ABN Amro Piloting Touchfree Accounting Solution for SMEs

ABN AMRO and InvoiceSharing are launching a comprehensive solution to provide SMEs with 24/7 insight into their accounts so they can estimate their working capital needs well in advance. The benefit for entrepreneurs: significantly reduced costs. At Finovate Europe 2017 in London, ABN AMRO and InvoiceSharing are introducing the pilot, in which 20 companies will test-run the new solution.

The solution is geared at SMEs with annual revenues of 2 to 20 million euros. These companies can now automate their largely manual accounting processes, without having to make any extra investments, by connecting their accounting suite to an online platform. They send outgoing and incoming invoices to the company’s online account. An Accounting Robot tool reads and checks the invoices, generates journal entries and exports the invoices to the entrepreneurs’ accounts. Additionally, the robot compares invoices with historic data from industry partners, using accountancy data based on the preceding three years. This solution enables companies to process 10 to 20 times as many invoices every year, and helps reduce costs by up to 50 percent.

Playing into future challenges

Jeroen Volk, InvoiceSharing’s CEO, explains. “Bookkeeping no longer marks the final stage of an administrative process. Instead, it has become the SME’s starting point for improvement of the business. We linked with ABN AMRO through their innovation centre Econic, and have been working on this proposition with them since last October. This collaboration enables us to launch a pilot for twenty companies, which will help us further fine-tune and optimise the user-friendliness of our solution. In due time, we want to help as many entrepreneurs as possible make their business smarter, so they can anticipate and play into future challenges.”

The touchless feature called the Working Capital Assistant helps entrepreneurs estimate their working capital needs at an early stage – and get the funding at lower costs. Companies that use this feature give ABN AMRO permission to use their historical data. Frans Cuppen, ABN AMRO General Manager Commercial Clients South, is enthusiastic. “We want to provide SMEs with extra added value by offering proactive advice and responding to their financing needs. Likely future deficits are signalled well in advance. And by carefully planning invoice payments in alignment with suppliers and customers, we help SMEs optimise their working capital. There’s a lot of money to be saved here, as entrepreneurs get their financing needs met at much more favourable rates. At Econic, working with HighTechXL, ABN AMRO is helping to develop promising propositions from both bank employees and external companies. Within nine months, these accelerator projects result in new products and services for our customers and the market. The Working Capital Assistant is a prime example.

Author: Dylan Jones

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