Growth and Optimization

Seize Every Moment with a Strong and Agile Spend Management Strategy

SAP Concur Team |

In the world of business, change is the only constant. As you pivot to meet every new moment, keeping operations flexible, efficient, cost-effective, and profitable is the key to success. And the only way to get there is to stay on top of spending – from the highest level down to the smallest detail.

Whether you’re running global operations or a small or midsize local business, a strong spend management strategy can really make an impact. It is by integrating travel spend, expense management, and vendor invoice management and aligning that spending with your broader business goals that you can boost performance, support business continuity, improve employee productivity and job satisfaction, and lower costs – ultimately helping driving growth.

A good place to start is spend policy. Your goal is to improve performance and find savings, so your policy needs to guide employees on how to make purchases based on cost, efficiency, and sustainability. Then, once your policy is in place, strong governance is a must. That’s where a fully integrated spend management solution that allows you to build policy compliance into every workflow comes in. Gone are the days of the paper compliance manual. With automatic compliance checks at each stage of the travel, expense, and vendor invoice management process, you make people accountable for their own spending choices. Not only does this relieve managers and finance teams of the burden of overseeing everyone’s spend, you help build a culture of smart spending across your employee base. And when there are mistakes – or even potential fraud – built-in alerts make them much simpler to flag and address before payments are made.

Another key element of any spend management technology must be flexibility. No matter how well thought out your spend management strategy, always remember that everything is subject to change. Take, for example, the supply chain disruptions we are seeing across every industry. Or the rapid shift to the hybrid work environment. In order to act in the moment, you need a comprehensive spend management solution that allows you to pivot quickly, whatever the market may bring. And as home offices and business travel both take off, you must be able to provide everyone with travel and expense management data and workflows that can be accessed and executed from anywhere. There is simply no place for outdated, paper-based processes, lost receipts, spreadsheets, and email follow-ups. Full automation is the name of the game – and mobile access is a necessity. Not only are you improving the work experience for your staff, the digitalization of your spend management processes means they can be completed faster and more accurately that ever before – reducing errors, delays, and late fees; speeding reimbursements; and improving vendor relationships and the employee experience.

Beyond making life easier for employees and saving them time that can be focused on value-adding work, the right spend management strategy supported by a comprehensive spend management solution greatly increases business insight. By bringing all your travel, expense, and vendor invoice data together and offering robust reporting and advanced analytics, you can get a clear picture of spend across your business – from the bird’s-eye view to the smallest detail. This allows finance to spot trends – good and bad – uncover opportunities, and make spend decisions that improve business performance. And, if you choose a system that integrates with your back-end ERP or finance systems, you get the added bonus of using that same spend data to inform forecasting and budgets as you plan for the road ahead.

Ultimately, the right spend management strategy is one that moves your business forward by helping your finance team, buyers, travelers, partners, and vendors work more efficiently and effectively to meet customer needs. Greater process governance and data accuracy improves compliance and reduces the risk of waste and fraud. And comprehensive reporting and analytics give everyone the information they need to make the best spend choices for your people and your business. The savings opportunities you uncover will help optimize cash flow and seize the moment to reinvest in what matters most.

To find out more, read our complete guide to achieving strategic spend management. Then visit us online to see how SAP Concur solutions can help.

 

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