No business – large or small – can afford to rest on its laurels today. Continued expansion is critical. But as noted in a new paper by CFO, successful growth requires more than a scattershot approach. Winners in the race to grow must be strategic and smart about how they realize their goals, particularly in how they spend money to enable current and future business expansion. As noted by Dr. Christian Campagna, senior managing director for CFO and enterprise value within Accenture Strategy, “It is a delicate balancing act of reallocating spending to fund the new business while still maintaining the established business.”
Being this strategic about spending is extremely difficult for companies using disparate systems, fragmented data, and manual processes to track and manage different types of discretionary spending. This problem is widespread, according to the Aberdeen Group’s 2018 T&E Expense Trends and Benchmarking Spending report, which found that 60% of small and midsize businesses still use spreadsheets and other manual systems to track spending. This means that today, most finance leaders responsible for ensuring their budget is directed toward top priorities lack the real-time visibility, insights, and controls they need to do their jobs.
So the big question is: How can finance leaders proactively manage spending on current business model(s) while simultaneously budgeting for spending needed to propel the company forward?
As explored in a new paper by CFO, The Tools CFOs Need for Smart Growth, the answer is simple: Use a unified system that integrates travel, expense, and invoice management with ERP and other financial reporting tools and brings automation and artificial intelligence–enabled technologies to the process. This integration enables companies to gain insight into how expenses and cash flow are related, leading to better business decisions that smooth out bumps in the road. Finance leaders can determine, for example, when it makes sense to pay an invoice early to achieve an early payment discount, which frees up more capital to fund a growth program. Similarly, they can advise other line-of-business leaders if it’s worth using a less expensive component in a product or if the savings will be short-sighted at best and hamper future sales opportunities, which will really quash sales revenues.
Want to learn more about how to spend your way to intelligent business expansion? Download the whitepaper.