Approvals – finance requires them. Managers detest them. Approvals aren’t just a matter of compliance and controls. Many are actually critical to executing important business processes such as approving a sales discount quickly to win a customer’s business, a purchase requisition to expedite time-to-market, or even expense reports for accurate end-of-quarter reporting. A clunky approvals process that doesn’t move at the pace of the business creates real operational drag and can impact the bottom line.
But why does it have to be so hard? It doesn’t.
Here are 3 Top Tips for improving your approval processes – to make your organization more agile and your users happier, while ensuring that finance has the visibility and control needed to support the organization.
Tip #1: Simplify the Workflows
Most ERP-based approval processes are engineered with a lowest- common-denominator approach. They tend to expose all of the fields and steps that might be required for the most complex approval, even though most approvals don’t require that many steps or nearly that much information. There are easy ways to adapt approval workflows with a “minimalist” approach, displaying just the necessary information and steps, depending on the type of approval.
Tip #2: Consolidate the Approval Requests
Large organizations typically have many back-office applications, including line of business specialty applications, and in many cases, duplicate types of systems resulting from mergers and acquisitions. These applications cover many forms of approvals – expenses, timesheets, purchase orders, purchase requisitions, credit memos, vacations, and more. Instead of processing approvals from different systems, you could give your managers a single consolidated queue of approvals that they could quickly and easily process all in one place. It’s similar to the “unified inbox” concept that many smartphones use – you don’t need to put in separate passwords or worry about which account a given email came from. It’s all in one place, shielding the users from the complexity and nuances of each of the individual applications.
Tip #3: Leverage Native Mobile Functionality for Push Notifications
Your business moves too fast to have critical approval processes waiting on email-triggered approvals, which then require managers on the road to boot up their laptop, get on a network, log in to the VPN, and access the system and navigate the screens to process an approval. By making all of your business-critical approval processes available on mobile devices and leveraging native functionality for push notifications, you eliminate time- consuming steps for your managers. Managers can then approve– or deny – with a quick swipe, directly from their phone. Far quicker and more efficient than email-based approvals that tend to sit in an already-cluttered mailbox for busy managers.
How Capriza Can Help
Capriza offers a cloud-based solution that consolidates critical approval workflows from all of your ERP, operational, and financial applications (e.g. SAP, Oracle, PeopleSoft, custom apps, etc.) into a quick, simple, and consistent experience available on any mobile device. By simplifying, consolidating, and mobilizing your approvals, you’ll improve your organization’s agility, while maintaining compliance, in a way that’s simple and convenient for your business users. Volvo Financial Services, RPC, Titan Machinery, MasterCard International, Western Digital, and more rely on Capriza to simplify and consolidate their approvals processes.