Artificial Intelligence (AI) is mainstream and there is no going back now. In order to maintain competitiveness, organizations of all sizes should start planning to incorporate it into their business processes. One area in particular that has seen the benefits of AI is that of finance and accounting. However, incorporating AI into your finance department isn’t a simple plug-and-play, you must first have a solid spend management process in place.
Read the eBook to explore a more strategic approach to spend management
Use these tips to strengthen your spend management process, so you can begin to plan how you will gain a competitive advantage by using artificial intelligence.
1. Understand the Importance of Spend Management
It is not uncommon for business owners to question whether or not spend management is even necessary for their company. Often times, when cash flow is strong, corporate spending is considered “part of doing business” and isn’t given a second thought. This attitude isn’t fiscally responsible and can eventually lead to problems down the road.
Jason Woods, CFO of SAP Concur says it best: “A spend management plan is critical to a company’s financial health, regardless of industry or size.”
So, whether you are a small business with a handful of employees or a global organization with thousands, it is good business practice to have a spend management process in place. Put pen to paper and begin creating a plan.
2. Get the 30,000-Foot View of Your Current Processes
Cliché? Maybe. But, when it comes to adding any new technology, it will only be as good as the process behind it. If your current process has any hang-ups or issues, it won’t matter how much AI you incorporate, it won’t fix what is already broken.
Take the time to thoroughly review your current spend management process. Talk to members of your finance team to learn about any bottlenecks, as well as to find out what is working. Take the time to interview members of other departments to find out what is and isn’t working. You might be surprised to find that what is great for your finance team, might not necessarily be ideal for your sales team.
3. Update Processes With AI in Mind
Now that you have a list of current issues, you can start to develop or adjust processes to make things run smoother. When updating processes, keep AI in mind. For example, could the gathering and analyzing of data for monthly expense reports be done by robotic processes versus a team member, freeing up time for more strategic tasks?
Don’t forget to involve team members from all departments when making updates. People are more apt to follow a new process when they feel invested.
4. Get Help From the Experts
Don’t get overwhelmed by your spend management process. Use the tools experts in the field have created to give your company the competitive edge. Start by downloading SAP Concur’s 5 Steps to Strategic Spend Management. This eBook will help guide you towards a more strategic approach to spend management, enabling you to integrate AI and gain a competitive advantage.