2022: The Year to Come in Finance and SaaS

2022 in Finance and SaaS

The last two years were nearly impossible to predict due to the ongoing global pandemic. But 2022 should see some of the massive changes from the COVID-19 era solidified as the new normal.

Digital transformation was accelerated at many companies because they had to figure out how to operate remotely on the fly. For most, that meant an increased reliance on SaaS (software as a service) solutions to help their employees work.

Now that most of the kinks have been ironed out, it’s hard for some to imagine ever fully returning to a traditional in-office setting or doing away with SaaS subscriptions for everything from communication to project management to customer relationship management. In fact, many of the changes that were implemented over the last two years are likely to stick around long-term.

With that in mind, here are my predictions for this year’s trending topics in finance and SaaS.

Automation

Automation is essential to saving businesses time, money, and effort. It can encompass everything from the digitization of repetitive tasks and data entry to AI-powered virtual assistants conducting customer service.

According to Gartner, the market for technology that enables hyper-automation will reach nearly $600 billion this year — so it’s definitely top of mind for many businesses.

In addition to freeing up employees for less repetitive, higher value work, automation can also improve the customer experience by cutting down on wait times for communication and assistance. By streamlining business processes, companies of any size are able to reduce costs, improve efficiency, and drive business growth.

Especially in the finance department, automation has massively cut down on the time required for data input, expense reports, and reconciliation. This frees up accounting staff for more valuable work like analyzing, forecasting, and strategic planning.

Collaboration

Despite the business world being more remote than ever, finance teams are moving towards greater collaboration within their organizations. 

Finance experts are starting to be included in bigger picture business planning — as they should be. With the right technological infrastructure, finance teams can gather insights that are critical to strategic decision-making for the rest of the company.

In order to get an accurate reading of the company as a whole, the finance team needs to collaborate with the marketing team on their budget, as well as the CRO on the top line. The more integrated the finance team is with everyone else, the more accurate projections will be and the more cost efficient the company can be as a whole.

Optimization

For most of us, the pandemic was a lesson in learning what we can and cannot do without. As companies transitioned to remote set-ups and invested in SaaS for their employees, it became clear where corporate spend was and was not necessary. 

Some costs that dropped to virtually nothing over the last two years, like travel and entertainment, will likely make a return this year. On the other hand, companies that have moved to permanent remote or hybrid work models will save money on office costs.

Whatever the unique circumstances of your situation, optimizing corporate spend is key to running as efficiently as possible. That could mean cracking down on redundant SaaS spends by auditing, optimizing and even cancelling subscriptions and licenses, or it could be eliminating “miscellaneous” corporate credit cards that float between employees without any controls in place.

By streamlining corporate spend, you’ll save money where it was being wasted and relocate it to areas that actually need it.

Digitization

Going cashless isn’t new, but debit and credit cards aren’t the only alternatives anymore. In fact, digital wallets are poised to make up 50% of global e-commerce payments by 2023.

COVID-19 certainly made consumers wary of handling cash, but even before the pandemic, cash was on track to make up just 10% of transactions by 2028. Now, it’s expected to reach that low level much faster. With the ubiquity of mobile phones, it’s unsurprising that digital payments on mobile devices are predicted to take over.

In the corporate world, digital payments make even more sense. They offer better spend controls, security, and convenience for users. Receipts can be submitted digitally for accounting purposes, business expenses can be pre-approved by supervisors, SaaS subscriptions can be managed easily, and there’s no need to worry about shuffling a piece of plastic between multiple employees or departments.

Oded Zehavi is the CEO and co-founder of Mesh Payments.

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