Let’s say you’re in college, and you’d really like some pad Thai because it’s barely midnight and you haven’t eaten since, like, 10:00. You have $14 to your name, so you’re good, right? Wrong. Your favorite band is in town this weekend, and that’s a $10 cover, so pad Thai now means no party later.
It’s a tough choice, and it’s often only decided by a call to your mom’s wallet.
Making spending decisions now – at your organization, which takes place in real life – is considerably more difficult. You have to know what to buy, where to buy it, and how to pay. You have to find out if someone has negotiated discounted rates with a specific vendor. You have to take into account any regulatory restrictions that might impact taxes or reimbursements or otherwise negatively impact your company. And you have to understand that it adds up to millions of dollars.
Or, more accurately, every employee in your organization has to understand these things.
So when we say that spending decisions present a moment of risk, you believe us. We’d also like you to know that spending decisions are moments of opportunity.
As our recent ebook points out, there are four things you can do to take control of those moments, thereby controlling cash, costs, and regulatory compliance along the way. Because when you equip your company to manage every spending choice, you can build on opportunities to build momentum all across your organization.
If buying something for work is confusing, how can you expect anyone to do it right? When audits and approvals or policies and protocols make it difficult to decide how best to spend the company’s money, you can be certain that – a good portion of the time – your well-meaning employees are going to spend the wrong amount at the wrong place. And it’s going to take weeks or even months to get it all sorted out again. Bring intelligent tech into the process, however, and you can turn confusing processes into moments of clarity.
When’s the last time the government said “You know what? We don’t need more of your money.”? Regulations change. Requirements shift. Companies scramble. It’s the name of the game, and the rules are always in flux. But when things like VAT reclaim and taxable employee benefits can mean leaving tens of thousands (or even millions) on the table, it’s something you can’t sweep under the rug. But put the right spend management solutions in place, and you can turn regulatory shifts into moments of certainty.
Do your teams have accurate information or gut feelings? The budget is the budget, no matter how you feel about it. So your managers, your program leaders, your entire finance department – they all need clear, accurate, and up-to-date contextual information to guide the policies they create and spending choices they make. Make precise data your default, and you can turn spending decisions into moments of accuracy.
Does it feel like invoices take all of your attention most of the time? Simply put, invoices should be easy to capture, audit, route, approve, and pay. Because when they’re easy to manage, it’s easier to replace late fees with early payment discounts. It’s also easier to see what’s paid, what’s pending, and what’s next – and if what you’re paying for is what you wanted and/or what you received. Because when you have this type of insight, you can turn frustrating invoices into moments of confidence.
Yes, these are all significant moments in the spending process, but improving the tools you use (or more effectively using the tech you have), can significantly improve the way your employees spend – not to mention your ability to control it.
So you can have your pad Thai and eat it, too.