The Age of “Spendlightenment” has dawned, the team at Airbase notes in a blog post.
The innovation of spend management has “the power to elevate the work of finance professionals to a higher state of being, one characterized by unprecedented vision, power, and flow.”
When those elements are achieved, spend management “becomes something more — we call it spendlightenment,” the Airbase team adds.
They also mentioned that Spendlightenment represents “a revolution in AP processes that isn’t just the development of new features, but rather encapsulates an entirely new, holistic approach.”
However, as with all great paradigm shifts, “a state of transition must happen first.”
In order to determine where finance pros are on the journey to spendlightenment, and what they need to truly arrive at this transcendent state, Airbase “surveyed over 200 accounting and finance professionals from mid-market to early-enterprise companies (50-3,000 employees).”
The results show that “most finance pros have a strong desire to reach this elevated state of consciousness, but many lack the right tools to support it.”
As noted in the update, a healthy spend culture and effective budgeting and forecasting “depend on full visibility into spending across a company.” But, many of their respondents “struggle to obtain real-time visibility into all non-payroll spend.”
54% don’t see spending “until after it has occurred.” This can “wreak havoc on budgets, and frequently puts the finance team in the awkward position of having to police non-compliant purchases after the fact.”
Only 13% “know about spending before it occurs. Automated approval workflows make this possible.”
Why aren’t more companies employing them?
The area with the murkiest visibility “is corporate card spending.” This can be “cleared up with the right software-enabled corporate cards.”
Airbase’s cards “not only provide visibility into spend as it happens with an automated booking to the GL, they also provide insight into subscription spending.” Spend intelligence tools alert users “to duplicate card spend, zombie spend, and opportunities to save money through discounted pricing.”
In a state of spendlightenment, an accounting team is “empowered to play a more strategic role within a company, thanks to automated processes that free up time and reduce the risk of errors.” The resulting real-time data “facilitates more informed decision-making.”
Airbase’s survey shows that “many finance pros feel they haven’t yet achieved that kind of empowerment, largely because they’re mired down by too many time-consuming manual processes.”
41% say they are “significantly less efficient due to a lack of finance and accounting automation.”
66% say company growth “has been damaged by a lack of control and visibility.”
88% would like “to automate more processes in order to save time.”
In a state of flow, tasks “move seamlessly, and you can immerse yourself in engaging, satisfying work without hitting roadblocks (like missing receipts).” Many of their respondents “hope to achieve this, but feel their current level of automation falls short.”
Only 8% feel “they currently have an adequate level of automation.”
47% say “this lack of automation costs their company time and money.”
An astounding 97% say “they waste time each month tracking down invoice details.”
Clearly, their respondents “want more spendlightenment in their lives.” So, what’s the first step toward achieving it? Based on the results of the survey, automation “is imperative.”
The following elements can facilitate the necessary vision, power, and flow:
- End-to-end accounting automation.
- Automated approval workflows.
- Real-time reporting tool.
- A deep integrations with the GL.
- Software-enabled corporate cards.
- Spend intelligence insights.
For more details on this update, check here.