I didn’t feel the need to conform to stereotypes or hide my responsibilities outside of work. Additionally, I found that joining relevant networks (such as the ICAEW Women in Finance Community) and exchanging experiences with other professionals proved immensely helpful in my personal and professional growth. 

My advice to any woman seeking a senior leadership position is to connect with people who share your aspirations, believe in yourself, and stay true to your authentic self. In addition, having access to real-life experiences and information, rather than just relying on statistics, will equip you with the necessary knowledge to prepare for the role and thrive in it.

– Shenola Gonzales, CEO, Alevate Solutions and Fellow Chartered Accountant (FCA) with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW)

The traditional stereotype that women must be the primary caregiver for children inherently leads to discrimination against them. These ingrained perceptions of women’s priorities and commitment have led to the creation of policies, processes and mindsets throughout every aspect of our lives which ultimately create biases and barriers for women in the workplace.

These assumptions make it significantly more difficult for women to even apply let alone obtain roles in the first place when competing against men, as it is presumed for example, that they’ll take more time off than their male counterparts when having a baby. If they already have kids, assumptions that they’ll be unable to travel or won’t be able to work overtime due to caregiving responsibilities, often unconsciously influence decision making on who to hire, regardless of their individual capabilities and skills.

Koren Wines, Managing Director, Xero (Asia)

Some Policies To Have In The Organization To Provide A More Supportive And Conducive Environment For Women

Encouraging people to reflect on their personal biases and thought processes through training on areas such as unconscious bias and inter-cultural communication will help employees become more aware of their blind spots and understand how cultural differences can impact  the way people work and how people interact at work. At Mondelēz, we have introduced an  Unconscious Bias program to cater to market-specific situations, such as generational diversity  in China. 

We have also implemented practices focused on fairness in hiring and pay equity, including  requiring diverse slates for open roles and providing inclusivity training for all people managers,  which has enabled us to increase the representation of women in our leadership roles. I am  proud to share that today, 34% of our leadership team globally are women. Additionally, we rolled out mentorship programs, including targeted platforms in Southeast Asia focused on advancing and accelerating development of our women leaders. 

– Kris Giswold, Senior Vice President Finance, AMEA, Mondelez

Offering parents, both men and women the same entitlements, in maternity v parental leave, as an example, is a great starting point to combat the stereotype that women must be the primary caregiver and the associations that inevitably come along with, as shared above. We are seeing companies become more progressive in this view. Xero for example, allocates leave based on whether someone is a primary and secondary caregiver, regardless of gender and thus removing gender from the decision-making process. 

By offering a more equitable solution for both parents of either gender, this gives families the opportunity to structure their roles and responsibilities in a way that works best for them and achieves the ideal outcome. The perception that men are the breadwinners and women are the primary caregivers is an outdated stereotype and not the norm in today’s world. Ultimately policies such as these need to be driven by governments to fundamentally change expectations and understandings at community and broader levels.

I strongly believe that company policies play a significant role in shaping the company culture.  There are many policies in companies that I have been part of that stand out to me as conducive to women.

Koren Wines, Managing Director, Xero (Asia)

  1. Equal Pay: Companies should ensure that women are paid the same amount as their male counterparts for the same job and level of experience.
  2. Flexible Work Arrangements: Companies can provide flexible work arrangements, such as remote work or flexible hours, to help women balance work and family responsibilities.
  3. Parental Leave: Companies can offer parental leave for both mothers and fathers to help women balance work and family responsibilities.
  4. Mentorship and Sponsorship Programs: Companies can establish mentorship and sponsorship programs to help women advance in their careers and develop their skills.
  5. Diversity and Inclusion Training: Companies can provide diversity and inclusion training to help employees understand the importance of diversity and inclusion in the workplace and create a more inclusive environment.
  6. Anti-Discrimination Policies: Companies should have anti-discrimination policies in place to ensure that women are not discriminated against based on their gender or any other protected characteristic.
  7. Employee Resource Groups: Companies can establish employee resource groups (ERGs) for women to provide support, networking opportunities, and professional development opportunities.
  8. Back to work Programs: Companies can offer back to work programmes for women who have taken a break from their careers to care for family members or for any other reason, to help them re-enter the workforce and advance their careers.

These policies can help create a more supportive and conducive environment for women in the workplace, leading to greater gender equity and diversity, as well as improved organizational performance.

– Shenola Gonzales, CEO, Alevate Solutions and Fellow Chartered Accountant (FCA) with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW)

Why Should More Women Take Up Leadership Roles?

I’m fortunate to be surrounded by women leaders at Xero! Our CEO Sukhinder Singh Cassidy leads the executive team, of which women make up the majority and the same goes for my leadership team in our Asia business. Ultimately, I believe the outcome we want to create is to support women in all their professional endeavors  and if those are in areas of leadership which have been historically dominated by men, we need to address the range of barriers we touched on earlier through intersectionality and remove them to ensure women have the equity to succeed.

Koren Wines, Managing Director, Xero (Asia)

We believe that we can better understand our consumers and our customers when our  workforce reflects the communities we serve. Women bring unique and fresh perspectives to  the table which will help inspire creativity and drive innovation for companies. Research has  shown that the most diverse companies have better business performances than their less  diverse peers.  

Other research has also shown that having women in leadership roles may also help to attract  a more diverse workforce, catalyze positive changes in workplace policies that benefit all, and  help reduce the pay gap between men and women.

– Kris Giswold, Senior Vice President Finance, AMEA, Mondelez

During the course of my career, I have held various senior leadership roles in the corporate world and in the entrepreneurial space.  In every role I have learnt some invaluable lessons – both positive and negative. 

One of the most important lessons I’ve learnt is that women offer a unique perspective that brings diversity to leadership, and their innovative thinking is impressive. Moreover, businesses led by women tend to perform better financially, as they integrate multiple strategies to achieve not only the bottom line but also softer goals.

Women bring with them a unique and varied style to leadership.  A woman leader can help to drive positive social change, including promoting greater gender equality in the workplace, addressing issues such as sexual harassment and discrimination, and advocating for policies and practices that benefit all employees, not just a select few.

Having more women in leadership roles serves as a positive example and inspiration for future generations of women, breaking down gender stereotypes and encouraging girls and young women to pursue leadership roles themselves. 

Some of the women leaders that have inspired me include Indra Nooyi, Sheryl Sandberg and Jacinda Ardern.  One never forgets an inspiring woman leader and their story of how they broke the glass ceiling, faced their challenges and paved the way forward for other women.

To all the women out there stepping up to that leadership role and experiencing self-doubt – always remember the famous quote by Ruth Bader Ginsburg:

“Women belong in all places where decisions are being made. It shouldn’t be that women are the exception.”


– Shenola Gonzales, CEO, Alevate Solutions and Fellow Chartered Accountant (FCA) with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW)

DCFO IWD Series 2023: Indonesia – Equality & Diversity In The Workplace


3 March 2023

Promoting equality and diversity in the workplace is essential for creating a positive and productive work environment.

Equality and diversity in the workplace are important issues in Indonesia, a country with a diverse population of over 270 million people. Indonesia is home to a multitude of ethnic groups, religions, and cultures, which can create both opportunities and challenges for the workplace.

One of the most significant challenges to equality and diversity in the workplace in Indonesia is discrimination based on ethnicity, religion, and gender. For example, some employers may prefer to hire candidates from the same ethnic group or religion as themselves, leading to limited opportunities for those who are different. Additionally, women may face discrimination in the workplace, including unequal pay and limited opportunities for advancement.

To address these challenges, the Indonesian government has implemented several policies to promote equality and diversity in the workplace. The constitution of Indonesia guarantees equal rights for all citizens, regardless of ethnicity, religion, or gender. The government has also implemented affirmative action policies to promote diversity, such as requiring companies to hire a certain percentage of women or ethnic minorities.

However, while these policies are a step in the right direction, implementation has been slow and uneven. Many companies still do not prioritize diversity in their hiring practices, and discrimination persists in many workplaces.

One way to address these challenges is through education and awareness. Employers can provide training to their employees on diversity and inclusion, including the importance of avoiding discrimination and promoting diversity in the workplace. Additionally, companies can promote cultural awareness and sensitivity, such as by celebrating different cultural holidays or providing language training for employees who speak different languages.

Another important aspect of promoting equality and diversity in the workplace is through leadership and role modeling. Company leaders should set an example by prioritizing diversity and inclusion in their own hiring and management practices. They should also be vocal about the importance of diversity in the workplace, and make it clear that discrimination will not be tolerated.

Importance Of Promoting Equality & Diversity In The Workplace

Promoting equality and diversity in the workplace is essential for creating a positive and productive work environment. It not only helps to create a more inclusive workplace, but it also helps to improve employee engagement, retention, and performance. In this article, we will discuss why promoting equality and diversity in the workplace is important, and some ways in which you can promote it in your own organization.

Why is promoting equality and diversity in the workplace important?

Promoting equality and diversity in the workplace is important for several reasons. First and foremost, it helps to create a more inclusive workplace where everyone feels valued and respected. This, in turn, can lead to higher employee engagement and productivity, as well as improved employee retention rates.

Promoting equality and diversity in the workplace also helps to ensure that all employees have equal opportunities for career development and advancement. This is particularly important for traditionally marginalized groups such as women, people of color, and members of the LGBTQ+ community, who may face barriers to advancement due to systemic discrimination.

Finally, promoting equality and diversity in the workplace is simply the right thing to do. We live in a diverse society, and it is important that our workplaces reflect this diversity and provide equal opportunities for all.

Ways To Promote Equality And Diversity In The Workplace

There are several ways in which you can promote equality and diversity in your workplace. Here are some of the most effective strategies:

Establish clear policies and guidelines

One of the most important things you can do to promote equality and diversity in the workplace is to establish clear policies and guidelines. This should include policies on hiring, promotion, and compensation, as well as guidelines on appropriate workplace behavior.

Provide diversity and inclusion training

Another effective way to promote equality and diversity in the workplace is to provide diversity and inclusion training for all employees. This should include training on topics such as unconscious bias, cultural competence, and inclusive language.

Recruit a diverse workforce

To promote diversity in the workplace, it is important to actively recruit a diverse workforce. This means reaching out to traditionally marginalized groups and ensuring that your hiring processes are fair and unbiased.

Create employee resource groups

Employee resource groups are a great way to promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace. These groups provide a space for employees to connect with others who share similar experiences or backgrounds, and they can also help to promote cultural awareness and understanding.

Foster an inclusive culture

Finally, it is important to foster an inclusive culture in the workplace. This means creating an environment where everyone feels valued and respected, regardless of their background or identity. This can include things like celebrating diversity, encouraging open communication, and providing opportunities for employee feedback and input.

Promoting equality and diversity in the workplace is essential for creating a positive and productive work environment. By establishing clear policies and guidelines, providing diversity and inclusion training, recruiting a diverse workforce, creating employee resource groups, and fostering an inclusive culture, you can help to create a workplace where everyone feels valued and respected. Not only will this lead to improved employee engagement, retention, and performance, but it will also help to create a more just and equitable society for all.

Finally, it is important for companies to create a culture of inclusivity and belonging. This can be achieved through various means, such as creating employee resource groups for different cultural or religious groups, providing mentorship opportunities for underrepresented employees, and creating opportunities for employees to provide feedback on their experiences in the workplace.

In conclusion, promoting equality and diversity in the workplace in Indonesia is a critical issue that requires ongoing attention and action. Discrimination based on ethnicity, religion, and gender remains a challenge, but can be addressed through education, leadership, and a culture of inclusivity. Companies that prioritize diversity and inclusion are not only doing the right thing, but also reaping the benefits of a more diverse and innovative workforce.

How AI & Automation Plays An Integral Role In The Automotive Industry: Carro’s CFO


21 February 2023

Ernest Chew, Chief Financial Officer of Carro

By enhancing consumer involvement and providing round-the-clock customer care, artificial intelligence (AI) is transforming customer service. Along with improving customer service, it also increases brand recognition and client loyalty. Today’s consumers connect with companies across devices, necessitating specialized touchpoints to improve the customer’s decision-making process. Fortunately, the automotive industry is finally implementing these services.

To find out how AI and automation has played a big role in meeting consumer demands in the automotive industry, DigitalCFO Asia spoke with Ernest Chew, Chief Financial Officer of Carro to get his insights and perspective. 

AI & Automation Being A Part Of Carro’s Business Foundation

Carro started with digitalising the automotive ecosystem. With increasingly more data to crunch, it then became easier to AI-enable their business through machine learning. Data-driven decision making has always been a critical part of Carro’s DNA. 

“We recognise the importance of automation to scale. However, it’s even more important to understand what we are trying to achieve via automation,” says Ernest Chew, Chief Financial Officer of Carro.

Automation is a process to take out inefficiencies and fix processes. If businesses automate inefficiencies without fixing or optimizing processes, then they will also be multiplying the inefficiencies. Ernest Chew, Chief Financial Officer of Carro also advises that if automating is more expensive than manual and yet does not deliver the productivity gains, then there is no business case for automation in that particular process. So, it is incredibly important to “simplify, optimize and then automate” – in that order.

Technologies In Enhancing Business Productivity & Increasing Profit Margin

Carro does not look to challenge the traditional automotive retail business. Their mission is to improve an age-old business model and build trust in the automotive ecosystem, digitally. They leverage big data, AI and machine learning to deliver best customer experience whilst building an effective, operationally sustainable business model.

“We take ‘gut feel’ out of the equation and introduce years of combined human experience into proprietary algorithms, systems and models.”

Ernest Chew, Chief Financial Officer of Carro

Carro automates some of the decision-making to reduce chances of human mistakes and fraud, which is prevalent in the used car industry. Carro applies these big data and AI-enabled processes across the buying and selling of vehicles, credit decisioning, amongst others. As a result, whilst other online automotive retailers and marketplaces are struggling to be profitable, Carro has been EBITDA positive and see a clear path to becoming even more profitable.

Some Of The Key Financial Market Trends Of 2023 In The Automotive Industry

“We expect the used car market to continue its stable growth underpinned by growing used car vehicle population and structural improvements in the used car-to-new car ratio,” says Ernest Chew, Chief Financial Officer of Carro.

The used car market in Singapore was estimated to be worth USD 40.03 billion in 2021 and is anticipated to grow to USD 51.43 billion by 2027, registering a CAGR of over 4% during the projected period (2022 – 2027).

The COVID-19 pandemic had a conflicting effect on the market; in 2020, lockdowns and limitations caused the market’s demand to cease. The pandemic did, however, have a favorable impact on consumer behavior, favoring automobile ownership over public transportation and potentially increasing the market for secondhand cars. By the first half of 2021, used car sales began to increase as the bulk of those were people who could not afford a new vehicle. Due to that, many consumers began leaning toward the next best option available, which is buying pre-owned cars.

In the medium term, elements including rising purchasing power and the ease of obtaining financing are anticipated to favorably impact market expansion. Further, increasing digitization, internet use, and the number of online participants are projected to play major roles in increasing used car sales because they have made the process of buying and selling used cars generally simple and quick.

“The new car market is also likely to grow as the supply chain is being restored and the macro-economic situation improves post easing of COVID-19 restrictions. However, continued interest rate rises may throw a spanner in the works,” says Ernest Chew, Chief Financial Officer of Carro.

Recent occurrences like the nationwide increase in used car prices as a result of increased COE rates and the breaching of the USD 100,000 COE threshold for large cars are indications of a weaker market. These situations are requiring dealers to maintain pricing on automobiles they have purchased at high market prices; if they persist, these variables are thought to provide possible difficulties.

Also, the expansion of value-added service offerings and the diversity of financial companies that offer loans for used automobiles will support the expansion of the region’s used car industry. But the higher interest rates might discourage some prospective buyers, slowing the market’s expansion.

Keep Track Of Areas That Can Be Improved Further With AI & Automation

The team, at Carro, has done an incredible job of building high-impact dashboards to monitor various business performance, profitability and productivity metrics. These dashboards have proven to be immensely insightful to the live performance of the business. 

“Gone are the days where we wait 10-20 days after a month end to know how the business is tracking – we now get it live,” says Ernest Chew, Chief Financial Officer of Carro.

The real-time analytics offered by the high-impact dashboards saved Carro from having to spend a lot of time looking up information. With the click of a mouse, real-time analytics are now accessible, and these dashboards communicate data in an aesthetically beautiful and understandable environment, making it simpler for the team to evaluate the data, identify the good and the bad, and take appropriate action.

The Effects Of Skill Gaps On Further Business Expansion In APAC

Where others have overhired and/or spent incredible sums to hire talent, Carro believes that it is very important to be disciplined and prudent around hiring. Getting the right people, rather than chasing over-rated perceived skill sets is more important. 

“What makes a great hire is often not what one writes on paper, but the passion, hunger and growth mindset to deliver their best, in the most practical manner. So, yes there’s a gap for high quality candidates, but they are not defined by whether they are digitally savvy or not,” says Ernest Chew, Chief Financial Officer of Carro.

These are some of the ways AI and automation has benefitted the automotive industry. However, it is important that many keep in mind that despite its wonderful benefits, without a proper strategic plan and the necessary manpower, making that move (automating business processes) might cause more harm than good. On top of that, the market for used cars might see a steady increase and this would push more companies to want to automate their processes to meet consumer demands. With all these in mind, it is that companies have projected goals in mind that they would like to achieve so that they can better keep track of their automation progress. 

The Rise of Cross-border Commerce: How Businesses Can Keep Up


1 February 2023

As consumers’ desire to make international purchases increases year after year, businesses must become smarter, faster, and more adaptable than before.

Nearly 20% of all e-commerce transactions are predicted to be international by 2023. The rise in the proportion of international buyers who will make cross-border purchases is perhaps even more astounding – by 2023, around 45% of consumers worldwide will be actively making such purchases.

But what does this imply for merchants and brands? What effects will this have on manufacturers? As consumers’ desire to make international purchases increases year after year, businesses must become smarter, faster, and more adaptable than before. Currenxie and Michelle Chia, Co-founder of MDADA provided their expert insights on some of the trends in cross-border ecommerce and what to anticipate in 2023.

Impact Of Cross-border Commerce On The APAC Region In The Last 3 Years

The Asia-Pacific (APAC) area is home to some of the world’s most inventive, vibrant, and quick-moving cross-border commerce markets, including the biggest one. Cross-border commerce is expanding in Southeast Asian nations. Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Thailand are a few of the prominent nations in this region. Online transactions are still rising in these and other bordering nations. The market has undeniably been more competitive over the past three years as a result of new competitors consistently entering the market and established competitors increasing their skills. This has resulted in innovative developments and sustainable possibilities. An example of such innovative developments would be the availability of unique payment options like “Buy Now, Pay Later”.

“With the rise of cross-border commerce, digital merchants are increasingly finding themselves under pressure to provide services that are fast, frictionless, and tailored to customer preferences. This means that digital merchants must familiarise themselves with local customer shopping and payment preferences, especially as each market is different, and consumers have their own favourite payment method. In developed markets, consumers rely on credit and debit cards, whereas developing markets in Asia prioritise e-wallets and cash. Understanding their consumer purchasing trends is critical for digital merchants looking to create positive shopping experiences”.

Arvind Swami, Director, FSI, APAC, Red Hat

Evolution Of Cross-Border Commerce In The Future: Key Aspects To Prioritize

The rise in cross-border commerce has been very beneficial to companies in the Asia Pacific region. During the pandemic, the rise in consumer demand and online shopping behaviour only accelerated this cross-border growth. For many businesses these last few years, the pandemic presented an opportunity to tap into online sales and digital marketplaces for the first time. Others, who were already established online, were now able to take advantage of the situation to strengthen their online presence and capture greater market share.

Today and moving forward, however, concerns around the state of the global economy and rising interest rates are causing cross-border companies to struggle to find a balance between supply, demand, and costs. How much should you keep in inventory? What about cash flow and logistics planning? This is felt most by the merchants managing their own supply chains and inventory. Marketplaces will suffer if Gross Merchandise Volume (GMV) drops, but they will continue to generate revenue as long as merchants pay listing and transaction fees.

A lot is up in the air right now, such as when interest rates will flatten and whether many countries will face recessions in 2023. The Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) trend is also slowing down which may further dampen consumer spending. While many experts will try to predict what comes next, it’s imperative that companies in this space do what they can to stay relevant, continue to adapt and readily tap into new cross-border markets when opportunities arise.

– Sam Coyne, CMO at Currenxie

With consumers leaning towards transacting in a digital manner, merchants and marketplaces will continue to focus on embracing new payment options. Country regulators are also stepping in, so as to make cross border transactions more frictionless. Hence, we believe that merchants and marketplaces will increasingly look towards leveraging technology & platforms which provide them with agility, security, scalability, and the openness to leverage the wider payments ecosystem. 

Arvind Swami, Director, FSI, APAC, Red Hat

Social Media’s Contribution To The Rise Of Cross-Border Commerce

Cross-border commerce sees a continual growth year after year with a boom during the pandemic period partly due to social media. When lockdowns were in place due to the pandemic, people from all over the world utilised social media platforms like Tik Tok to post reviews about their online purchases and it influenced others to make purchases from businesses in any part of the world. 

It appears that everyone was utilizing social media more frequently than usual in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. People were  using it to stay in touch with their loved ones, spread critical information or safety precautions, and find humor during those trying times of the lockdown. E-commerce sales inevitaby increased as a result of COVID-19. Online shopping is nothing new, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many brick-and-mortar stores have all but been replaced by ecommerce.

With worldwide shipping, it is now possible for people to easily purchase items from countries like the US, UK and Europe without having to get on a flight to do it. With social media users learning of new products everyday, businesses can expect purchases from international consumers on a daily basis. With this growth, many businesses are starting to not see a need in having a physical store and instead, they would much rather invest in an online one. 

“The high social media penetration rate across the Asia Pacific region contributed to the rise of cross-border social commerce. In Singapore, for example, the live-streaming business has taken off in the last 3 years. Some brick-and-mortar retailers have also turned to live streams to overcome pandemic-induced challenges. Seamless transactions process and quality control are the keys to matching consumers’ expectations. We believe cross-border live-stream is definitely here to stay and will become increasingly important as consumers will no longer be satisfied with shopping through websites and will build expectations for it.”

– Michelle Chia, Co-founder of MDADA

Rising Customer Expectations

The increased use of social media also reflects the rising expectations of customers. Customers in 2023 anticipate a straightforward, practical, entertaining purchasing experience. They desire the ability to track their orders, make purchases through various channels, and get real-time updates on the progress of their delivery.

E-commerce companies need to foresee customer expectations and fulfill them if they want to keep up. Direct communication and indirect research are the greatest approaches to achieve this goal. For instance, post-purchase surveys, social media monitoring, and direct contact with the support staff are all methods for gathering data about client expectations and grievances. Businesses must comprehend the major complaints of their customers and develop solutions in response to their input.

One pertinent issue with cross-border commerce is payment options. Every country has their own payment services, currencies and banks. What ecommerce companies should do is find a way to provide a payment option that is convenient, accessible and feasible for their international consumers. The only way to get this done is by doing research and collaborating with Fintech companies that will allow businesses to reach a wider audience. 

Challenges Surrounding Cross-Border Commerce

Global businesses will face a mix of challenges in the coming years. Balance of supply and demand, being one. Operational efficiencies, given the flux of the global economy, being another. For example many businesses are currently expanding their sourcing in Vietnam and India, following China’s long pandemic lockdown. It’s not clear yet whether this will reverse in the near future.

The cost of cross-border commerce is also not going down and cash flow will need to be meticulously managed. Businesses will need to mind their fixed and variable expenses. Streamlining the cost of collecting and sending payments across borders helps protect margins.

Inflation and recession are obviously forefront in terms of concern and at the heart of the challenges businesses are facing in the coming year. Businesses are also faced with the lingering impacts of more than two years of shipping disruptions and component shortages around the world. While transportation rates are coming down, disruptions and shortages are still common, and there is still a notable amount of uncertainty that businesses must contend with in the coming year

– Sam Coyne, CMO at Currenxie

The Asian payments landscape is fragmented, as the widespread adoption of digital payments and push for cashless transactions has led to the rise of multiple digital payment service providers across the region. In fact, a McKinsey report noted that there were over 150 wallet licences being issued in Southeast Asia, and there are also numerous debit and credit cards available for consumers looking to make purchases online. 

However, this makes it a challenge for digital merchants to adopt and integrate in a secure manner, as many of them are non-interoperable. With hundreds of payment methods being used across the region, this adds cost and complexity for businesses, making it difficult to offer fast and frictionless experiences to consumers.

Arvind Swami, Director, FSI, APAC, Red Hat

The cross-border commerce sector will keep expanding in 2023. Organizations should anticipate increased obstacles in 2023 as a result of the business environment’s ongoing change and fast-paced nature. As businesses work to satisfy customer needs, consumer behavior will continue to evolve, supply chain disruptions will occur more frequently, and operational inefficiencies will increase. Additionally, the distinctions between online and offline shopping will become increasingly hazy. However, companies who follow these trends will be able to take advantage of possibilities to increase income and drive up sales.

Reasons To Consider Business Process Outsourcing For Your Company

18 January 2023

Today’s business process outsourcing companies are not just call centers; they are tech-driven customer service organizations.

Business process outsourcing is the practice of employing a third party to carry out tasks that are necessary for the operation of your organization. In essence, a corporation would employ a third-party organization to carry out critical but secondary business responsibilities. To handle payroll or the company’s finances, for instance, an advertising agency might contract with a financial firm. These outside services can assist a company in increasing efficiency and, as a result, success.

Companies frequently outsource their work when they believe a more qualified organization could do it more efficiently. The majority of the time, businesses find outsourcing to be more creative and effective than setting up a new department inside the organization to manage business activities.

Businesses big and small around the world will eventually be interested in BPO. All kinds of firms in a wide range of industries outsource various activities, from small startups to significant Fortune 500 companies, and the market is only expanding. Companies will seek out any advantage they can obtain when new, cutting-edge services are offered to help them outpace the competition. A guaranteed strategy to improve your firm’s functionality and grow your organization is to use a BPO business model.

The use of business process outsourcing (BPO) in the financial sector reduces operational inefficiencies and eliminates the need to work with multiple third-party service providers to manage business processes such as accounting, finance, HR, customer interaction, cross-selling, upselling, etc. The main business value proposition that BPOs provide is increased operational effectiveness and cost savings.

Financial organizations will outsource BPOs for their crucial but non-core tasks. Today’s business process outsourcing companies are not just call centers; they are also tech-driven customer service organizations. They are thought to be the industry that is currently most technologically advanced. BPOs help to expedite customer service and address a wide range of difficulties faced by them by leveraging the power of artificial intelligence, augmented reality, chatbots, and other technologies.

Through social media and online customer reviews, BPOs assist to elevate customer experiences. Additionally, outsourcing has allowed them to shorten their Time to Market, allowing them to release their products quickly. One of the main advantages of financial institutions working with BPOs is that they give financial brands the chance to increase revenues by creating effective cross-sell chances during client contacts. Additionally, business process outsourcing companies assist organizations in getting access to client feedback. This makes it simpler for the industry’s key players to comprehend the problems and adjust their business practices accordingly.

Additionally, BPOs provide back-office efficiency, which is crucial for boosting profitability in the financial sector. They combine finance and accounting services in an innovative way to achieve superior operational delivery. BPO service providers deliver exceptional operational inventiveness as well as smooth operation. To offer their clients the greatest solutions, they work with subject-matter experts that have practical knowledge in the industry. Therefore, BPO companies serve as a committed partner for innovation and transformation in the finance sector. Associating with business process outsourcing companies is increasingly seen as an investment for the progressive future rather than an alternative or a luxury because, on the whole, they help enhance customer experience and customer acquisition.

The constantly changing market necessitates ongoing innovation, which improves customer services. BPOs have access to software solutions that can fundamentally reorganize and redefine the organizations because they are tech-enabled businesses. Businesses that specialize in business process outsourcing are assisting the financial sector in making the switch from a transactional to a strategic model. BPO companies have been a huge aid to the industry by providing support for IT, knowledge processes, accounting, remote operations, payroll, purchasing, cross-selling, and upselling, among other things.  They not only aid in time and financial savings but also lessen duplication and operational inefficiencies. Business Process Outsourcing companies are thus becoming a crucial component of the financial sector with the usage of their cutting-edge technologies and experience.

Here are some other benefits of BPOs for companies to consider;

1. Cost-Saving Accounting Services

In general, businesses view outsourcing as an extra expense that is therefore unneeded for their operations. It is definitely not the correct impression. In actuality, the reverse is true. Companies  who are outsourcing accounting are eager to cut costs while, most importantly, maintaining quality. Given that most businesses can offer their services at cheaper pricing, outsourcing frequently results in significant savings typically due to lower labour costs at their location. In addition, outsourcing allows businesses to avoid paying for full-time or part-time employees’ salaries, taxes, office supplies, and benefits. Businesses will  just invest in what they require. 

2. Eliminate Time and Costs of Hiring Processes

If business leaders look at the bigger picture, they will see how difficult the hiring process is. Resources are needed to handle it, from developing a recruitment strategy to choosing candidates for interviews. The hiring procedure requires time and money from the company, and  they will need to set aside this time for the employee. Many businesses fail to account for the time they spend trying to find a qualified accountant. Additionally, expenses and time correlate equally. The savings made from outsourcing corporate processes on time and expenses should be taken into consideration.

3. Better Allocation Of Time

Finance leaders will discover that as the company expands, they will spend less time scaling the company and more time managing finances. So outsourcing administrative work, such as bookkeeping and accounting, will allow finance leaders to concentrate their time, effort, and resources on formulating business plans. Along with networking and customer relationship building, it will increase revenue.

4. Expert Accountants and Bookkeepers

You may be able to find a specialist with greater experience through outsourcing at a reasonable cost. Companies that provide outsourced bookkeeping and accounting services must continually raise their bar in terms of education and experience if they want to maintain market dominance. Imagine having 50 employees share one office. They can easily communicate new accounting techniques, approaches, and technologies. Additionally, excellent accounting firms have continuous participation and more broad access to training and courses.

Additionally, hiring an accounting firm as an outsourcing partner gives the organization access to their staff of accountants. By carefully selecting the outsourcing company, organizations can be assured that the accounting is in the hands of a reputable and experienced business.

5. Scaling Accounting Easily

The accounting service providers has the amount of availability to scale your services significantly without any lag. For example, if your bookkeeping and accounting tasks exceed the number of functions for 1 employee, you can easily be enforced with the extra workforce. Without the need to go through a rigorous recruitment process. Moreover, accounting and bookkeeping service providers are charging on an hourly basis. It means you can scale up or scale down the hours without any interruption.

Organizational Agility: The Key To Predicting & Responding To Changing Market Trends


13 January 2023

Many FP&A businesses today are faced with severe risks because they continue to operate in the old-fashioned manner and are not equipped to fulfill the functions that the leadership requires of them.

Today’s business executives must be very operationally agile in order to anticipate and react to shifting market conditions as well as possible threats and opportunities. Business agility has become a crucial component of success for many, and they want the same of their support and advisory roles. Recent global developments have made it very evident that businesses must be able to quickly analyze new scenarios, change course, and adapt to new circumstances. The CFO’s function as a strategic advisor and keeper of value and long-term performance is crucial in these times of transition. Many Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A) firms, however, are not (yet) capable of handling the job.

Business leaders need assistance from FP&A as they help to modify a business’ behavior and procedures to flourish in the “new normal”. Together, they can navigate through dynamic and occasionally uncharted waters by spotting potential risks and fresh possibilities early enough to still have time to respond wisely.

The Missing Link

A controlling department’s primary tasks should no longer be historical data analysis, financial report creation, annual planning, and forecasting. In order to uncover hidden value and identify potential dangers, FP&A is required to act as advisors in strategic decision-making by combining data from all areas of the firm.

To meet this expectation, FP&A units are embracing new technology, relocating to the cloud, automating procedures and reporting, or enhancing existing datasets—but these efforts are insufficient to change the role FP&A plays in the value generation and steering process. Instead, in order to optimize their investments in new technology and data, FP&A must completely redesign how they cooperate, manage, empower, and distribute insights. The adoption of business agility is the crucial component needed to connect digitization and business effect for FP&A.

Agility Adds Value

Businesses that deliver quickly and responsibly, innovate and disrupt, and continuously adjust their organizational structures and modes of cooperation are said to be agile in business. The military is one of the most cutting-edge industries for organizational agility. Despite their organizational scale and complexity, armed forces must mobilize resources quickly and effectively to counter ever-evolving physical and digital threats. A traditional chain-of-command culture and a standardized, process-driven strategy are ineffective in this situation. Instead, military officials support the idea of “agile and adaptable leadership,” in which trained soldiers make decisions on the spot to carry out the leadership’s mission.

CFOs and FP&A leaders can learn from the military’s approach to meet business leaders’ expectations for proactive, in-time, and cross-functional decision support despite how far distant it may appear from the day-to-day struggles of a financial controller. Additionally, implementing agility demands teams and leaders to embark on a transition journey, just like in the military. It will need dedication, patience, and guts to experiment with new approaches while continually learning how to work in an agile environment.

Achieving Agility In FP&A

The FP&A organization needs to concentrate on gaining skills in four crucial areas, with agile leadership and digital enablement as its cornerstones.

Business Partnership

Create relationships with company stakeholders that are strategic and value-driven in order to find opportunities, evaluate results, and make investment decisions. Many  CFOs are concerned that the finance function is reactive or that data and information sharing methods are not streamlined. CFOs also anticipate that they will still be concerned about these issues in 2023.

Business partners now have insights at their fingertips thanks to technology, and FP&A teams can model more, explore more possibilities, and evaluate potential effects in real time thanks to data and planning tools. Today, FP&A and the company can collaborate digitally or in person to make model changes in real time, see the anticipated results, and then recalibrate to make more accurate judgments. Utilizing an organization’s tribal knowledge from leadership to the front lines for integrated insights is essential today more than ever to achieve agility and respond without being reactionary.

Being A Learning Organization

Many FP&A companies would accurately describe themselves as learning companies. The capacity to switch from a focus on outputs to a focus on outcomes, however, is essential for continuing success as a trusted business advisor. This process is regularly assessing the results of ongoing investments and activities to decide whether to move forward as is, make adjustments, or take a different turn.

Due to the rapid change in the business environment, everyone inside the organization must develop their talents collectively. For instance, in order to advocate the best course of action, businessmen must have a better understanding of the benefits and limitations of technology, and IT professionals must comprehend business processes and desired results. Although it might seem obvious, this calls for an experimental mindset.

Modern Management

An agile FP&A team works with the front line and runs like a “small business” with a focus on a particular result. It determines the talents required (perhaps even a combination of internal and external personnel), gives the team autonomy over choices, secures internal finance, and outlines what it will undertake to accomplish the goal.

For instance, if a company wishes to enhance planning, it may allow teams to work freely within a set of concrete, quantifiable, and strategic objectives. An enormous, international firm that did this by using an inefficient, expensive, and time-consuming annual planning procedure. The organization decreased the time and effort spent on planning from a “all year round” process to a few weeks by radically rethinking the planning methodology, implementing the most recent planning technology, and experimenting with agile approaches (such as sprints).


The FP&A team must work together and draw on knowledge from several departments inside the company. A successful team is self-organized around a goal, given the freedom to decide, and laser-focused on value while using the least amount of effort possible. Collaboration teams assemble the ideal individuals for a predetermined period of time with the sole purpose of completing the task at hand—no long-term commitments. An agile team can quickly disassemble after resolving the business issue or producing the desired outcomes and move to the next location. In a hurried timeframe, FP&A and other business associates can collaborate as a cross-functional team.

Many FP&A businesses today are faced with severe risks because they continue to operate in the old-fashioned manner and are not equipped to fulfill the functions that the leadership requires of them. To direct the company strategically and adapt to shifting market conditions, business leaders constantly strive for quick, proactive, and analytics-driven decision assistance on their side. The introduction of technology by itself hasn’t been sufficient for FP&A to evolve into this position of an “intelligent business partner.”

The availability of data, performance transparency, and automation made possible by new technology are positive developments, but they do not, by themselves, enable teams to rethink how they work, cooperate to generate cross-functional insights, or partner for results. Incorporating agile principles into daily activities and introducing new working methods made possible by new tools and technologies will elevate FP&A’s position and multiply its influence in providing genuine value for the company. The CFO is in a crucial position to drive this FP&A transformation by challenging the established quo, encouraging employees to think creatively, eschewing conventional methods, and adopting an agile attitude.

Expense Management 2023 Industry Trend


12 January 2023

In 2022, countries started to open up again, and there was an undeniable upsurge in the number of people claiming expenditures. But what expense management trends can businesses expect in 2023?

In comparison to 2020, the corporate world is drastically different now. The way businesses operate, how their employees are paid, and how they use corporate funds have all altered during the past several years. While there has been a fast transition from traditional on-site job profiles to hybrid and remote work settings, there has also been a significant change in how businesses manage company spending.

In 2022, countries started to open up again, and there was an undeniable upsurge in the number of people claiming expenditures. But what expense management trends can businesses expect in 2023? The following are some areas that businesses might want to consider:

Driving Further Efficiency In Finance Departments

The efficiency of financial departments should be a priority for businesses, which are growing overall. Technology is being used widely and quickly to advance this development. When things change quickly, those who can adapt and those who dare to think unconventionally and are willing to question accepted solutions are the ones that succeed in the future.

For many businesses, calculating expenses is a laborious procedure that could be readily automated. Businesses should invest in software that makes it simple to submit expense claims, approve reimbursement requests, and generate reports. The organization will save time and money by using an app-based solution that enables on-the-spot expense claims and technologies for receipt analysis.

When purchasing tickets or hotels, make sure the solution can connect to the company credit cards directly to the cost management platform. The transactions are delivered straight to the app in this manner. The firm payroll system should be integrated with the cost management software to further streamline the process. Both the payroll staff and those using the expense solution will benefit from a significant time savings as a result. Everyone in the firm will benefit from it, creating a win-win situation.

Make The Move To Completely Digitize The Expense Management Process

The concept of totally digitalizing the expenditure management process has been around for a while, but have all businesses actually made the transition? The significance of having effective spending management is increased by working remotely and being continuously on the road. The management and reporting of expenses, mileage reimbursement, allowances, and benefits must be quick and easy for employees. Additionally, supervisors must have a reliable method for monitoring and approving staff costs. Therefore, in 2023, businesses should put a lot of effort into streamlining the entire expenditure management process, from the point at which an employee makes a purchase to the point at which it is paid and recorded.

Using an expense management solution with interfaces to various bank cards, automatic validation, and the capability to send reports to a number of the company’s systems is one approach to accomplish this. These are tasks that free up time for workers and reduce the likelihood of accounting errors, which frees up time for managers and guarantees accurate bookkeeping and salary payments.

Employees No Longer Need Expert Knowledge In Certain Areas

The shift is obvious when discussing administration in general: it is no longer solely administered by experts. Every employee makes use of both HR and finance software. The importance of systems having automated processes with their own intelligence (AI) and becoming faster and more secure is increasing. Employees do need to possess expert knowledge, but the system takes care of that for them. Instead of performing manual inspections, experts will be able to act on automatic warnings and devote their time to other value-adding activities.

Many financial professionals are hopeful that by 2023, the entire process will be moving rapidly rather than just the administration. Employees should be able to directly enter purchases made for the workplace, such as coffee, as a cost in their expense tool rather than having to wait until their next paycheck to be paid out and see a loss in their bank account. Future solutions must be intuitive, with a heavy emphasis on usability and built-in help, since most users won’t be system specialists who utilize them on a daily basis. Additionally, they must be simple to use, which entails being connected to other commonplace tools as well as functioning effectively on smartphones. 

The user now determines the requirements, according to finance leaders. When businesses choose to outsource their investment in digital systems in the past, the main goals were gathering and simplifying. Usability is now becoming more and more in demand. Because expenses are frequently entered while in motion and can be calculated automatically with the help of AI, the system must be adjusted to the user’s current demands. Because it is simple to accomplish, the user shouldn’t need to be aware of complicated VAT regulations or how allowances should be recorded.

The Need For Processes That Facilitate Both Users And Admins

After the pandemic, remote work has resumed, and travel and representation have also resumed. Because of this, businesses require sound procedures that support the needs of users and administrators who work from home offices and do not have the same possibilities to scan receipts or give those receipts to the finance department.

Budgets become more constrained by inflation and rising prices, thus you need tools to regulate certification flows and approval procedures. Businesses require tried-and-true cloud-based technologies that give them cost management and boost user productivity. More businesses will digitise their expense management procedures in 2023.

This is due to the pressure that an unpredictable financial environment imposes on businesses. Businesses will increasingly adopt process-optimizing technology, such as expense management solutions, as they can no longer tolerate slow procedures with significant alternative costs, such as lost time.

Customers increasingly want the ability to select and connect their favorite systems and apps because expectations for technology are always shifting. The expense management industry will start to see the effects of this transition in 2023. Banks, financial systems, expenditure management solutions, and customers all want to use their preferred payment method.

With a spreadsheet, managing little spending can be just about possible. However, an integrated expense app is the only sensible solution as the number of charges climbs into the tens, hundreds, and thousands. All employees’ demands must be met by effective expense management programs, which should also give finance teams control and be compatible with existing banks and systems.

All in all, these are the anticipated 2023 financial industry trends for expense management. It is clear from the key topics mentioned above, that businesses are rethinking their conventional finance operations and looking for solutions to streamline spend management. Businesses are now examining their financial stack and requesting better solutions that interface with their system rather than depending on what has historically been provided. From this, it is clear that business owners want to take back control of their corporate expense management software.

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