Interview with Stella Tornaritou, Head of Finance
Stella, as Head of Finance, what are your main tasks, responsibilities and goals?
As Head of Finance, I lead the Finance Service Line and I am responsible for the design and implementation of Finance Service Line Strategy in the areas of people, processes, information and communication technology and performance measurement.
Our UGBS values act as my compass in accomplishing by business aspirations (think customer, be passionate, live teamwork, and inspire leadership).
My over-arching objective is for processes and procedures to run smoothly and in a manner that enable our focus on further improving the quality of service we provide to our customers. The resulting operational efficiency, driven by automation and process improvement, will enable us to boost sales, augment customer satisfaction and increase profitability.
Employees are then engaged in higher-value tasks, which boosts motivation and contributes to the creation of job satisfaction and the development of passion. I consider our employees as a critical and integral part of the overall business plan and we must guarantee that they are engaged, developed and retained.
What does digitalisation mean for Finance Service Line?
Accounting principles remain constant even in the digital era. The process of bookkeeping, on the other hand, has the potential to change as a result of technological advancements.
Automation will not transform a bad process into a good one; it will just make it less expensive. In this respect, my principle is that processes should be as simple as possible, revisited on a regular basis to ensure any changes are reflected in our procedures. We need to understand the manual processes, assess each step and fine-tune them before we automate. Our ability to automate is significant especially when there is time constraint and the need to focus on many tasks concurrently.
Combining RPA and AI opens up new possibilities for businesses. RPA robots may now incorporate advanced AI skills such as machine learning models, as well as character and picture recognition. Giving robots these AI capacities improves their ability to handle complex transactions.
In addition to increased efficiency, some additional advantages of investing in this technology include:
- Better handling of repetitive and rule-based high-volume tasks.
- Operational 24 hours a day, seven days a week, driving essential processes forward.
- Employees taking on higher-value tasks with a higher level of engagement.
At UGBS we are now utilizing RPA technology. We are prioritising the tasks of General Accounting and Reporting Competency and will then proceed with all other Finance Service Line Competencies.
The initial phase of automation will focus on bank-related and repetitive transactions. These procedures include Home Allotment payments, vendor payments, customer incoming payments and ticketing invoices, all of which can be highly automated up to a level of 98 percent.
What would be your long-term goal?
My long-term goal is to shift from reporting on the past to planning for the future. Be able to make quicker, more informed decisions in less time.
We will accomplish this target by investing in technology and incorporating automation in our processes. By eliminating repetitive tasks, we lower costs and achieve higher productivity, as well as standardised, transparent, and streamlined processes. Automation not only sustains but also improves quality.
With automation, organisations may successfully and continuously meet the everchanging business demands, enhance employee productivity, and most significantly improve workplace satisfaction. Employees can then focus on innovative solutions, complex problem solving, and more meaningful work.