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Alief Anindra holds a critical position in Jiva’s finance team, but you might not be familiar with his job title. In this article, taken from one of our #WorkWonders episode, Alief tells Nea Ningtyas (Sr. Content Specialist) about his role as a Finance Transformation Lead. Read through to discover more about how, in this role, Alief initiates projects to transform the finance functions.

Alief shares how leveraging technology to automate finance processes is game-changing for team efficiency and business performance as it reduces time spent on manual tasks, avoids human errors, and provides more depth to strategy analysis.

Read the excerpt* of our #WorkWonders conversation below.

*Edited for length and clarity.

Hi, Alief! Can you please first introduce yourself?

Hi, my name is Alief. I’m from the Finance team, but specifically I’m heading the finance transformation function. In this role, I have to drive change in the way we organise the finance functions in the company and make them more efficient. For example, implementing new technologies to streamline [finance] processes–anything that [we can use to] automate finance tasks that can help us get more work done.

So what’s your role formally called?

Finance transformation lead.

Would you say it’s a common role in the finance field?

I’d say it’s fairly uncommon. I believe most finance teams don’t have this role–I don’t think many have hired [specifically for] this role because it’s fairly new. It’s a new role [emerging since] 2022 or 2023, maybe, when finance leaders started investing in technology to make the finance team more efficient by leveraging new tech to streamline finance processes.

That said, I believe not many of the people I know who also work in finance are doing a similar function as finance transformation; most are still in the field of traditional finance. So, I’d say this is a role that modernises the finance team.

So this is not a traditional role within finance, right? How would you explain this role to other people who might not be familiar with it?

I would explain it as the modern way to do finance tasks by leveraging technologies; that’s what a finance transformation lead does. We are driving the organisation [to] implement the technologies. We train our team to leverage technology [to transform finance processes].

Here in Jiva, what we do is run the strategies of no-code and dashboards for automated reporting. So we automate [processes like] validation, reconciliation, and reporting.

Can you talk a little more about automating those processes? How have you applied this in Jiva?

Of course. When I first joined Jiva, my first project was to streamline the fund transfers to our MCs [micro-collectors]. You know that we have like a thousand of [partner] MCs, right? We make payments to hundreds of them daily, and it could be 30 or 40 million-something rupiah per payment. We can’t mess up with that amount of money; and we can’t have a late payment, right? So, the first thing that we did was to unify all payment validations in a single place. We did this by unifying in one platform all of the requests and validations.

Next, we work with the PDG [product design group] to connect our system with the payment gateway, where we can automatically send the payment after we make the approval. So, we can avoid, like, for example, false payment, because we already ran the validation in the background system: who are we paying to, how much [the amount]. After that, [this system] helps us in the reconciliation process. For example, our MCs might have procurement transactions, maybe they have a loan–so [with our tools] we want to reconcile all of their transactions and make sure we have the right balance.

And I’m not talking about just a hundred MCs, right? We have about a thousand MCs. Every day the balance is moving, because the transactions happen every day. We want to streamline all the validation and reconciliation [processes].

That was my first project–it was a successful one.

The other one is a no-code project called Jiva Wallet [that we use] for fund transfers for about 600 people [employees] in Indonesia across multiple branches. This is really helpful for everyone who wants to [for example] request Cash Advances or Reimbursement. Before this, employees used to send emails to manually request these things [and we will manually approve and transfer the funds]–now we implement no-code technology to streamline all these processes. They just need to open the app, and take a picture of their receipts, then we will be able to see how much we should transfer to them.

We also have other projects in which we equip our field teams with apps for Live Trucking Status, Payment Calculator, and Digital Invoicing which are all implemented with no-code strategy–these are very low-cost, maybe even no-cost strategies.

You also said something about dashboards?

Yes, the next thing [we make are the] dashboards. One of them is the reconciliation dashboard. This is where we reconcile all of our MCs’ transactions, including their procurement and loan status–so we can know if there are any discrepancies between their daily reporting and our SAP.

But what I’m working on at the moment is the FP&A (Financial Planning and Analysis) dashboard. This is a dashboard that we create for the budgeting of all our businesses. We have 11 branches and businesses [divided by commodities], so this dashboard will help us do a drill-down on each specific business’ budget and variances analysis.

Other than that, we also developed a dashboard for a unified budget planning of all of Jiva’s divisions, including the HR, Marketing, and Operations divisions. This dashboard will assist us in determining what is the impact of each division’s plan on our budget. For example, if the HR division wants to add two more people to a function, how will this directly impact our budget, based on our analysis?

Using this dashboard will help the company make final decisions on budget based on the finance model that we have.

So the good thing with this digital transformation of our finance processes is that this is scalable and when we grow our business, it will only help us that everything is automated, right? But it might be hard for other teams to want to learn and use these new things on top of their actual workloads. Can you tell me what it was like convincing other teams to learn and use the tools you’ve built?

The good news is, the other teams are very open [to learning to use the tools]. They are also open to letting us know what their pain points are in using these tools. So we discuss with them about this to identify what it is like if we can automate [specific instances]. For example, we want to reconcile some bank statements. If we can make 100 lines automatically reconcile, we don’t need to spend hours doing that. Of course, they are open to that.

Now actually, they are the ones who will ask for [automations]. And I just listen to them, how can I help solve their problems [by coming up with more automations]. What is the impact of solving this problem with their productivity, their priority?

If for example, we have a bottleneck in another division, we can directly connect with the leader or the team itself–how can we help solve your problem? And they will welcome us. That’s what I like about the team here [in Jiva].

Please give us a TL;DR version of how our finance transformation helps our business!
  • Finance transformation, using no-code strategies and dashboards, enhances team efficiency.
  • Automated processes like unified payment processing, bank statement reconciliation, and data validation reduce time spent on manual tasks.
  • This automation quickens the process and reduces potential human errors, ensuring data accuracy and reliability.
  • Dashboards provide immediate visibility into key financial indicators, assisting in timely decision-making.
  • The finance team can shift their focus from data entry and transactional tasks to strategic functions such as in-depth analysis and future planning.
  • This shift in focus can enhance financial management and improve business performance.

Read more stories about the people #BehindJiva and get the latest gists on how the #WorkWonders they are striving to achieve each day to reshape the ancient practice of agriculture by following us on LinkedIn, TikTok, Instagram, and Youtube.

Learn about our mission to help 500 million smallholder farmers on our website.

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Alief Anindra on leveraging tech to transform the finance function

May 3, 2024

Alief Anindra on leveraging tech to transform the finance function

Alief Anindra holds a critical position in Jiva’s finance team, but you might not be familiar with his job title. In this article, taken from one of our #WorkWonders episode, Alief tells Nea Ningtyas (Sr. Content Specialist) about his role as a Finance Transformation Lead. Read through to discover more about how, in this role, Alief initiates projects to transform the finance functions.

Alief shares how leveraging technology to automate finance processes is game-changing for team efficiency and business performance as it reduces time spent on manual tasks, avoids human errors, and provides more depth to strategy analysis.

Read the excerpt* of our #WorkWonders conversation below.

*Edited for length and clarity.

Hi, Alief! Can you please first introduce yourself?

Hi, my name is Alief. I’m from the Finance team, but specifically I’m heading the finance transformation function. In this role, I have to drive change in the way we organise the finance functions in the company and make them more efficient. For example, implementing new technologies to streamline [finance] processes–anything that [we can use to] automate finance tasks that can help us get more work done.

So what’s your role formally called?

Finance transformation lead.

Would you say it’s a common role in the finance field?

I’d say it’s fairly uncommon. I believe most finance teams don’t have this role–I don’t think many have hired [specifically for] this role because it’s fairly new. It’s a new role [emerging since] 2022 or 2023, maybe, when finance leaders started investing in technology to make the finance team more efficient by leveraging new tech to streamline finance processes.

That said, I believe not many of the people I know who also work in finance are doing a similar function as finance transformation; most are still in the field of traditional finance. So, I’d say this is a role that modernises the finance team.

So this is not a traditional role within finance, right? How would you explain this role to other people who might not be familiar with it?

I would explain it as the modern way to do finance tasks by leveraging technologies; that’s what a finance transformation lead does. We are driving the organisation [to] implement the technologies. We train our team to leverage technology [to transform finance processes].

Here in Jiva, what we do is run the strategies of no-code and dashboards for automated reporting. So we automate [processes like] validation, reconciliation, and reporting.

Can you talk a little more about automating those processes? How have you applied this in Jiva?

Of course. When I first joined Jiva, my first project was to streamline the fund transfers to our MCs [micro-collectors]. You know that we have like a thousand of [partner] MCs, right? We make payments to hundreds of them daily, and it could be 30 or 40 million-something rupiah per payment. We can’t mess up with that amount of money; and we can’t have a late payment, right? So, the first thing that we did was to unify all payment validations in a single place. We did this by unifying in one platform all of the requests and validations.

Next, we work with the PDG [product design group] to connect our system with the payment gateway, where we can automatically send the payment after we make the approval. So, we can avoid, like, for example, false payment, because we already ran the validation in the background system: who are we paying to, how much [the amount]. After that, [this system] helps us in the reconciliation process. For example, our MCs might have procurement transactions, maybe they have a loan–so [with our tools] we want to reconcile all of their transactions and make sure we have the right balance.

And I’m not talking about just a hundred MCs, right? We have about a thousand MCs. Every day the balance is moving, because the transactions happen every day. We want to streamline all the validation and reconciliation [processes].

That was my first project–it was a successful one.

The other one is a no-code project called Jiva Wallet [that we use] for fund transfers for about 600 people [employees] in Indonesia across multiple branches. This is really helpful for everyone who wants to [for example] request Cash Advances or Reimbursement. Before this, employees used to send emails to manually request these things [and we will manually approve and transfer the funds]–now we implement no-code technology to streamline all these processes. They just need to open the app, and take a picture of their receipts, then we will be able to see how much we should transfer to them.

We also have other projects in which we equip our field teams with apps for Live Trucking Status, Payment Calculator, and Digital Invoicing which are all implemented with no-code strategy–these are very low-cost, maybe even no-cost strategies.

You also said something about dashboards?

Yes, the next thing [we make are the] dashboards. One of them is the reconciliation dashboard. This is where we reconcile all of our MCs’ transactions, including their procurement and loan status–so we can know if there are any discrepancies between their daily reporting and our SAP.

But what I’m working on at the moment is the FP&A (Financial Planning and Analysis) dashboard. This is a dashboard that we create for the budgeting of all our businesses. We have 11 branches and businesses [divided by commodities], so this dashboard will help us do a drill-down on each specific business’ budget and variances analysis.

Other than that, we also developed a dashboard for a unified budget planning of all of Jiva’s divisions, including the HR, Marketing, and Operations divisions. This dashboard will assist us in determining what is the impact of each division’s plan on our budget. For example, if the HR division wants to add two more people to a function, how will this directly impact our budget, based on our analysis?

Using this dashboard will help the company make final decisions on budget based on the finance model that we have.

So the good thing with this digital transformation of our finance processes is that this is scalable and when we grow our business, it will only help us that everything is automated, right? But it might be hard for other teams to want to learn and use these new things on top of their actual workloads. Can you tell me what it was like convincing other teams to learn and use the tools you’ve built?

The good news is, the other teams are very open [to learning to use the tools]. They are also open to letting us know what their pain points are in using these tools. So we discuss with them about this to identify what it is like if we can automate [specific instances]. For example, we want to reconcile some bank statements. If we can make 100 lines automatically reconcile, we don’t need to spend hours doing that. Of course, they are open to that.

Now actually, they are the ones who will ask for [automations]. And I just listen to them, how can I help solve their problems [by coming up with more automations]. What is the impact of solving this problem with their productivity, their priority?

If for example, we have a bottleneck in another division, we can directly connect with the leader or the team itself–how can we help solve your problem? And they will welcome us. That’s what I like about the team here [in Jiva].

Please give us a TL;DR version of how our finance transformation helps our business!

Read more stories about the people #BehindJiva and get the latest gists on how the #WorkWonders they are striving to achieve each day to reshape the ancient practice of agriculture by following us on LinkedIn, TikTok, Instagram, and Youtube.

Learn about our mission to help 500 million smallholder farmers on our website.

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