What is Spend Management Software and Why You Need it By Sarah Murphy March 31, 2021 Whether it’s IT or marketing, almost every department incurs regular expenses. From SaaS payments to advertising costs, you can quickly lose track of where your money is going. Worst of all, many businesses are still operating in silos and relying on manual methods to track expenses. Inaccurate data, lack of awareness, inefficiencies- a long list of cons come with traditional expense tracking methods. Shifting to a modern approach and adopting spend management software can boost productivity and put you in control of your budget. Let’s explore why a spend management solution is the way ahead for businesses. Why Businesses Need Spend Management Managing your business processes is the way to unleash growth and profits. Businesses hire MBAs to manage their business in the best possible way. Managing your regular business expenses similarly improves transparency and optimizes spending. The need for spend management may not be evident for a business that makes only a handful of payments. However, a typical business has hundreds and thousands of payments to make each month or week. Not knowing where your money is going can lead to a waste of your resources. Additionally, you can overshoot your budget and even experience a shortage of cash. Using a spreadsheet is slightly better but still ridden with inefficiencies. Data entry is a massive task, and you have to spend quite some time tracking your expenses. Spend management software brings automation and centralization to your business expenses. You have all the data in front of you to develop insights and make informed business decisions. Managing your expenses like a pro will help you save time, money, and effort. Even today, an average employee wastes 26% of their day doing repetitive tasks and working with older technology. Additionally, 48% of workers feel they would work more productively with new tools and technologies. So, the time has come to shift to the modern way of tracking your expenses with spend management software. How Spend Management Helps Businesses Grow Let’s take a deeper look at out how getting a digital solution to track your business expenses can fuel growth and profitability: Real-Time Visibility into Spending The biggest contribution of spend management tools is to give you complete visibility into your expenses. The solution automatically records a transaction as it happens and captures all required data. The system updates the database automatically without wasting any time. As a result, you get real-time, end-to-end information for all payments made by any department in your company. You will not have to dig up spreadsheets or turn pages of records. All data will be readily available for you to utilize fully. Real-time visibility can bring many perks to the table: Cost-savings of up to 20% Predict disruptions Low labor costs Better risk management Boosts Operational Efficiency Inefficiencies can impact businesses more than they expect. IDC research shows businesses lose 20% to 30% of their revenues due to inefficient processes. For finance businesses, inefficiency can cost up to $4 billion every year. Improve your operational efficiency to eliminate financial loss. If you have a remote workforce, use a strategy that works. Spend management software can automate nearly all the payment and tracking processes to reduce inefficiencies. You can streamline your workflow and improve processes like procurement and purchase requests. Additional benefits include: Reduced payment cycle times Elimination of duplicate payments Streamline bookkeeping and accounting processes Fewer late payments Moreover, you will be able to develop and implement transparent spend policies for your teams. They can use their mobiles to approve requests without burdening the system. In short, a spend management tool can help you boost your revenues by at least 20% to 30%. Accurate and Quality Data Manual data entry is not famous for its accuracy. You will always have inaccurate data, errors, and mismatches due to human nature. When it comes to financials, such mistakes can take a toll on your business profitability. Any digital solution is not capable of making mistakes. You can count on the accuracy of data that contains no duplicate entries or wrong figures. Additionally, you can automate data collection and improve the quality of your information. Accurate figures are necessary when you want to manage your expenses like an expert. Optimize Business Spending Adopting an automated spend management solution can help you cut unnecessary spending and utilize your resources optimally. You get a ready list of your recurring expenses updated to the latest payment with a click. This single act helps you achieve greater control on your budget for spending accurately to create value. Let’s share a few examples to show what it’s possible: Track each and every payment made by your company No payments without the approval of requests Identify duplicate or fraudulent invoices Ensure your internal budget controls are met Track services or products that provide no value, like outdated software Create custom reports focusing on departments, payment categories, and more The list of ways to optimize your spending is endless when you use the right spend management software. Drive Meaningful Business Insights A business spend management solution will provide a host of analytics you can use to your advantage. Analytics let you dive deep into your spending patterns and habits to generate vital insights. Coupled with real-time visibility into expenses, you can make informed and strategic business decisions. You will be better at forecasting expenses and react quickly to any changes. Additionally, you can use the insights to assess your internal performance and identify areas of improvement. Moreover, you can zero-in on cost-saving opportunities and capitalize on trends to improve profitability. Save Time, Money, and Labor Just like operational efficiency, your spend management tool will help you save time, money, and effort on many levels. Automation is undoubtedly one of the most significant contributors and can help businesses save $16 trillion in wages each year. You can easily automate data entry and record-keeping, among other things, by using an automated solution. Spotting unnecessary expenses and proper utilization of resources also help you save. Plus, you can identify outdated technology or redundant services you’re paying for. Streamlining your processes and workflow leads to time savings. You can spend the hours for productive purposes, like getting more customers to boost profitability. On average, automation can help you free up 360 hours every year for each employee. Just think of what you can do with those precious hours! Spend Management Software is the Way Ahead Modern businesses make countless payments every day, week, and month. They are lost in the waters without a centralized system to track the payments. Manual methods are still working in silos and go only so far as to provide any value. Automating your spend management using a digital solution centralizes your payments. You get full visibility into every expense and know where your budget is going. Additionally, you can streamline your workflow and cut out waste and unnecessary expenses. Spend management software will even help you save money and human hours for more productivity. Get the latest blogs from Mesh by subscribing to our newsletter Manage Your Payments With Full Control & Visibility Get Started Sarah Murphy Sarah is a Content Manager for Mesh Payments. Before working in marketing, she completed her Master of Journalism degree at Toronto Metropolitan University (f.k.a. Ryerson University) and worked as an arts journalist in Toronto. She was a content writer for tech companies in the retail and workforce management sectors before joining Mesh in 2022.