When small and midsize companies are not expanding internationally, growth for many firms comes through organic revenue increases, adding new locations and headcount, and mergers and acquisitions. These complex endeavors require close internal collaboration, with CEOs and business owners looking to their finance and IT leaders to take greater responsibility for how their company grows and scales. This trio of company leaders must work synergistically to achieve growth. No one – and no department – is an island anymore.
In many cases, finance will need to take an even bigger role to help the business hits its growth targets. In a recent Vanson Bourne study sponsored by SAP, 96% of finance leaders felt their team will become more important in driving growth strategy. Organizations need finance leaders to bring real-time, data-enabled decision support and guidance, coaching fellow leaders and the organization overall through planning and managing growth.
But to do this effectively, finance leaders must look to their IT leaders who can break down data silos, facilitate collaboration, and improve access to finance and other data, even as the business grows. They also play a lead role in addressing inefficient, manual processes and systems that can prevent the business from keeping up with increased demand. Across the board, company leaders are recognizing the need for finance and IT to work closer together in providing both data and analytics. IT has the technical know-how to bring data together, while finance has the insight to make sense of it all. The result of this collaborative effort is a business that can operate more intelligently and effectively, facilitate work processes for employees, reduce risk, and drive better data-based decision-making.
Nowhere is this more apparent than when IT and finance join forces to optimize discretionary spend management – specifically, travel, expense, and invoices – by deploying an integrated spend management solution that intelligently automates manual tasks. The right solution can free up finance staff to focus on growth-related initiatives and centrally manage and control discretionary spending so there’s always cash flow for growth priorities.
An AMI-Partners study notes that 64% of businesses consider the reduction of operating expenses a strategically important goal, with more than half of firms citing technology as the key to reducing costs. That means both finance and IT will share responsibility for managing costs and driving innovation. Taking on these challenges requires total control of spending as well as a broader, comprehensive way to orchestrate spending and policy across categories.
To learn more, download the latest paper from SAP Concur solutions, Partners in Intelligent Growth: How your finance and technology leaders can take the lead in growing your business.