Blog / AP Automation December 9, 2021

Spend Visibility Enables Agile Decision-Making

The vast majority of companies that use legacy data systems struggle with accessing end-to-end spend visibility. Low-performing technology combined with disjointed accounts payable and receivable processes makes accurate tracking unachievable.

Courtney James

The vast majority of companies that use legacy data systems struggle with accessing end-to-end spend visibility. Low-performing technology combined with disjointed accounts payable and receivable processes makes accurate tracking unachievable.

The vast majority of companies that use legacy data systems struggle with accessing end-to-end spend visibility. Low-performing technology combined with disjointed accounts payable and receivable processes makes accurate tracking unachievable. Finance teams need real-time scenario planning to address immediate concerns and support stable growth. The latest real-time automation technology provides comprehensive, integrated spend analytics that set winning companies apart from their competition. 

Business spend visibility goes beyond simply tracking spending, but rather encompasses an intricate and insightful overview of how business funds move through the cash conversion cycle. Granular spend visibility enables greater knowledge sharing, faster communication, and more flexible decision-making. Meaningful insights help build resilient supply chains and create effective procurement strategies. This level of transparency also allows companies to quickly identify unexpected disruptions or expenditures to minimize harmful impacts. Finance teams who arm themselves with comprehensive spend insights can measure performance and monitor trends which is instrumental in allocating capital, managing assets, and mitigating risks.

Finance leaders and teams can start benefiting from spend analysis in a 3-step process that includes evaluating current capabilities, implementing technology to generate analytics, and leveraging insights for strategic planning. 

Evaluating the finance function’s spend tracking capabilities

CFOs must establish a baseline to understand if their current spend tracking systems are sufficient. According to McKinsey, it is critical to ask questions such as:

  • Do we have visibility into how resources are spent? 
  • Do we have the capabilities to identify risks and opportunities? 
  • Can our digital tools track actions to mitigate risks and improve the bottom line? 
  • Do we have access to real-time data to drive immediate results and value? 

This line of questioning helps to identify gaps in visibility and data hidden within internal siloes. Once the CFO understands what process improvements to make, sourcing the most effective automation technology to track company spending is critical in generating predictive insights. There are many automation solutions, so it is important to perform due diligence before selecting a technology provider. Ensure your finance team has the most accurate spend analytics by setting standards of success for automation.

Implement real-time technology to track company spending

In a recent Accenture report, 99% of all CFOs surveyed believe operating with real-time data is critical to navigating disruptions. Additionally, the majority of respondents thought real-time technology like AI and machine learning allowed for better business decisions, more-accurate forecasting models, and improved data accuracy. 

Optimizing the accounts payable (AP) process directly influences spend visibility and enables robust spend analytics. The AP team is the gatekeeper for all company outflows. When AP processes are inefficient or inaccurate, it is hard to collect reliable data or identify where company funds are going at any given time. The latest real-time AP automation technology audits and processes invoices with guaranteed accuracy to get invoices paid quickly and eliminate wasted spending. Stabilizing the invoicing process boosts cash management and helps finance teams better predict monthly cash flows. Real-time AP automation processes each invoice, logs all transactions, and generates spend data immediately. With instant, reliable data finance teams can access holistic views of company spending to make informed judgments. 

Leverage spend analysis for strategy and long-term goals

With the right tools in place, automated workflows allow finance teams to devote more time to bringing value to the organization through high-value projects. Spend analysis can improve operating capital by highlighting areas for cost reduction and freeing cash for asset allocation and investment. Procurement teams can leverage spend analytics for sourcing strategy, monitoring supplier quality, and ensuring contract compliance. With faster invoice payments and tracking supplier performance, procurement teams have stronger negotiation power during contract renewals and agreements. 

As companies continue to leverage technology to power their operations, spend analysis increases in importance. The insights offer organizations the ability to improve profits, optimize systems, and restrict spending to provide a better experience for customers and improve relationships with suppliers. 

Spend Insights with OpenEnvoy

OpenEnvoy takes spend analysis to the next level with dashboards that offer an all-encompassing view of company spend and the option to view individual categories at a granular level for actionable insights that are provided directly from the customer’s supplier network.
Learn how your organization can get access to real-time spend insights to start eliminating wasted spend by scheduling a demo with an OpenEnvoy expert today, visit https://openenvoy.com/contact-us/.

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