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Denim Dream CFO: Remind partners what century we live in

Not too many people in the Baltics can claim they don’t know Denim Dream, a brand operating more than 120 stores in the Baltic countries and Poland. The company employs nearly 500 people and only a dozen of them work in the accounting department split between four countries. How is that possible?

Behind the Denim Dream brand is a family-owned company Põldma Kaubanduse AS, known for its versatile brand selection, offering customers world-famous trendy and more classic fashion brands such as Guess, Tommy Hilfiger, Pepe Jeans, Calvin Klein, Tommy Jeans, Denim Dream, Mustang, Tom Tailor, Lee Cooper etc. The company has expanded rapidly, running more than 120 stores in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, and in addition, selling garments in e-shops all over Europe. In 2022, the company’s turnover reached 67 million euros.

According to the company’s CFO Egle Suit, this is not yet the turnover limit. “The goal to reach is 100 million, and for me as CFO, this makes the whole venture more exciting. Denim Dream has a great team, good brands and we are developing, expanding, growing together. The core values in our daily work are honesty, development, openness,” she said.

Egle added that the company takes its greatest pride in customer service. “We want to please customers by offering them unforgettable fashion experiences and outstanding personal service to make the entire shopping process as easy and convenient as possible. One of the company’s core values is development, thus it never gets boring here,” added Egle Suit, who has worked as a CFO in the company for ten years.

One would think that a company with 500 employees would also have a vast accounting department, especially since it operates in four countries. Far from it. The company’s headquarters and management are located in Estonia. There, the accounting department has 4 employees: CFO, Chief Accountant, Accountant and Accounting Assistant. Latvia and Lithuania have their own offices, with 2 accountants in each country. In Poland, the accounting services are currently outsourced – with only 3 stores there it is the most reasonable solution. Each country also has its respective Marketing Manager, E-commerce Manager and Regional Manager.

More than 5,000 invoices a year

Põldma Kaubanduse AS uses Standard Books at its ERP, cash register and warehouse software have been developed in the company. Company’s e-invoice operator is Telema. “I consider it very important that all the systems collaborate and interact with each other,” notes Egle Suit. “Data exchange has to be reliable and not create extra workload for accountants, as we receive 5,000 purchase invoices a year. It makes 400–500 invoices in a month, and compared to 2019, the volume has gone up by about 10%.”

Before the introduction of Telema eFlow, the entire invoicing was paper-based. The invoice was printed and then it had to be signed by the person who had placed the order and the CEO. Some invoices were also approved by email. Once all invoices were approved, the data was manually entered into the accounting software and the invoices were assigned to payment. Archiving, storing and sorting of invoices was a huge effort. Today, Telema eFlow has eliminated all those concerns and saved the company a lot of time and paper.

“The tightest bottleneck for us, due to the size of the company, was the invoice approval process,” recalled Egle Suit. “We have about a hundred employees ordering something at one point or another. Accountant was the one who had to locate the order placer, get the invoice signed and, in addition, confirmed by the CEO. The whole process was time consuming, not to mention the archiving and storage of all that paper.

Põldma Kaubanduse AS had been considering adoption of e-invoices for many years. The final inspiration came from the school paper of a former employee about the introduction of e-invoices, which clearly showed how much paper, time and money the company would save by making the shift.

User experience is the key

E-invoicing services are offered by several providers. Põldma Kaubandus met a couple of companies who presented their solution, and selected Telema. “When choosing an e-invoicing solution, I would definitely involve the company’s accounting and finance department, as well as some employees from other departments who are approving invoices. The feedback from someone not dealing with invoices on a daily basis and not knowing the ERP, is very valuable. The solution must be simple and intuitive enough for them,” Egle Suit shared her advice. Another important aspect is the exchange speed, the right data has to move quickly.

The introduction of e-invoices was also significant for the company’s CEO, as it made the invoicing process much more transparent. According to the CFO, Telema eFlow is very user friendly, allowing you to dig into all the invoices that have passed through the company’s system in the previous month. Not long ago, the accounting department had to stack the CEO’s desk with  4–5 folders full of paper invoices.

“I think that an e-invoicing system makes all accounting much more transparent, controllable and faster for every CEO. As all payable invoices are approved by the general manager,” stated the CFO.

Photo: Denim Dream

Telema eFlow – the best price-quality ratio

Põldma Kaubanduse AS has been Telema eFlow client since June 2019. According to Egle Suit, the decisive factors in favor of Telema’s e-invoicing system were user-friendliness and the price-quality ratio. “What I like most about Telema eFlow is that it is coherent and easy to understand. The invoice processing became faster and more transparent, and our biggest expectation – quick integration with our ERP – also came true,” explained Egle, adding that invoices are now also archived through the Telema eFlow application.

The CFO recommended Telema eFlow to all companies that want to make their invoicing system simpler, more transparent at the same time saving the environment. According to her, Telema eFlow has also reduced the risks of receiving the PDF-files containing malware or not intended for the company at all. Security is definitely something every business should think about these days.

What would be the message to those who are hesitating to adopt e-invoices? Egle Suit suggested first studying the company’s biggest bottlenecks. “Actually, the use of paper documents is no longer practical, and is completely out of date,” she declared. “In our case, the share of e-invoices over the past 4 years has been growing nicely, but at the same time, we could do much better. Why not go for 100%, because it would make the life of all accountants easier. We want to remind our partners what century we live in and firmly steer them to switch to e-invoices.”

Põldma Kaubandus AS

Countires operating inEstonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, e-commerce all over Europe
Number of purchase invoices (in a month)500+
Purchase invoice approvers100+
ERPStandard Books
Purchase invoice automation systemTelema eFlow

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