For Emma Brown, it was as though she had just removed the sword from the fabled stone, a moment that would challenge the inclination to persistently question her own judgment when it came to business.
As is often the case, Brown’s moment of insight occurred in a high-pressure situation. Faced with poor financial visibility and the need to prevent a liquidity crisis, she championed the notion that her company’s finance team take a radical approach. Stripping everything back to basics, she delved into the fundamental aspects of cash flow, bank statements, and working capital.
This back-to-basics exercise revealed that the complexity of the business—large ERP systems, convoluted reporting, and complicated forecasting structures—was hindering understanding as well as impeding effective decision-making.
Brown’s strategic approach of simplifying complexity significantly boosted her confidence in navigating challenging situations within her career. The realization that complexity might indicate inherent issues within processes, systems, or structures shifted her perspective, empowering her to tackle problems with a newfound confidence. –Jack Sweeney
Made Possible By
CFOTL: Tell us about Medius … what does this company do, and what are its offerings today?
Brown: Medius provides a holistic software solution to manage the procure-to-pay process, with which I’m sure most finance listeners and CFOs are very familiar. We do it in an automated way, using AI to basically ensure accuracy at every step of the procure-to-pay process and make it much more optimized—as opposed to a very manual or email-led solution with POs and invoices and so forth, such as is usually done by companies that haven’t gone through the digital transformation to automate this process yet.Read More
Medius itself has been around for quite a long time, having been founded in Sweden in 2007. It’s now grown to where it has a very large customer base and processes over $200 billion of annual transaction spend through its various systems. This level of time and data has allowed it to develop, really, the smartest capture and AI tools in the market. Rather than just streamline your A/P processes, it really looks to eliminate some of them through AI. Depending on the customer’s comfort level in terms of using AI for some of these processes, it can be a fully autonomous A/P process with no human interaction. The accuracy rate of the touchless invoice capture and the automatic approval of invoices and so on is 99.7%. It’s a super-accurate system, probably more accurate than your average A/P clock.
It also incorporates an anti-fraud module, which basically highlights to the CFO or ultimate approver of invoices and payments any invoice or supplier details that require attention. Unlike your traditional ERP, which will have an invoice routing system within it that basically routes every invoice to somewhere for approval, this points out to you only the invoices that actually require approval because there’s some kind of issue or change or something out of the ordinary with that supplier or that level of spend that creates a higher risk that requires inspection. So, instead of the kind of mindless approve, approve, approve—which I think that we’ve all been guilty of on the last day of the month or the last day before the payment run, you know that you’re being shown only the invoices that you really need to pay attention to in order to make sure that you’re really actually looking at things and really identifying what any issues might be.
It’s basically a fully configurable system, with the level of automation driven by the customer’s level of comfort with AI adoption. We find that as customers use the system, they allow more and more of the autonomous processing as they get more and more comfortable in understanding that this is actually a lot more efficient and a lot more accurate than what they were doing before. jb