Cashflow is critical to business, yet many leaders struggle without a real-time view of the money in their companies. Finance automation can provide a host of benefits, freeing you to focus on growth, writes Dafydd Llewellyn, managing director EMEA SMB & Nationals at SAP Concur
When your business uses manual, paper-based finance processes, all the information you need is there, but finding it in a timely manner is hard. That means it’s difficult to keep track of cashflow – and even harder to improve it.
Plus, you’re able to analyse information much more easily and action insights that will help you improve cashflow.
Here are some of the ways you can use finance automation to improve your processes and, in turn, improve your cashflow…
1 Get real-time visibility of your data
Understanding where the cash is in your business is the critical element of cashflow. Finance automation can give you real time visibility you need.
For example, automated expense processes can smooth peaks and troughs in employee spend because it’s easier for employees to submit expense claims and allows the finance team to make reimbursements more quickly.
2 Receive reports that track progress against budget
The chances are your finance team needs to know the same information every month. It’s true of every other department in the business too.
With finance automation, standard reports can be generated automatically so you can spend more time on the analysis and less time on the data mining.
Imagine enabling department heads to keep a real time view of their budgets, seeing the impact of expense requests before approving them while being alerted when they approach their spend threshold.
That would lead to more informed decisions, letting them take the right actions at the right time.
3 Take advantage of data transparency
For many businesses, the immediate access to cashflow information that finance automation brings means they can do things that weren’t possible before.
Information becomes easier to share and allows managers to gain better insight. In SAP Concur, for example, you can set up bespoke dashboards to access reports that are relevant at the click of a mouse.
Managers can, for instance, see how much they’re spending with a certain supplier so they have the information they need to negotiate a discount. They’re also able to spot when spend is too high in a certain area so they can take steps to reduce it.
Process improvements allow time to be spent on more important things such as driving business growth.
4 Improve morale
Finance automation frees up time for you to spend on the more important things. Research suggests the people responsible for processing expenses and invoices save over 15 per cent of their time when finance automation is in place.
Now think what that could mean for team morale and job satisfaction if employees are able to focus on more value-added, meaningful jobs.
When cash is flowing smoothly through your business then your business is running smoothly. Finance automation makes it easier to monitor and manage cashflow so you’re able to make changes to improve it.