Industries are witnessing rapid innovation in technology that are impacting businesses at various levels. From digital payments to online processes every business is moving towards becoming more agile. The roles, duties and expectations from each department is evolving as they adopt to this new order. The Finance and Accounts Payable units led by the CFO are adapting to keep up with technology.
CFOs find themselves at the crux of business transformation. The top priorities for them, remain – margins, earning, performance and budgeting. Among others there are – risk mitigation, appropriate integration of technology, driving investment returns in a low rate environment. Finance executives must therefore deploy systems which are robust, flexible, integrated, rapidly deployable and cost effective.
An area of opportunity for the Finance Executives to meet their business goals lies in controlling costs. Majority of organizations take decisions on spending, travel and expense policies, and budgets without having complete visibility and data. Indirect spend, travel and expense are the most critical items that derail a budget, clearly because the spends are claimed or entered in the system manually after the expenditure is already made.
When automating Procure to Pay and Travel Expense processes, CFOs put themselves at a great advantage of having transparency, accurate data, financial and regulatory controls.
Tools that help Control Costs
Many companies are actively transforming spend management with technologies for Travel Expense Management (TEM), Procurement, Accounts Payable Automation, Asset Management and eSourcing. The need of the hour is to upgrade manual expense reporting, which entails lengthy expense reports, paper receipts, approvals, and requisition forms. Streamlining these processes has proven to control costs with benefits for employees and the finance teams.
Travel & Expense Management
You can streamline travel across the organization by integrating the business travelers, approvers, travel desk, travel agents and vendors with TEM software, maintaining integrity and minimizing miscommunication. For the finance and accounts payable teams, there is a trail from travel request, approval, local expenses claimed and payments made to the vendors. In the long term, they can negotiate deals and discounts and recover unutilized sectors.
Stringent controls are applied that uphold the delegation of authority matrix and prevent maverick spending. Suppliers POs and invoices are processed smoothly. Suppliers can also submit invoices directly on the tool and track progress independently without constant follow-ups for payments.
Some of the indirect spends that can be brought in the fold are Utilities, HR, IT Services, Services, Legal or Technical fees, Facilities, and Travel.
An Asset Management platform is a digital register of all company assets that helps integrate the process from request for new asset, procurement of the asset, shipping, or handover to user at location, product life cycle, maintenance or upgrade of items, submission or recycling or repurposing of unutilized assets and finally depreciation calculation.
With all aspects of business increasingly turning digital, eSourcing Tools help institutionalize the procurement process across the organization. They are primarily designed for cost advantage for companies. They enable reverse auctions for suppliers that are run in a transparent and professional manner. Reduce cycle time, throw the competition open for suppliers, with an obvious hard dollar saving and ROI with eSourcing.