e is sitting in the waiting room of the direc-
tor of a factoring company, waiting to nego-
tiate financing his accounts receivable. He is
offered an espresso by the secretary. The machine
is behind her and she mumbles: “I have run out of
coffee…” She opens the petty cash box and rushes
away. Ten minutes later, he is enjoying his espresso.
Later on, he asks the director how the compa-
ny manages its small everyday expenses. Taken
aback, the director quickly brushes the subject
aside. This makes him realise that many financial
institutions still rely on pen and paper for keep-
ing track of their small office expenses.
Why are large companies – while offering the
best there is in customer service – not having the
same level of concern when it comes to manag-
ing their own internal business? One would argue
that generating income is essential to thriving on
the market – but what about spending controls?
Finance companies are starting to realise that this
matter is fundamental to their well-being. Their
procurement department may be busy requesting
quotes for procurement applications. Think about
the integration – what a headache! Think about all
the administrative functions necessary to manage
the internal day-to-day chores of a financial institu-
tion. Picture the grin on the auditor’s face when an
entry for espresso refills gets squeezed on the ledger,
between two multi-million dollars disbursements.
This director would love to run his factoring com-
pany using software that will ease the burden of the
nitty-gritty functions that management misses once
the business is up and running. But what are these
functions? And what software can be used to help?
A comprehensive internal consumption module
can track the procurement cycle from inception
to final payment to sundry and assets suppliers,
while a maintenance module can keep an eye on
those hard-to-keep machines and other expensive
electronic equipment. A relationship management
module can be used when meeting service suppli-
ers, equipment vendors, technicians, customers
and debtors. A document management system can
keep a digital copy of all the important documen-
tation, and identify the person who has filed away
the original document, and where it has been filed.
Do not forget an alert system reminds users of
things such as a contract renewal, a meeting with
a client or simply buying coffee capsules.
A scheduler will run reports tailored to whom-
ever requires them, which are then sent by e-mail
at set times. Furthermore, dashboards can be fed
by key performance indicator wizards and a dy-
namic business intelligence back-end.
By having the correct technology in place,
finance companies can cover all bases when it
comes to running their business.
Cherif Bedran is chief technology officer at
Finance and the
With companies increasingly focusing on customer service, all too
often internal processes are slipping under the radar
CHE R I F B EDRAN :
I NFORMAT I ON MANAG EMENT
V I EWPO I NT
“Generating income is essential
to thriving on the market – but
what about spending controls?”