- Bill Vergantino, President & CEO, ExpenseWatch.com
If you are a business, you are spending money. Payments go to employees for payroll and reimbursement of expenses and to vendors providing your organization with necessary products or services. As you add employees, the company spends more money overall, while the number of individuals empowered to spend money on behalf of the business grows as well.
How a company manages spending can differ dramatically from one organization to the nextdepending upon your corporate culture, the nature of your spending, and the type of business you are running. Whether you are expanding from 5 to 10 employees or 1000 to 2500, the challenges related to growth can strain any organization. Are more expense reports being submitted for approval and reimbursement? Arepurchase requisitions being circulated more regularly? Do you send more invoices around the business requiringvalidation of amounts and approval before paymentto vendors can occur? If the answer is yes to any of the above questions, it may be time to revisit your spending policies and processes.
Most organizations respond to the issues surrounding growth and managing company spending in one of the following ways:
- Some companies begin to feel a loss of control, and as a response,limit the number of people through which all spending occurs. I’ve seen $500M in revenue organizations require all expenditures over $1,000 to receive the COO’s written approval. This can cause frustration by those wanting more timely payment while the increased workload can overwhelm the few trying to handle the growing demand of their time.
- Other companies take the opposite approach. They try to make employees and vendors happy by reimbursing and paying in a timely fashion,but do so at the expense of ensuring that policies are being enforced and payment amounts are accurate.
- Finally, some companies look to modify their processes to enable a more efficient way of maintaining control, while not slowing the business down.
We all need to spend money, and no matter how you decide to evolve your processes to accommodate growth, the one key element for success should be enabling spend requests, spend approvals, and payment processes to be as effective and efficient as possible for everyone involved, while not compromising the company’s need to maintain visibility and control of spending.
SPEND is SPEND is SPEND no matter what the underlying process enabling it to occur. Fortunately, there are relatively inexpensive software solutions available that can automate spending processes and get your company refocused on its core business. As you consider solutions to automate your most challenging spending process today, consider alternatives that can go beyond just one area of spend control.
Typically, our customers seek a solution to help automate the most problematic spending process they have at the moment, whether it is Expense Report, Purchase Requisition, or Payable Invoice creation and approvals. Many then go on to implement our other modules and appreciate the benefits from having one solution that provides automation, visibility and control over all spending throughout their organization.