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The signals in the noise – what to look out for in the economy

EsaTihilä, CEO, Basware 

When looking at stories about the economy, there are many, they are diverse and it’s often difficult to find the ones that actually relate to your own business. The Chinese economy or the UK’s Brexit are issues that don’t necessarily affect you, and not directly in any case. So we’re taking a look instead at some of the practical areas in which you can take definite steps towards greater success.

Stronger buyer/supplier relationships neutralise some cyber criminals

The buyer/seller relationship, especially when it’s ad hoc, is a target for cyber criminals. Hackers gather enough data to impersonate a supplier. Then they manipulate authorised personnel in the business to transfer funds to nefarious accounts.

Strong relationships, in which collaboration and swift payments are characteristic, can stop this from happening. The easier it is to defraud a company, the more criminals will be attracted. The phishing techniques to gather information are common, yet unfamiliar to many. In reality, businesses won’t stop criminals getting the data to attempt the crime.

Neutralising these threats requires visibility over the financial supply chain. Fraudulent transactions stand out more clearly when there is a formality to the genuine ones. A structured buyer/seller network helps to pre-qualify companies and validate that you’re not communicating with an imposter.

Alternative Finance providers will offer more strategic services

Multiple sources show the volume of alternative financing growing exponentially. As ‘alternative’ becomes more mainstream, lenders will consolidate and become more strategic.

The biggest impact for businesses will be that the top financing providers will offer more services. Adding payments and cashflow support will help to develop a well-rounded financial supply chain. Businesses need full visibility control over their cashflow in order to find the efficiencies that will help them to grow.

Business should look for the alternative financing companies that have this strategic approach. More supporting services will create confidence on both sides of the lending agreement, which helps cashflow to remain strong.

Giving businesses confidence about regulations and Compliance

Europe has set itself a deadline of 2018 for government suppliers to be e-invoicing ready. There are also regulations in the US and non-mandatory initiatives in Australia. There’s a big push around this, in order to make governments more efficient, and we have written about this before, here.

Any deadline forces companies to take a second look to make sure that they are acting in accordance with regulations. Those that have implemented a well-considered e-invoicing strategy already will be those that approach these deadlines with high confidence that they are compliant. And they will have already seen the benefits in time and cost that this strategy can achieve.

Ultimately, the lesson that we all can learn from this, is that businesses should remain focused on effective cashflow and their broader financial viability.

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