From the Office of the CFO: The Path to Touchless Invoice Processing – A Perspective and Lessons from Basware's Own AP Automation Journey

This article marks the inception of a series aimed at sharing perspectives, insights, and lessons learned from Basware’s journey towards achieving 100% Touchless Invoice Processing. As Basware’s CFO, I believe it’s important to openly share our experiences and perspectives as both the provider and customer of our solution. By sharing our journey, we aim to inspire finance leaders to embark on their own automation journeys.

Now, getting to the heart of the matter, at Basware, we don’t just preach automation; we practice it. As an industry leader in financial technology and invoice automation, Basware has already undergone a transformative journey to date while the journey towards true automation continues. Our commitment to achieving best-in-class accounts payable (AP) automation extends beyond our customers; we apply the same core principles to our own financial operations; envisioning a future where invoices are processed 100% touchless and 100% compliant.

Applying our own solution

Like many of our customers, Basware has also historically faced manual AP processes and limited KPI tracking and insights. However, during 2020-2022, we laid the groundwork for our journey by digitizing the invoice ingestion process, optimizing core processes, and emphasizing standardization, control, and automation – supported by our solutions to achieve these respective outcomes.

In mid-2023, as a part of renewing and strengthening our company’s strategic and operational focus to drive and deliver Customer Value Realization, our Finance team also took a decisive step to implement Basware’s Customer Success Management Model internally, with a focus on delivering against one clear goal: accelerating AP Automation to drive customer success and customer value realization. This model seamlessly integrates Value Success Plans and Performance Review Meetings, propelling us towards excellence. Our target is to become a model user of our own AP automation solutions, so we can serve as a benchmark for customers.

Since adopting this model, we’ve made significant progress. For example, we’ve increased our e-invoicing rate from 69% to 99% and increased the share of invoices associated with POs and Spend Plans from 80% to 89% to enhance transparency and control over our direct and indirect spend. Our previous efforts during 2020-2022 gave us a great starting point, but the adoption of the new Customer Success Management Model, together with implementing innovative technology and solutions such as Basware Insights, SmartPDF with Self-Validation and Smart Coding have truly made the difference.

As a result of these operational improvements, our Accounts Payable team can focus more on higher-value tasks, such as M&A integration, sourcing and procurement process development, and accelerating our month-end financial closing. 

Looking ahead: Our journey to 100% Touchless Invoice Processing and value realization

We recognize that AP automation technology alone is not enough to achieve our digital transformation goals. We must change internal and external business practices, as well as our processes. Technology, combined with process adjustments and adapting to new workflows, will enable true touchless invoice processing.

In this context, close collaboration between Basware and our Customer Success Management team becomes even more crucial. In practice, examples of this entails:

  • Establishing a ‘Tiger team’ comprised of myself, as Basware’s CFO, our AP Manager, and Customer Success Manager and instilling a regular cadence to oversee our value realization journey.
  • Defining a Value Roadmap with clear actions, timelines, targets, and KPIs to track and monitor progress against.
  • Identifying areas in the AP process which will significantly improve the automation rate and assess the impact based on Best-in-Class benchmarking. We call this BasBoost, in the spirit of boosting the impact and the value realization of our solution.
  • Developing and executing on an action plan to rapidly act on insights and ensure dedicated specialist capacity is reserved to manage changes in an agile and cost-effective way. We call this Planned Optimization.

Expected improvements in the near future

With these initiatives in place, we anticipate improvements in the following areas in the coming months:

  1. Automation (touchless rate and invoice cycle times): Increasing speed and accuracy, and further improving automatic matching rate by targeting invoices flowing seamlessly, with minimal manual intervention.
  2. Compliance (e-invoicing mandates): Preparing our processes and workflows to comply with the upcoming e-invoicing mandates in Europe and globally (next up: Romania).
  3. Working Capital (Early Payment Discounts): By adapting to changing business demands and uncertainties, we are partnering with our suppliers even more and offering to pay invoices faster. This will ensure faster cash flows for our suppliers to fuel their businesses and early-payment discounts for Basware. It’s a win-win for us and our suppliers.

Basware's journey towards True Automation demonstrates our dedication to revolutionizing financial processes and invoice automation, to realize value for our customers, with our customers.

As we pave the way for a future where efficiency, effectiveness, and compliance go hand in hand, we invite finance leaders to embrace the journey towards True Automation, knowing that Basware is on the same journey, right there with them.

"Our pursuit of 100% Touchless, 100% Compliant reflects our relentless drive to redefine operations and technology around invoice automation and compliance, globally. As pioneers in the industry, we lead by example, setting benchmarks for efficiency and excellence, and inviting finance leaders on the journey with us.” - Martti Nurminen, CFO at Basware


Chief Financial Officer With nearly 20 years in the finance field, Martti Nurminen is a proven CFO committed to the business and his team. Laser-focused on delivering value to all stakeholders, he strikes the right balance of business insight and interpersonal skills. He joined Basware and the Executive Team in 2019 as Chief Financial Officer. Previously, he served as CFO in Nordic, publicly listed IT services and software companies, Solteq and Affecto. Prior to these CFO roles, he spent more than a decade in various finance leadership positions at IBM and Johnson Controls. 

AP Automation