How AI will shape the future of the finance department

As artificial intelligence adoption gathers pace, CFOs need to envisage how it will transform their finance departments and the work they do. AI frees finance teams from low-level tasks that consume their workday, and enables them to focus on higher-level strategic activities that directly contribute to the growth and success of the organisation…

Finance departments are undergoing digital transformation. The dual and dynamic pressures of Brexit and slower UK growth are forcing CFOs to compete harder than ever on cost and productivity, and to provide new products and services for new markets.

To survive and thrive, CFOs need to run more efficient departments. Only then will they have the capacity to provide higher-value services. Efficiency is about cutting costs, saving time and scaling services. Cognitive automation holds the answer: providing finance professionals with more time to grow their capabilities and make better use of data and insight. Powered by decision automation, this will enable Finance to:

Deliver better financial performance. Execute better analysis of risks and opportunities through real-time monitoring and predictive analytics.

Prioritise client requirements. AI helps integrate and monitor data from a huge set of sources and identify what is important to individual clients and stakeholders.

Use digital assistants for fast insights. Like Apple Siri and Amazon Echo, CFOs can have a conversation with a cognitive robot to identify anomalies without having to open a dashboard.

Achieve error-free data entry and management. Data entry is usually riddled with errors, but automated decision systems can pick up on conflicting and missing information, cross reference new data with historical data, and apply any other rules as defined by the business.

 Access automated analytics. Any deviations in analysis and results currently need to be scrutinized in time-consuming and painstaking detail. AI improves on this by drilling into the numbers to quickly and easily explain the source of the deviation and what it means to the business.

As advanced technologies like cognitive automation continue to impact the finance function, the question now is not whether CFOs should adopt AI but about how fast they can do so. AI enables finance teams to spend more time conducting analysis and joining the dots between customer behaviour, financial outcomes and strategic decision making.

How ERPaaS can help

With our cognitive intelligence platform, you can:

  • Achieve error-free data. Our platform eliminates the need to manually check data across each system by updating and validating changes across all connected systems.
  • Drill into the numbers to deliver fast insights. Reliable and error-free data that’s been automatically verified and compliance checked frees you up to focus on higher-value insight tasks.
  • Access real-time analytics. Any non-compliances are automatically flagged so Finance doesn’t have to spend time checking every data deviation.
  • Solve issues that demand your attention. Our platform resolves common errors and performs routine tasks without human input, so finance teams can make better use of their expertise and contribute directly to the growth of the organisation.

Contact Colin King on 01463 710 816 or email info@erpaas.com today to find out how ERPaaS can power better financial performance.

 

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Finance processes best suited for cognitive tools

As the finance function comes under increasing pressure to shrink costs, support growth and provide business insights, there is enormous potential for cognitive automation to support CFOs and finance directors in informing strategy and making suggestions in real-time.

Cognitive automation gives organisations a competitive advantage by meeting the key challenges today’s finance function faces. Here’s how:

  • It radically improves cost efficiency
  • It helps Finance remain in control of a constantly changing environment
  • It allows Finance to focus skilled resource on driving value creation for the business.

Implementing intelligent technologies allows CFOs and finance directors to easily ask questions of their data analytics to make educated decisions with confidence. But how can CFOs ensure they are implementing cognitive automation so it delivers economic success? The best results can be achieved when artificial intelligence is applied to the right processes. Finance can take full advantage of automation by allowing cognitive technology to…

  • Take the guesswork out of sales forecasts. A missed forecast can lead to low employee morale, potential job losses, weaken shareholder value and ultimately compromise the success of a company. Cognitive automation enables finance teams to make more precise predictions by collating accurate revenue forecasts in real-time to paint a clear picture of a company’s financial data.
  • Simplify invoicing. Matching incoming payments with invoices has long been a frustration for accounting teams – spending valuable time tracking down missing information and who’s paying for what. However, cognitive automation can combat this persistent headache by reading documents and searching for relevant and missing information to match payments with invoices, freeing up employees to spend time on higher-value tasks.
  • Help CFOs answer more questions in boardroom. Finance teams often say they are drowning in data but starving for information. When the board is asking questions like: “How do you plan to grow the company?” “What’s holding growth back?” “Are there any uncertainties facing the business?” and “What are the greatest areas of spend and return?” making sense of the data to answer these business-critical questions is often hopeless. Cognitive automation can solve this dilemma by turning the tsunami of data into meaningful answers the board needs.
  • Unlock unstructured data. Cognitive automation can identify underground trends impacting businesses. From unlocking rich insights from sources like social media, emails and even call-centre transcripts, artificial intelligence holds the key to helping Finance develop and scale customer-centric services to advance their competitive position.
  • Take care of continuous accounting. Finance teams no longer need to sweat the small stuff – daily accounting transactions, budgeting and compiling spreadsheet reports. Instead, cognitive automation will do the work so they can focus on providing informed insights and delivering higher-value inputs that add real benefit to the business.
  • Handle strategic risk management. Cognitive computing lends itself particularly well to risk management, as threats usually include unlikely or unclear events. Cognitive capabilities are surpassing traditional analytics to tackle massive data sets by identifying any indicators of known and unknown risks.
  • Complete sophisticated planning and forecasting. Artificial intelligence can save employees from days of historical data analysis by scanning reports and compiling results in seconds – even while employees are sleeping. Thanks to cognitive tools, Finance can respond and adjust to changes in the economy and across industries incredibly fast.
  • Meet the increasing demands of stakeholders, investors and boards. Producing corporate reports which satisfy the needs of key stakeholders in the business is critical. Cognitive tools can pull the relevant data from multiple systems to present meaningful data which helps stakeholders make informed decisions on how best to grow the business.

How ERPaaS can help

With our cognitive intelligence platform, you can:

  • Easily validate invoice data to ensure the format is compliant and consistent.
  • Answer more questions from the board with reliable and error-free data that’s been automatically validated and compliance-checked.
  • Unlock more unstructured data within emails and FAQs for analysis. Questions are then automatically answered or redirected to the appropriate department without human input.
  • Focus on higher-value tasks that demand your attention whilst automation takes care of continuous accounting.

Contact Colin King on 01463 710 816 or email info@erpaas.com today to find out how ERPaaS can drive value creation for your business.

How an AI approach can boost your company’s performance

It used to be that to be successful in finance you just needed a good head for numbers. But just like paper gave way to spreadsheets, digital worksheets are now giving way to autonomous thinking machines that will redefine the finance department forever…

Why is automation so important to building tomorrow’s finance department? According to Accenture, it will be a key component of creating a guaranteed income for a large part of the global economy. The research revealed that AI has the potential to boost average rates of profitability by 38% and lead to an economic boost of $14 trillion across 16 industries and 12 economies by 2035.

And with finance and CFOs being called on more and more by the C-suite and departments like sales, marketing, HR and operations to provide raw data and sophisticated analytics to make sense of what’s going on in the business, finance teams have an increasing role to play in strategic business thinking.

But with all this data swamping finance teams, it can be a struggle to answer the needs of other departments without the help of automation. AI changes this by enabling finance to hand over many routine manual tasks – such as collecting high quality data, prepping reports and processing general analysis – to focus on providing high-value insight that helps drive business growth and performance.

As the role of the CFO evolves, it’s logical that the role of the finance team will evolve with the increasing use of cognitive automation, cloud systems and analytics. Here are a few ways AI can boost the performance of the finance department.

  • Rather than reconciliation work, finance teams will be carrying out analysis and insight work. It’s predicted that automation will eliminate up to 40% of the transactional work the finance department does today, opening finance to new tasks they didn’t have the capacity to perform before.
  • Finance will have the ability to create more timely reports. Automation will position finance to provide better-quality data, more cost-effectively in real-time so organisations can be more forward-looking.
  • Finance will be able to share alternative data that supports business-critical decisions. Incorporating data from other sources, such as social media which complements existing data, will help the board understand how well the company is performing so it can make proactive decisions. This has the potential to be one of the most important competitive advantages.
  • Rather than producing static reports, AI will help finance engage investors with reports tailored to their requirements. Structured financial and non-financial data in the form of interactive reports will serve key stakeholders and investors with information that’s fit for their needs.
  • AI will maximise efficiency, find patterns across complex data sets and engage other departments. Cognitive automation changes everything by finding trends hidden in complex data to unearth insights in a way that has never been possible before. Self-service dashboards will give other departments access to the data they need instantly without taking up the finance team’s time and resources.
  • In the age of AI, financial personnel will need ‘softer’ skills. While there will still be a need for accountants and analysts, new cognitive technology will mean that in addition to needing more strategists, data scientists and IT professionals, financial teams will need to embrace skills like communication, teamwork and conflict resolution.

While the implementation of cognitive automation is still in its early phases, the future is coming faster than you think.

How ERPaaS can help boost your company’s performance
With our cognitive intelligence platform, you can:

  • Reconcile data from multiple systems in one central location that instantly validates data and checks for compliance.
  • Automatically answer queries and validate payments, invoices and expense claims without human intervention.
  • Deal with non-compliant claims before they’re submitted. Our platform automatically flags non-compliant claims, so there’s no need for manual checks.
  • Give employees a self-service app to change their personal details (address, bank account information, and additional information that may change their benefits and entitlements). All data is automatically validated and checked for policy compliance via the app to reduce payroll errors.
  • Say goodbye to paperwork and the human errors that come with it. Our platform makes filing, data processing and updates more efficient and streamlined.

Contact Colin King on 01463 710 816 or email info@erpaas.com today to find out more.

Five company culture improvement ideas that work

Keeping your employees engaged and happy isn’t about shiny slides or having free beer on tap, it’s about improving the small everyday things and empowering them to do things for themselves. This article will help HR create better, intuitive processes to prove to employees that the business cares about the small things…

Company culture is shaped by our daily work rituals – just like exercising well leads to better health, investing in your people and good processes will naturally improve company culture.

Here are five easy, actionable ideas you can implement today to improve company culture, both in the short and long-term:

1. Encourage staff to take holidays
Not every member of staff takes the time off they’re entitled to. A study by Direct Line Travel Insurance revealed that up to four million British workers do not take their full holiday allowance every year, and this could be having a detrimental impact on the health and wellbeing of staff. Ask yourself if your current absence management processes make employees feel comfortable about requesting time off. To encourage employees make full use of their annual leave by stipulating when employees need to use their holidays by and implementing an automated system that sends them reminders to book time off. Not only does this result in happier individuals, but a well-rested and healthier workforce is good for business.

2. Reimburse expenses faster
Slow expense processes can be draining, especially on the people who are out-of-pocket and the financial teams wading through mounds of receipts to get them processed. Add to this sloppy submitting, approval lags and reimbursement holdups, and everyone involved can end up feeling scornful and frustrated. Through automation, you can save days on your expense system, gain a real-time picture of your expense liabilities and compensate employees quickly in the process.

3. Give employees regular feedback
Many employees don’t get enough feedback, and when they do get it once a year it’s often based on outdated information and unfair ranking systems (Read our blog on Why unconventional reviews work). Regular, timely feedback can vastly improve performance, reinforce positive behaviours and create that all important feeling of togetherness so everyone works towards the same goal.

4. Make it easy for employees to request appraisals
We know that conducting regular appraisals with staff opens doors to make employees feel valued and refocused. But take this further by giving employees the autonomy and opportunity to ask for appraisals when they feel the need to understand when and why they’re doing well, and how to fix things when they’re not. This will give them a sense of control over their own destiny so they strive to make more of a success of their role.

5. Enable employees to report absences in real-time
Sickness absence can have a big impact on productivity levels and the morale of employees if managed poorly. When dealing with unplanned absences, line managers need to deliver a personalised approach for every employee to make them feel like they’re being treated fairly. Implementing a self-service system where staff can report in sick on their smartphones will help managers capture timely and accurate information to better manage absence and apply a policy to fit the employee’s needs.

Why unconventional appraisals work

 The world of performance management is changing rapidly, but the way we manage our people hasn’t yet caught up. Many frontline managers are still relying on old management practices that are no longer effective or contribute to challenges with productivity. Let us show you some ways to freshen up your approach to appraisals…

The traditional performance appraisal – based on an annual rating system – is fundamentally flawed and disparate from the values-based, vision-driven and collaborative work environments that many organisations claim to have.

We now live in a world where business moves too quickly for annual reviews to be effective, and where people want immediate and meaningful feedback. By removing ratings and switching to more frequent, less formal check-ins, people can develop faster without the fear of having to justify a rating at the end of the year.

There are various approaches managers can use for different situations to motivate, engage and retain their employees. Here are a few ideas to help you shake things up:

  • Monthly 1-2-1s. Some workers need goals once a month or even once a week (depending on your industry). Have regular catch ups to assess how employees are feeling about their current workload and whether they need more goals to work towards. Frequent communication helps with employee engagement and development as managers better understand how their people are doing.
  • Quarterly team performance reviews. Work is happening in teams more than ever, and many people are involved in multiple teams that often spread around the world. This makes it difficult for managers to accurately know their team members’ performance, with employees doing work managers don’t see or even understand. Setting team goals to align every team member allows managers to correctly assess performance to set goals for the next quarter.
  • Annual performance review. If done and managed properly, annual reviews can work. There’s no need to get rid of them completely as they can build a culture of trust among employees and managers. Use data for the whole year to talk about an employee’s performance and help them work towards their longer-term career goals.
  • Real-time feedback. Whenever it feels right, it’s always good to give employees real-time feedback so they can improve their performance fast or feel appreciation in the moment. Regular reviews and feedback are needed so employees can constantly improve their performance and enjoy their time at the company.

Let’s look at a few companies that have changed their performance reviews:

Google exercises peer reviews so it doesn’t rely on management to collate feedback. Instead, it gathers realistic feedback from the people on the ground.

Zappos’ reviews are always linked to the company values to ensure the culture thrives via its employees.

Gap adopts monthly coaching sessions called GPS (grow, perform, succeed) between management and employees instead of annual reviews.

GE has a performance tracking mobile app that allows employees to make text and audio notes, attach documents and upload handwritten notes so managers can collaborate on progress and goal-setting.

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If your current appraisal process isn’t working for you then think about an approach that feels right for your employees and company culture. Once you’ve found a solution that works for you, there are eight things you should always practice when it comes to conducting reviews:

  1. Transparency – set clear goals from the get-go
  2. Recognition – remove any fear by starting off with a positive
  3. Create an action plan together – start mapping out goals with the employee so they have a sense of ownership
  4. Set personal goals – what are their career goals and how can you help them?
  5. Take notes and follow up – note down everything you’ve discussed and follow up to make sure everyone is on the same page
  6. Gather regular employee feedback – make regular check-ins to ensure everything is on track
  7. Focus on behaviour, not personality traits – it’s easier for employees to accept feedback on what they do rather than about who they are
  8. Use as much data as possible give employees real-time feedback that’s more accurate.

 

Four things frontline managers can do to reduce absence

Managing and reducing absence is tough. Especially when your absence policy isn’t consistently applied across the business and managers default back to approaches that ‘work for them’. We’ve listed four simple ways frontline managers can easily, accurately and speedily manage unplanned absence.

  1. Schedule return to work calls, welfare calls and reminders.
    When someone is on long-term leave, return-to-work management can be complex and costly. Implement the right processes by recording sickness absence, keeping in contact with sick employees, planning to help employees adjust to returning to work, and coordinating the return to work process to support them to stay in work.

Solution: ERPaaS eradicates the problem of paper and collates all the information to automate the steps that need to be taken for anyone returning to work.

  1. Deliver a personalised approach for every employee.
    When dealing with absence, managers need to take into consideration an employee’s specific circumstances, as well as their history. It’s important that managers don’t just default to approaches they’ve used in the past – they need to apply a policy in a way that treats employees fairly and uniquely.

Solution: The ERPaaS Absence Management Solution helps managers follow the right approach for different situations by guiding them through HR policies and accessing their records so they can make quick and fair decisions.

  1. Support employees with mental health issues.
    Mental health is a growing contributor to absence, and is costing UK businesses 91 million days a year. If you think someone is having mental health issues, try to pin-point the underlying issue to reduce the risks of any working conditions (i.e. unfair workload, bullying etc.), monitor wellbeing and follow up at the right times to help improve their welfare, performance and presenteeism.

Solution: The ERPaaS Absence Management Solution helps managers follow and manage the process to make better, more informed decisions about dealing with different mental health issues and problems.

  1. Enable staff members to report in sick on their phone.
    Implementing a self-service system for employees means they’ll be able to do more of their administration themselves – easing the burden on managers. A major advantage of enabling employees to report in sick via an app on their smartphone is it provides timely and accurate information.

Solution: Our app gives your employees 24/7 access from any device, anywhere.

How to reduce unscheduled absence

“We’ve never had more tools to manage absence, but does your organisation have the skills to make the right decisions?” Asks Andy Fisher, Human Resource Product Manager at ERPaaS…

Unscheduled absences of any kind can be hugely disruptive to productivity, and while they remain a fact of life in the workplace, reducing absence isn’t as simple as it sounds.

People miss work for a variety of reasons from childcare and eldercare pressures to illness, injuries, and increasingly mental health issues relating to stress, burnout and even bullying and harassment. Mental health is a growing contributor to absence and is costing UK businesses 91 million days each year (Centre for Mental Health, 2015).

But with so many reasons behind absence and an array of tactics to deal with them (see table below), it’s no surprise that today’s frontline managers can feel overwhelmed when it comes to dealing with absenteeism.

Approaches used to manage short-term absence (% of respondents)

*Approaches used to manage short-term absence (% of 880 respondents). Taken from CIPD Absence Management: Annual survey report 2016

According to the CIPD, 93% of organisations have an absence and attendance written policy in place but many businesses are still turning to dedicated ‘absence management’ teams, with 11% nominating absence case managers for short-term absence, and 22% for long-term absences. But this approach doesn’t solve the problem of absenteeism as it takes the decision away from frontline managers who are best equipped to manage it.

A smarter approach to absence management
At ERPaaS, we’re supporting frontline managers by helping them use artificial intelligence to make better, more consistent decisions when dealing with unscheduled absence. We’re preventing them from falling into the trap of defaulting to familiar responses and approaches so they make the right decisions for individuals at the right time. We believe that’s the only way to truly tackle and reduce rates of unscheduled absence.

We’d love to hear about your experiences of dealing with absence, so please leave a comment below.

Alternatively, if you’d like to learn more about how our intelligent platform can help you improve the implementation of HR and absence policies, email us at info@erpass.com or call us on 01463 710 816. You can also complete our contact form below and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

4 Things You Should Be Doing to Combat Presenteeism

Your organisation is undoubtedly concerned about rising rates of absenteeism, but has it considered the effect of presenteeism?

Almost 75% of people surveyed by CIPD in 2016, across all sectors and sizes of organisation, report that they have observed presenteeism – employees coming to work while unwell, rather than taking sick leave – with one in five reporting that more than half of all employees in their organisation work in spite of their ill health. CIPD’s findings suggest that presenteeism often results in stress-related absence and mental health problems, with organisations that focus on wellbeing and mental health being less likely to report increases in presenteeism. Continue reading

Parental Leave – too complex to comply?

Every year, tens of thousands of new mothers in the UK are forced to give up their jobs due to issues largely relating to both employers’ and employees’ understanding (or lack thereof) of parental statutory rights and maternity leave.

This number isn’t hard to believe when you realise that new mothers encounter significant problems when requesting time off and flexible working, and that 16% of employers feel maternity leave is too difficult to implement.

It seems that parents are receiving a fair amount of misinformation, too – about 21% of employed mothers believe they are only entitled to 39 weeks of statutory paid maternity leave, despite being entitled to an extended maternity leave of up to 52 weeks, and fathers who choose not to take paternity leave tend to do so because they don’t think they can afford to take the time off, even though they’re entitled to pay during that time.

On top of this, almost half of all pregnant women in the UK are disadvantaged in some way simply for being pregnant or taking maternity leave, and around 7% of those women (30,000 people!) lose their jobs as a direct result of their pregnancy. Discrimination due to pregnancy or parenthood status is illegal, and yet this sort of thing continues to happen every day.

The main reasons that employers give for not complying with the law, whether unintentionally or otherwise, seem to be the costs and difficulties associated with planning and organising work or cover for employees who are pregnant or on maternity leave, as well as a general lack of knowledge or understanding of maternity rights.

It’s no surprise, then, that there is such a stigma attached to parental leave – the complexity of the process itself seems to be a significant contributing factor to employers’ reluctance to allow certain types of parental leave, as well as to all parties’ overall lack of understanding of statutory leave entitlements. Aside from the cultural expectations regarding the roles of mothers and fathers, the discrimination that some parents experience in the workplace could, in fact, be an indirect result of the pressure that managers experience during the parental leave process, which largely seems to centre around the cost incurred by the organisation.

 So how do we solve these problems?

There are three simple steps that you can take to avoid the common problems associated with parental leave:

  1. Remove the burden of knowledge from employees

It seems logical to combat this lack of knowledge by educating your organisation’s entire workforce about their entitlements and the legal issues surrounding parental leave, but is this inevitably costly process – which will have to be repeated often – really the best solution?

Instead, consider the benefits of completely removing the burden of knowledge from your employees and placing it onto your ERP system, which already deals with many of your other policies and procedures, allowing your policies to work as intended without relying on an employee’s understanding of that policy to determine its success.

If the steps of the procedure are predetermined and automated, and if your policies are not open to interpretation, there’s much less room for error, and even less room for personal opinions to affect the final judgment.

  1. Keep it mobile

Your employees need time to discuss their choices with their partners, families and medical teams, and they need to be able to easily compare and contrast all their options so they can find the dates that are perfect for everyone involved.

A request process that can be initiated from any location is ideal in this case, as it will allow your employees to make their decisions with the help of others and see the results in real time, rather than relying on their memory of a prior discussion and trying to make the decisions on their own.

If your employees can take their time and don’t feel rushed or pressured to decide before they’re ready, they can have more confidence in their final decision. This will speed up the process and managers will be able to organise cover for that employee’s work much sooner.

In the event that an employee does have to alter their request, a process that can be initiated from home immediately, rather than one that requires them to visit the workplace, will help you to avoid that last-minute panic to organise cover by notifying you as soon as possible. 

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  1. Keep it simple

It’s clear that many managers are uncomfortable with the idea of employees taking parental leave, both because of the negative effects imposed on other employees and because of the costs incurred by the organisation. It could be that finding cover for the employee’s role is too difficult or costly on short notice, or that the entire process is too lengthy and involved, subtracting from time that should be spent doing something more productive.

These concerns are valid, but they’re also very easily solved by ensuring that the process is kept as simple as possible.

Managers don’t need to be involved at every step of the way – they only need to be informed when the employee has reached their final decision so they can provide their approval and organise cover. There’s also no reason for the process to involve a large amount of information gathering if your organisation has its own ERP system, as most of that information is already present.

The perfect parental leave process will ensure that the employee is provided with all the information they need to make their decision without excessive managerial input, and will aim to reduce complexity as much as possible to minimise the time spent seeking clarification and increase the time that managers have to organise cover or redistribute workloads.

By taking these steps, you can ensure that your employees not only feel comfortable requesting parental leave, but also that they receive no less than what they’re legally entitled to and no more than your policies allow.

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ParentalLeavePlus can help!

ERPaaS have developed ParentalLeavePlus, which implements these solutions for you in the form of a user-friendly, mobile-enabled application that integrates directly with your ERP system. It enables employees to create clear projections of their parental leave entitlement based on different dates and circumstances as many times as they like, from wherever they like, reducing the length of the process to mere minutes and ensuring that both legal and organisational policies are enforced consistently in every situation without bias or error.

Considering how easy it is for employees to generate these projections and to understand exactly what they’re entitled to, requests can easily be submitted months before the leave is due to start, enabling managers to organise appropriate cover or distribute the workload evenly between remaining employees without difficulty.

When using ParentalLeavePlus, you may also find that you’d benefit from another of our applications, FlexibleWorkingPlus, which can ensure that every new parent’s return to work happens as smoothly and comfortably as possible by simplifying the process of requesting and approving flexible working patterns.

Best of all, these applications can be up and running within two months, and we don’t charge for consultation or support, so your organisation can begin saving right from the get-go!

Find out more about ParentalLeavePlus

If ParentalLeavePlus sounds like something your organisation would benefit from, or if you would like to find out more information, visit www.erpaas.com, or click here to view and download our ParentalLeavePlus brochure. If you have any questions or thoughts, feel free to leave a comment below, contact us via Twitter, or send us an email at info@erpaas.com.

(This post is part of a series of posts showcasing the benefits that each of our PolicyPlus applications can bring to your organisation. Click here to visit the original post and view a list of all the posts in the series.)

 

FlexibleWorkingPlus – A Flexible Application for Flexible Working

It’s been more than two years since the right to request a flexible working pattern was extended to all employees of UK businesses, and yet less than 9% of job vacancies in the UK currently offer flexible working.

Here at ERPaaS, most of our employees work flexibly, and it really does make a difference. We’re quicker to respond to urgent issues, we’re more comfortable and therefore less stressed, we’re more productive and we have a better work-life balance. Flexible working equals flexible employees who can respond and adapt to any situation or life circumstance. On top of that, because a lot of us work from home, we also save a fortune on office space, commuting, equipment, and sick pay (there’s no need to pull a sickie when your working pattern perfectly suits your lifestyle!).

Most of the above goes without saying; the advantages of flexible working patterns have been reported on and blogged about and presented at conferences for years now, but nobody ever seems to focus on the main disadvantage – the cost. How on Earth can an organisation that already has complex processes, policies and procedures in place – along with the matching computer systems – ever hope to implement a new set of policies and procedures on such a large scale without generating a huge bill?

It’s the classic corporate computer conundrum: your organisation’s computer systems are monstrous and unyielding, stubbornly standing in the way of progress and refusing to accommodate any changes without an unreasonable amount of effort and cost. How can you realistically achieve the seemingly miraculous cost savings that are being reported on every other week? The initial consultation alone could set you back tens of thousands of pounds, if not more, and who knows how long the project will actually take?

Well, we want you to know that it doesn’t have to be this way – your computer systems should be just as flexible as your working patterns!

ERPaaS have developed FlexibleWorkingPlus, a PolicyPlus application that is designed to automate your flexible working policies to provide a simple and efficient method of requesting and approving flexible working patterns from anywhere and at any time. It’s fully mobile enabled, so you don’t have to worry about having to travel in to the office to use it, it’s extremely user friendly, meaning it can be ready for use immediately with little to no training required, and it integrates directly into your existing ERP system, so you won’t have to spend time transferring data.

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FlexibleWorkingPlus is, of course, flexible enough to accommodate policies of any shape and size, regardless of their prevalence in your industry, so you don’t have to worry – all your non-standard policies will be applied exactly as intended, and the process for updating them is just a simple as it would be for any standard policy.

Best of all, we aim to get your new application up and running within two months, so there’ll be no waiting around, and we don’t charge for consultation, development or support.

We know first-hand how important flexible working can be to an organisation, so we’ve worked hard to design an application that will make its implementation as straightforward and quick as possible. If your organisation is looking to offer some degree of flexibility in employee working patterns, or if you have already done so but desperately need to streamline the process, FlexibleWorkingPlus is almost certainly the solution to all your problems.

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For more information, visit www.erpaas.com, or click here to view and download our FlexibleWorkingPlus brochure. If you have any questions or thoughts, feel free to leave a comment below, contact us via Twitter, or send us an email at info@erpaas.com.

(This post is part of a series of posts showcasing the benefits that each of our PolicyPlus applications can bring to your organisation. Click here to visit the original post and view a list of all the posts in the series.)