When it comes to spend management, many companies do not fully explore the potential for efficiency gains and savings: Not only are the processes complex, they are also still mostly completely manual. The automation of spend management promises to be a remedy - but how can savings potential be identified and leveraged in concrete terms?
From expenses and invoices to card transactions - spend management in many companies resembles a black box. Billing processes have evolved over many years and are still largely manual. Thus, many companies are confronted with the following similar challenges:
1. Lack of expense visibility
Whether it's business travel, lunch with a client, or software for day-to-day operations, expenses are incurred in every area of a company. Who keeps track of them? In many companies, spend management remains decentralized - there is no single platform where all expenses converge. Companies lack transparency, which in turn makes it difficult for them to make targeted decisions based on the company's liquidity.
2. Non-transparent spending policy
What are employees allowed to spend money on? What are the per diems for employees in different countries? How much is the spending allowance? When it comes to corporate spending, there are a lot of legal and internal regulations to consider. While employees can quickly lose track of the situation, it is ultimately up to the finance department to ensure compliance with these guidelines. With manual processes, a lot of time is spent on detailed checks of every expense, every invoice and every card transaction.
3. Error-prone financial processes
For the finance department, manual spend management involves a lot of repetitive activities. Expenses and invoices must be checked for accuracy, and card transactions must be reconciled with the corresponding receipts. All of these financial processes can be sources of error. Small inaccuracies or careless mistakes not only cause extra work, but they can also have legal consequences, for example with regard to compliance requirements.
Complete spend management in one place - fully automated
How can companies meet these challenges? The answer lies in consolidating and automating spend management. The following considerations play a role here:
1. Consolidation on one platform
If companies centralize all relevant spend processes on one platform, they lay the foundation for uniform and reliable processes - at the same time, they gain a better overview.
On the one hand, companies standardize their processes, which often vary by location or even by department. Combining the entire spend management on one platform helps to create a cross-company process design: Who is allowed to record expenses? Who approves them? What automatic mechanisms are used in the event of error messages? In this way, companies make it much easier for their employees to handle expenses, invoices and card transactions. They no longer have to access different tools and deal with varying processes.
On the other hand, the platform concept enables companies to guarantee the availability of data in a central location. In this way, they create comprehensive transparency, which they can in turn use for more in-depth analyses to analyze their spending behavior and make forward-looking decisions.
2. Automation of processes
The use of artificial intelligence (AI) allows companies to automate the centralized spend processes for expenses, invoices and card transactions from start to finish. This results in the following benefits for companies:
- Greater efficiency: spend management processes run faster - manual intervention is only necessary in special cases.
- Less susceptibility to errors: Errors are reduced; through automation, careless mistakes and inattentiveness are avoided.
- Greater control and transparency: By systematically recording and processing all expenses on one platform, companies gain a better overview of their costs. They can use these insights to make strategic decisions about their liquidity and cash flow.
- Increased employee productivity and motivation: Employees from the finance team can spend less time on repetitive tasks and more time focusing on things that add real value. This not only increases their productivity, but also their motivation.
Potential savings from automated spend management
An all-in-one spend management platform like Yokoy ensures that employees across the organization follow a simple process to submit expenses. In turn, the finance department no longer has to complete repetitive tasks by hand.
In addition to these and other efficiency gains, companies can also identify and realize potential savings through automated spend management:
- Long-term cost optimization through analyzing spending behavior: Yokoy gives companies a comprehensive overview of their spending behavior. They can use this information to unlock optimization potential. For example, if certain hotels are booked repeatedly for business trips, negotiating special rates for overnight stays may be worth considering. In addition, companies can eliminate unnecessary, recurring expenses altogether or switch to less expensive alternatives when making purchases.
- Fraud Prevention & Compliance: Yokoy not only maps compliance guidelines as well as internal company policies, but also ensures adherence to these sets of rules. Thanks to predefined automatisms, Yokoy limits the scope for interpretation of the regulations, detects the incorrect recording of data and reports potential cases of fraud. For example, if two employees submit the same expense to two different departments in the same company, it is almost impossible to detect this in a manual process. With a solution like Yokoy, this is not a problem.
- Reclaiming VAT: Year after year, companies miss out on significant amounts of money by not reclaiming international VAT on their expenses. This is because the manual process of data entry and reclaiming is very time consuming and complex. An automation platform like Yokoy remedies this by automatically reading the tax rates and preparing the accounting journal for correct posting and VAT reclaim. This makes reclaiming a breeze and saves businesses time and money.
How much can you save with Yokoy?
Want to know exactly how much you can save by using a spend management solution like Yokoy? Test out our ROI calculator and find out!