Expense management could be the Achilles heel of your organization.
A robust, transparent expense management culture where trends can be easily seen, accessed, and analyzed is the only way to confidently prepare for the unimaginable.
Why is It Important to Track Expense Trends?
Companies that do not track their historic expense trajectory are unlikely to have firm control over their cost base. Consistent monitoring of business expense trends can aid your financial control by:
1. Revealing poor financial behavior: Tracking business spend on a monthly or daily basis helps identify fraudulent or out-of-policy spend. Small costs add up over time, making a material difference to the bottom line. Expense trends help identify strange spending patterns so they can be resolved ASAP.
2. Increasing visibility: It’s not enough to just track the big spend items. Securing a full understanding of your cost base means getting clear on all forms of spend whether they be supplier costs, corporate lunches, taxis or subscriptions for a more holistic overview of company performance.
3. Better forecasting: Tracking overall business spend over time helps finance teams gain actionable insights to reduce costs in the future.
4. Adapting for growth: As a company grows so does its responsibility to manage its revenue streams, cost base, and compliance regulations. Growth also often leads to more complex internal systems and larger teams -- which makes control feel impossible without the proper tools. This is all without accounting for the potential for human error when systems are operated manually. Processing delays, missed fraudulent claims and out-of-date information are some of the common side effects of mismanaged spend management.
However, overcoming such challenges need not be the headache you think it might be.
Automating the Process
The majority of these challenges can be handled or even eliminated by automating the expense management process. It’s no longer necessary to manually input, adjust, and clean data in Excel sheets, which often leads to mistakes, yet rarely insights.
It’s time to switch to an automated expense management system.
Organizations need consistent inputs of data to keep abreast of business trends and achieve operational success. When this data and analysis is automatically provided to finance teams on-demand, it results in more accurate trend prediction, which naturally leads to quick, clear decision making and a higher return on investment.
As expense categories grow, the importance of having a flexible system that allows finance teams to quickly adapt and monitor changes only increases.
Trend analysis can become one of the most powerful devices in your business toolbox. Whether your immediate focus is to analyze individual team spend, get a better handle on escalating subscription costs, or understand profit trends to forecast for the year ahead, automating the process is not just good business sense--it’s fast becoming a necessity.