Case April 08, 2016

A step forward in financial administration processes

By 2014, Pohjolan Voima had been developing its financial administration processes for a decade. At the same time, Enfo was looking for a partner with which to build its financial administration outsourcing business. The two bold pioneers started a journey together.

”We had already developed our financial administration processes extensively in-house. We weren’t actively looking for a partner, because we had just completed a reform and all our financial accounting activities were moved to Helsinki”, says Pohjolan Voima’s Financial Director Minna Korkeaoja.

For Enfo, Pohjolan Voima’s financial accounting operations were an interesting set of processes, including accounts receivable and payable as well as accounting. During negotiations, the companies’ mutual feeling that collaboration would be fruitful to both parties and could result in something completely new became only stronger. Pohjolan Voima’s financial accounting team of 12 people transferred into Enfo’s employment in spring 2014.

Continuous development is the way to go

A lot has happened during the collaboration, which has now lasted two years A new basic data system for financial administration was introduced in September 2015. The collaboration aims at continuous development and optimization of processes. According to Korkeaoja, the partnership helps Pohjolan Voima to be in the vanguard of digital development. Taking and keeping this role alone would have been challenging for the company.

”Typically during the outsourcing of operations, the acquired activities are transferred to us as they are. Processes are re-defined as the collaboration evolves – for example, when the activities that will be handled automatically in the future are charted. This is when it is natural to gradually introduce our centralized system solutions. This way we can ensure that our customers benefit from our expertise as much as possible”, says Ari Voutilainen, Account Manager at Enfo.

The agreed process boundaries, i.e. the distribution of responsibilities between Enfo and Pohjolan Voima, were also re-examined in conjunction with the system change.

Scaling benefits expected

At Pohjolan Voima, Enfo’s centralized expertise is considered an opportunity.

”The extent of our financial accounting operations was relatively small, and their scalability was limited. Now that the operations are part of a bigger entity, after the completion of the transition stage this year, we expect to see significant scalability benefits in 2017”, Korkeaoja says.

”We are now in the vanguard of digital development. Taking and keeping this role alone would have been challenging for us.”
Minna Korkeaoja, Financial Director at Pohjolan Voima

The product: ZmartFinance

Minna Korkeaoja’s tips for outsourcing financial administration operations:

  • Do not outsource operations unless your own processes are sufficiently good.
  • Understand the roles of the customer and supplier. Keep in mind that after outsourcing the operations, you are no longer managing them alone but with your partner as agreed. Therefore, it is important to take time to draw up the contract – it functions as a tool for monitoring the service.
  • Demand good service but be constructive and don’t lose the dialogical connection. Dialog should be open, and it is good to give feedback on both successes and failures.

The benefits of outsourcing financial administration operations:

  • There is always the right number of people handling the financial administration tasks.
  • The company will be in the vanguard of digitalization.
  • Key persons’ time is freed for business development.
  • The company no longer needs to worry about system development activities