03 September 2020

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There’s more to managing cash flow than simply knowing where your company’s money has gone.

You need to know if spend is delivering maximum return - adding value for your customers and your bottom line.

An area where ‘bang for buck’ is often overlooked is expenses. Finance teams are frequently caught up in time-sapping authorisation and reimbursement loops. With little time left to actually explore what’s happening beneath the surface of the spend itself.

With a lack of real-time visibility into spend by employee, there’s no clear insight into spend patterns. That means operational decisions are often made in the dark. The result? Leaky cash flow driven by unnecessary spend, inaccurate forecasting and an inability to optimise preferential terms.

Getting the insight you need.

Increasingly businesses are switching on to spend analysis to help shine a light on their spending behaviours. Using automated functions within modern expense payment and management solutions, it’s now possible to obtain granular and accurate data that reveals who’s spending what and where. This can give you the intel you need to make better decisions and stay in control.

Five reasons why spend analysis is a smart move:

  1. It delivers actionable intelligence that helps the strategic management of the business.
  2. In challenging times, (e.g. Brexit, pandemics), it provides a foundation for accurate scenario planning, allowing you to assess the impact of prioritising or deferring activities.
  3. Real-time, granular expense data lets you create reports customised to management KPIs, revealing new ways to boost performance, agility and competitiveness.
  4. It helps inform procurement, providing evidence to secure better deals with providers.
  5. Importantly, it identifies problems you didn’t know you had, helping plug expenditure leaks, prevent misuse and even head-off potential fraud.

What’s holding businesses back.

66% of finance professionals say they have no time for analysis. Outdated systems, including manual forms and siloed spreadsheets make it a strenuous and time-consuming task. In fact, 73% of finance professionals rate manual, spreadsheet intensive processes to be the biggest pain point in their process. This can create cost leakage and inefficiencies - bad news for stakeholders and employees and a headache for finance. 

Automation can unlock smart insight.

With the right expense management system, solving the headache can be easy. Solutions such as Visa IntelliLink (in partnership with Allstar) can help automate and simplify internal expenses, whilst turning card transactions into valuable business intelligence to support better decision making. It includes a suite of flexible reporting and analytical tools customisable to your organisational needs.

Not only that, once spending patterns have been identified, pre-spend controls on card based payment solutions (such as Allstar Plus) can be tweaked to ensure the potential savings identified can be realised. Not only is spend now visible it’s easy to control. Now that’s smart!

Like to smarten up your expenses? Checkout our latest report ‘Why expenses don’t have to hold you back’. 

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