Spend Management: Why Automating Makes Sense
It’s no surprise that business is becoming more and more automated: as it goes for the world, so it goes for financial data. The stress of corporate spend management is paving the way for a more automated perspective, from spend analysis to policy enforcement and compliance. Being unable to access up-to-date financial data can seriously harm a company’s ability to operate according to modern standards, which is why we’re delving into some of the ways spend management software is enhancing the ability to collect, process and analyze this vital information.
- Accuracy: Human brilliance knows no bounds, but computers and automated systems are far more accurate than even the brightest human mind. The rote tasks of automated data entry can be easily accomplished by software and applications, which offer a level of consistency that cannot be matched by human hands. As computers and software continue to tackle these tasks with more precision, companies that rely on manual processes will be less capable of competing. At the end of the fiscal year, would you trust the data accumulated from thousands of hand-keyed expense spreadsheets over data compiled from automated expense reports? Due to concerns about federal regulatory compliance and the strict levels of financial reporting required, visibility and accuracy have never been more important.
- Time & Cost Savings: Saved time equals saved money in the business world; automating manual spend management processes and diverting employees to other sensitive tasks accomplishes both simultaneously. Generally, the larger the enterprise, the more data there is to process, key and analyze, which means the time and cost savings accrue at a faster rate as a company grows.
- Redundancy: Ultimately, the data that passes from employee to employee in your accounting department ends up in some sort of software program. Removing the middleman puts the data where it needs to go with far more accuracy and speed, resulting in your CFO actually being able to present accurate, up-to-date information at that next board meeting. Those boxes of expense reports or invoices waiting to be keyed could already be in the system, rather than gathering dust. Automated systems remove much of the redundancy from the chain of information.
It’s no secret that implementing automated spend management streamlines business processes such as expense management, e-procurement, invoice management and others. There’s just no comparison when one takes into account the time and cost savings accumulated by transitioning away from old manual procedures, but investing manpower and money into such a project can be daunting for companies that are working to emerge from the recession. However, with careful research and the right partner, companies tend to find that engaging in a spend management deployment will allow them to emerge stronger in an economy that is proving to be hardest on those who operate with the sort of data blindness that comes from lack of automation.