When processes are not enough – product development aiming for real-time economy demands attitude and investment
Building real-time economy has demanded and will continue to demand a lot. The innovations of the Smart Accounting era are based on the cornerstones of product management, that is, process management, knowledge excellence, and the right choices, says Mikko Hämäläinen, Head of Product Management of Accountor Finago.
Accountor is pushing the entire financial management industry into the era of Smart Accounting, where artificial intelligence, digitalization, robotics, automation, and other today’s technological capabilities are being widely integrated into financial management processes. In recent years, Accountor has invested and continues to invest heavily in software that contributes to the real-time economy in our society. Last year, we were Finland's 35th largest company in terms of research and development.
We have been required to make heavy development efforts, visionary thinking and, above all, to build processes on a long-term basis. However, processes alone are not enough for a recipe of success. What are the ingredients for successful product development?
Processes are needed, but people’s attitudes are crucial
Processes and their understanding are the foundation of good product development. They give us a certain way to take the issue forward in product development. How processes are built, described, and utilized directly measures an organization’s efficiency and maturity. Processes are of no use unless you know how to take advantage of them. Thus, people, the ability to innovate and the professionalism of each participant also play a decisive role in product development.
The right people in the right place work wonders. For us in Procountor’s product management, this means people with motivation and enthusiasm for the job, as well as a passion for accounting technology and its direction. In addition to all this, intuition and a deep understanding of the processes and requirements of financial management as well as the users of the software itself are needed.
You need intuition and a deep understanding of the processes and requirements of financial management as well as the users of the software itself.
For things to take off, in addition to processes and people, our tools need to be stellar. When choosing tools, you need to find the model that supports your company's operating method, processes, and ideology. A small, unified, and comprehensive range of tools is better than a large number of unnecessary tools. This is also the red thread in Procountor’s product development: one tool serves the needs of financial management, purchasing, and payroll management and helps companies implement their own processes efficiently.
Smart Accounting meets the users’ needs
Tools should always be developed based on customer needs. Our goal is to find the simplest way for users to perform their financial management tasks. Smart Accounting brings smoothness to business operations through, for example, automation and artificial intelligence.
With the flow of digital information, we are getting closer and closer to real-time economic ecosystem where circulating papers has disappeared, and cash flows can be monitored in real time. We are moving towards this goal in close co-operation with the state administration – both in Finland and in the other Nordic countries. The goal is a real-time, secure, corruption-free, and paperless economy.
Smart Accounting glides towards the goal when tools, processes and people are all involved in the digitalization development process – as part of the same coordinated entity.