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The Future of Visible Commerce & the Role of Business Transparency

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How are businesses responding to demands for transactional transparency from customers and wider society? Company leaders need a more holistic approach, which means knowing what sits underneath all their transactions. At Basware, we see such Visible Commerce as a way to simplify operations, spend smarter and do more.​

Research reveals the need for transparency

We partnered with Harvard Business Review Analytic Services (HBRAS) to take the pulse of business leaders and to understand how automation is empowering strategic decision making at their firms. I am pleased to share the findings of how these elite company executives are using transparency to mitigate risk, create business value and hone their competitive edge. ​

The report, “Using Transparency to Enhance Reputation and Reduce Business Risk,” explores the full value that such transparency delivers. It provides a lens over the advantages of automating finance and procurement processes. It finds that those working toward the total visibility of the flow of money, goods and services are able to make more effective strategic decisions and that this transparency is a defining characteristic of winning businesses worldwide. Those that have invested in improving visibility across finance and procurement benefit from greater employee engagement, improved reputation and revenue growth.

Decrease risk and improve reputation through supply chain visibility

Conversely a lack of visibility across the supply chain, and the associated reputational risks, are recognized as a grave concern of Chief Executives and CFOs. Increasingly they are turning to their finance teams to explore the untapped potential of data-led insights to unlock the potential unrealized value that a better grasp of their operations could provide. The smooth flow of financial data between suppliers and buyers quietly underpins global trade. From ordering a taxi to renewing an option on wheat grain, we each have the power to change the world for better or worse with the push of a button.

Today’s interconnected world transcends physical boundaries and delivers tremendous business advantages in terms of speed, convenience and efficiency. But it also comes with the risk of allowing trusted human connections between buyer and supplier to be lost or faked. We live in a world where the technology giants Google and Facebook voluntarily paid out $172 million in fake invoices to a single man posing as a legitimate supplier.

Visibility makes better businesses & better corporate citizens

From accounts payable to quality management, visibility of such data is helping businesses to become better corporate citizens. It allows them to take responsibility for not only the quality of goods and services, but also the manner in which they are produced. Visibility of financial data is about more than purchase-to-pay solutions, although we believe this technology is a key enabler. It requires a wider shift in management attitudes toward tracking and valuing an organization’s reputation as a responsible operator. It is part of being able to prove to customers, partners and regulators that you are not just faster, cheaper and more efficient, but that you uphold high ethical standards that benefit society.

Businesses need visibility, the world thrives through transparency. From the opportunity to simplify operations, spend smarter and do more, automation of finance and procurement empowers businesses to move forward with confidence. I hope that this report encourages more to recognize the competitive advantage of Visible Commerce.

Learn more in the report

Download the HBRAS report, “Using Transparency to Enhance Reputation and Reduce Business Risk,” and see for yourself how organizations can overcome technical, organizational and cultural barriers to fully embrace business transparency.​

To learn more about how Basware can help your organization realize its own Visible Commerce Dividend, visit here.

Klaus Andersen is the CEO of Basware.

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