Top 7 Maritime Finance Challenges & Digital Solutions
‘… the maritime industry is highly capital intensive… its financing has become critical for the shipbuilding sector and shipping companies around the world.’
– Ship Finance Practices in Major Shipbuilding Economies, OECD Science Technology and Industry Policy Papers, August 2019 No. 75
Financial reporting plays an important role in any shipping company’s bottom line including to:
- keep company stakeholders aware of internal financial reporting for day-to-day strategic decision-making,
- collect quality accounting data to justify a company’s financial health to investors or creditors,
- assess high value assets such as vessels and their components,
- navigate complex financial regulatory and tax environments.
A company’s financial statements provide a true picture of its financial performance. Yet, in the intricate world of maritime operations, financial management can pose a unique set of challenges to proper documentation and analysis of accounting data.
The rise of digital solutions, such as the BASSnet Financials software (integrated with the BASSnet Fleet Management suite for greater process efficiency), promise to greatly enhance the experience of maritime financial management.
So, what are the top 7 maritime finance challenges and how can digital solutions such as BASSnet help? Let’s have a look:
- Lack of Complete Accounting Data
The maritime industry is complex, covering areas ranging from inventory management, procurement and operations to safety and maintenance.
With such a wide range of factors to consider, insufficient data can lead to uninformed decisions, causing ripples that disrupt an organization’s financial stability.
Integrated digital solutions that cover a wide range of maritime areas are therefore a huge benefit.
Not only does such accounting or financials software cut down on time and resources spent on thorough data collection, but they can provide a holistic view of a shipping company’s assets and financial worth through detailed reporting mechanisms.
This approach ensures that decision makers have access to a panoramic view of financial data, allowing for well-informed, strategic choices.
Systems such as BASSnet Financials, for example, provides comprehensive reporting capabilities alongside business intelligence dashboard visuals for a deep dive into financial insights and Financial KPIs. This detailed view of integrated data can assist CFOs to pinpoint areas where budgets and funding could be optimised to save costs or increase efficiency.
- High-Quality Accounting Data
It’s not enough to have access to data. The quality of data collected by software is essential to quality financial reporting, impacting the corresponding quality of financial analysis.
Inaccurate financial data can lead to misguided decisions with far reaching consequences such as:
- inaccurate reporting
- non-compliance with regulations
- hindering business operations
- increased costs/inaccurate budgets.
Digital solutions like BASSnet can address these concerns by offering rich financial features that gather data accurately from various maritime areas by offering validation controls on entry that help to improve the quality of data input.
This precision enhances data integrity and empowers maritime stakeholders to base their strategies on a solid foundation of reliable information.
- Multi-Company Entry Management
Maritime finance is a global concern in an industry that usually involves multiple entities, each with its own financial intricacies. Handling this complexity demands precision and meticulous attention, which can be a time-consuming enterprise, rife with the potential for costly mistakes.
Using a software with multi-company entry capabilities empowers financial leaders to effortlessly manage entries in bulk. This saves time and resources while ensuring accuracy. Such digital solutions also allow for smooth and accurate financial consolidation when needed.
The latest BASSnet Financials release has been specifically designed with multi-company entry management capabilities to aid business growth in a way that suits the global, multi-entity environment of the maritime industry.
- Lack of a User-Friendly Interface
“BASSnet Financials 3.2 is our latest user friendly, intuitive version… We’ve focused on bringing quick access to essential data at the click of a button. Direct entry drilldown is now available so users gain direct access to related entries.”
– Per Steinar Upsaker, CEO & Managing Director at BASS Software
In today’s fast-paced business environment, software with rich functionality and integration is not enough to bring the most value. The user is at the heart of software performance. This can make a software’s user-friendliness the deciding factor for a seamless process flow that successfully increases fleet efficiency and productivity.
Recognizing this, BASSnet specifically offers an intuitive interface that facilitates smooth navigation and swift decision-making.
Maritime finance professionals must perform complex tasks at high volumes often involving large monetary sums. In this environment, risk management is another important aspect where user friendly digital solutions become important to avoid human error.
BASSnet Financials’ user-centric design, for example, can enable crew and financial stakeholders to seamlessly interact with financial data to perform transactions, record entries and ultimately derive the best cost and budgeting insights to take their fleet management to a higher level.
The system also provides quick access features such as built-in widgets, shortcuts, system-wide document attachment, direct links, and drilldown to related transaction details.
- Flexibility and Customizability
The lack of flexibility and customizability in traditional systems can impede any shipping company’s agility when it comes to addressing customised needs for reporting to various stakeholders.
Customization on data output empowers maritime finance decision makers to pivot their financial strategies swiftly, capitalizing on emerging opportunities. This is why it’s important to use a digital platform that offers customisation on specific areas of data output such as generating reports, printouts, or data based on the customer’s preferred presentation.
For example, financial leaders can strongly benefit from using standard financial printout templates with customisable capability and settings at template and company level. With options for customisation, maritime can take financial reporting to a higher level with greater insights that suit the organisation.
As conditions change and financial strategies evolve, a software’s adaptive features ensure that organizations can shift course with agility to harness innovation and drive success.
- Managing High Transaction Volumes
“Maritime transportation dominates, handling about 80% of the volume and 70% of the value of international trade.”
– Theo Notteboom, Athanasios Pallis and Jean-Paul Rodrigue (2022) Port Economics, Management and Policy, New York: Routledge.
The maritime sector witnesses a high volume of financial transactions daily. This makes user friendly features even more significant to improve user task speed and improve operational efficiency.
Digital solutions such as BASSnet recognize this dilemma and offer easy to use systems with an intuitive UI and rich functionality, enabling customers to easily manage high volume transactions.
- Benefits of Easy Data Consolidation
Digital solutions can be a strong aid from both the data collection and data consolidation perspectives ensuring a holistic view of the data for better financial insights.
Financial data consolidation is an important method to gain a helicopter view of a company’s financial health. It allows company stakeholders and investors to gain a clear, accurate and high-level overview of the organisation’s performance.
This is why it’s more important than ever for businesses to use software that can consolidate financial data with various business dimensions (for example by company, by vessel, by department, and so on) to provide useful and actionable insights about the financial performance.
Enabling Maritime Financial Leaders with Powerful Digital Solutions
As the maritime industry continues to evolve, the need for agile and comprehensive financial management solutions has become increasingly vital. Simplification, centralization, and enhanced efficiency in digital solutions are a strategic asset for any maritime accounting team.
By embracing the right digital solution, industry leaders can better rise to meet the challenges of maritime finance and steer their organizations towards a future where financial management is not a burden but a catalyst for growth.
How can BASSnet Financials help?
By providing simplified, centralized, and efficient full-cycle maritime accounting, BASSnet Financials empowers maritime leaders to navigate the complex waters of maritime operations with efficiency and confidence. BASSnet offers solutions to critical challenges such as data completeness, integration, multi-company entry management, user-friendliness, flexibility, transaction volume handling, process flow optimization, and data quality. Learn more.