Finance professionals rely on manual spend management tools, which are time-consuming and error-prone. Businesses use various solutions from multiple vendors to manage travel, expense and invoice processes. It would result in inaccurate data, inefficient processes and increased time. As per the Forrester report, 75% of enterprises with unified finance and IT strategies report a higher level of satisfaction with travel, expense and invoice management tools.
The following are the best practices for IT and finance departments to accomplish the key goals:
Finance teams may not be aware of how software can help improve efficiency and performance when developing organizations technology stack. IT decision makers often lack insight into how specific processes would work in financial workflows. If both finance and IT departments better understand the priorities, they can guide each other towards solutions that address needs. For instance, if IT departments have a better understanding of the financial processes and goals, they can suggest recommendations for efficient travel and expense management.
Spend data is becoming critical as it can help departments manage their business spending to meet the objectives. Both the finance and IT departments have different perspectives when evaluating the best options for travel, expense and invoice management. The first step is to understand how the current tools and systems are working, which helps you in analyzing the pros and cons of different solutions.
You can also consider integrations with other tools such as IT, HR and external applications. With an integrated ecosystem, businesses will get a complete picture of spend so they can understand the savings and improve the overall performance across the company.
Outlining a unified strategy should satisfy the needs of IT and finance department. By leveraging insights from the solutions, businesses can identify tools that enable finance leaders to manage to spend wherever and whenever required.
Consider Cloud-based Solutions
With more employees working remotely or traveling frequently, businesses have to consider multiple ways to gain control. Scalable and flexible cloud-based spend management solutions are essential to meet the evolving workplace needs. Cloud solutions bring much control, visibility, and savings into overall spending by capturing data from suppliers, hotels, credit card providers and from other sources. This is important for corporate travelers making transactions and submitting expenses from multiple parts of the world such as airports, hotels and any other places around the globe.
The finance departments should invest in cloud solutions that scale and leverage APIs, so the data seamlessly flows between enterprise applications. When IT and finance departments get integrated, it becomes easy for the finance department to manage spending whenever and wherever it occurs so that they can benefit from agility, flexibility, and scalability.
Automation will not just improve the finance operational efficiency but also enhances governance, risk, and compliance. It helps streamline repetitive processes and lets you to focus on the strategy. Big data and other cloud-based applications foster collaboration and minimize the complexity involved in the process.
Invoice process automation drives greater compliance with the terms of payment, which resulted in significant savings by avoiding penalties and interest fees on late payments. Vendors can receive payments quickly, and the number of delayed payments should be reduced by 67%. Above all, organizations have reduced the staff time required to administer the invoice management process and witnessed an increase in overall productivity.