The Spend Management Oversight Your Company Needs to Thrive
Organizations can look at their spending in different ways. Some choose to separate expenses from procurement, for example. Invoices from suppliers can take their own route through a business, depending on which cost center will end up footing the bill. Payments are made by different business function managers and are sometimes not even reported centrally to finance.
Over time, software help will probably have arrived and been installed in the business, perhaps to help with expense management or scan and OCR paper invoices in the company’s morning mail.
At a fundamental level, most organizations, therefore, have some form, or rather several forms, of spend management. In their individual silos, there is oversight of each division’s spending and expenses, for example. But surprisingly few companies can get complete oversight onto all spending — at least, not without a few days manual compilation of different data pulled from all over the business. Real-time oversight, it ain’t.
It’s sometimes difficult, therefore, to quantify quite how much of an organization’s spend is managed day to day. But it’s rarely in the 90% range and seldom 100%. That lack of empirical data can significantly hamper a company’s growth. If there are mistakes made or unnoticed overpayment, or frustrated small suppliers waiting for a settlement, or even fraud, the longer-term prospects of the business are negatively impacted. The bottom line is that it’s difficult to lower running costs if no one is quite sure of costs, what’s causing them, and who’s responsible.
The Coupa Comparator
New users of spend management software Coupa are often amazed at the platform’s capability to draw together all the different spending “threads” that are intertwined throughout a growing business. It’s a modular piece of software that transforms the way businesses look at their spending and helps them manage it. Once managed, it shows where savings can be made, where mistakes are cropping up, and where payment bottlenecks are holding up the business’s progress.
By pulling together financial data from across the organization’s various sources (the platform integrates with most common business systems right out of the box), companies can quickly see how much, or how little, of their spend is under active management. It also helps companies compare their performance over time with other users in their market vertical — an anonymized competitor might have 95% of spend under management, while the user languishes in the low 70% region. Benchmarking against the industry norm and other similar companies can help companies drive change in processes to really get a handle on spending across the board.
In any business, procurement chains differ from department to department. As well as differing processes, there will be different levels of approval needed for varying amounts.
In the complexity of this shifting situation, it’s easy for mistakes to go unnoticed and sometimes, fraud to happen. The combination of Dynatos‘ expertise and the powerful Coupa solution makes matching and flipping POs simple, automatable (first-round matching rates are around 80%), and less prone to error and abuse.
The AI engine in the background of the advanced E-Procurement Cloud platform highlights mistakes, can help pinpoint fraud, and helps companies develop comprehensive, granular approval chains.
Users’ suppliers love the convenience of online invoice submission through dedicated portals and can be paid by Finance professionals with the click of a mouse. Tiny, local suppliers need no API-coding tools or access to merchant payment gateways – it’s simple and intuitive for the small and large partner, supplier, and third-party.
Big Tools for Smaller Players
The advantage offered by the Coupa platform with Dynatos is that many of the capabilities that have been the sole preserve of Fortune 50 companies’ finance divisions are now available to medium-sized organizations.
Complete oversight and management of all aspects of an organization’s spend give decision-makers the facts and figures they need to make the decisions to help the business grow and prosper. Technology helps remove guesswork, the need to act without full information, or the necessity to rely on a combination of “gut feel” and experience.
Companies with turnovers less than $1bn can start to act like household name enterprises, and indeed, get access to the same granular insightful information. External knowledge, too, comes from the Coupa Community resources, where the business and financial professional community comes together to pool thoughts, advice, recommendations, and much more.
There are detailed guides to Dynatos, Coupa, and Spend Management Technologies available to download right here, and keep watching this space for a further deep dive into spend management practice.