Greek philosopher Heraclitus said, “Change is the only constant in life.” That’s certainly true for finance team members, who constantly juggle changing business conditions and responsibilities that range from mundane to strategic. Today, spend management in global enterprises is particularly complex, as finance teams deal with various currencies, languages, and statutory tax rates. But many of these teams are hampered by legacy travel and expense (T&E) management processes, which cannot keep up with the variations and rules across different locations.
Smart CFOs are turning to automation to simplify processes for their teams. A Gartner survey indicates that 93% of finance leaders want a leaner, digital, and data-driven vision for their finance function by 2025.
Building the Finance Team of the Future
Global businesses need faster and more efficient solutions to achieve spend visibility across geographies. According to PwC, organizations save 35%–46% in processing time by automating key finance processes. Automating time-consuming manual processes boosts efficiency while facilitating monitoring on the individual employee level.
A robust and transparent expense management solution centralizes the processing of global expense reports. Finance teams address country-specific requirements through pre-built spending rules, while still achieving real-time approvals for out-of-policy expenses. In addition, standardizing spend policy and approval removes transactional tasks, allowing teams to focus on strategic work.
Benefits of Modern Solutions When Managing Global Spend
Using technology for expense management is a strategic imperative for CFOs. Deploying spend management software enables optimization of common expense items such as travel bookings, software subscriptions, and other out-of-pocket expenditures. Companies can then conveniently coordinate between departments, eliminating the need for physical receipts for approvals.
Modern expense management solutions help businesses:
Obtain Best Pricing
AI-driven spend management platforms empower employees to make informed purchases and bookings. Vendor information is available to them on the platform, eliminating the need for manual searches. Employees can quickly find pre-approved suppliers and evaluate spending across regions. As a whole, organizations automatically follow guidelines to stay on budget.
Analyze Data From Different Regions
Data analysis from expense management tools offers closer insight into expenses, even in separate regions. A simpler way to compare expenses in different currencies saves time and reduces reconciliation errors. Armed with the data, finance leaders identify opportunities for savings and acquire corporate discounts on bulk orders. As a result, vendor cost management also improves.
Companies need an accurate way to track expenses for each region and department. Unlike manual expense reports, expense management software offers much higher spend visibility. Approval thresholds ensure employees spend within budget, cutting unwanted expenses by flagging and controlling out-of-policy purchases. For companies looking to optimize spending across business lines, focused software provides both high-level and granular views.
Streamline Policy Implementation
A global organization demands a robust expense policy to ensure expenses stay on budget. Modern expense management software automates policy guideline implementation and reduces manual entry errors.
In addition, dynamic policies allow companies to adjust in-policy spending thresholds based on fair market pricing at the time of booking. With dynamic policies, finance leaders do not routinely worry about excessive charges, and employees no longer have to explain every expense made due to a temporary price surge.
Enforce Dynamic Policy Compliance
In general, implementing digital payments without controls can lead to overspending, by making payments incredibly convenient. Spending in a different currency or environment also adds confusion about appropriate limits.
Smart cards empower employees to effortlessly make appropriate spending decisions. Every charge undergoes automatic review in the linked expense management tool. By proactively approving compliant transactions and flagging policy violations, intelligent software helps employees comply with dynamic policy changes. Finance teams then save time on reconciliation and cut short reimbursement cycles.
A centralized expense management solution like TripActions Liquid equips finance teams with the technology to simplify expense management. Say goodbye to traditional expense reports and free up your finance teams to work on strategic tasks that generate higher value for the organization.
Learn more about TripActions Liquid—the industry-leading end-to-end travel and expense solution that modernizes spend management for global enterprises.