Governments to reinvent their public service delivery model. Digital financial processes can point the way

Governments have a crucial role in building the infrastructure for digital economy and speeding up its deployment. The main drivers for these activities are the diminishing resources – economic as well as human and environmental – and the increasing global competition.

In Europe, the EU Commission is doing its best to encourage governments to take steps towards digitalization and the real-time economy, as well as reinventing their public services delivery model by using the opportunities that digital hyper-connectivity offers.

One concrete and effective accelerator towards RTE is electronic invoicing, which opens up opportunities to digitize the financial processes on a large scale. To embrace these opportunities, governments and other public organizations must cooperate with innovative partners who can help the public sector take the lead, instead of sitting on the sidelines.

Effective purchase-to-pay in focus at The State Treasury

“The digital transformation of our financial management will play a major role in the digitalization of Finland’s public administration in general,” says Mikko Kangaspunta, Head of Division, Financial and Personnel Administration, State Treasury.

OpusCapita has acted as partner to the State Treasury for well over ten years in building electronic invoicing processes, and it now transmits the purchase and sales invoices of the government’s agencies and departments. The collaboration with OpusCapita has broadened from an invoice transmission service to a development partnership.

At the moment, the focus has been especially on improving efficiency in the purchase-to-pay process. In 2014, for example, Finnish government agencies and departments received a total of 1.2 million purchase invoices, almost 90% of which were e-invoices.

“Together with OpusCapita, we have developed a purchase invoice handling process that includes automated posting and automatic reconciliation of invoices with orders and procurement contracts,” explains Kangaspunta.

The aim is that in just a few years 90% of all invoices received will be processed auto­matically. This will bring a productivity improvement of as much as 20–30%, according to Kangaspunta.

Another development approach focuses on automating sales invoicing.

“Electronic purchase and sales invoices and automation are part of the infrastructure needed for the digital transformation of society. The State Treasury, the Finnish Government Shared Services Centre for Finance and HR and OpusCapita are all working together to achieve this.

“We have also talked about making use of software robotics, among other things. If we’re looking to achieve digitalization at a deeper level throughout public administration, then software robotics is an area of great interest,” says Kangaspunta.

 

Published in OpusCapita Journal 1/2016. Read the whole magazine here.

READ MORE how State Treasury’s collaboration with OpusCapita helps to produce great strides in digitalization and productivity within public administration.