As the functionality of technology and applications has improved over time, so has the quality and timeliness of the financial information which, in turn, improved the effective management of the business.
However, there remains one last bastion of manual processes that spans the entire organisation and its function could not be more critical and sensitive in the current commercial environment – the way the company spends its cash.
At the heart of the problem is delegation of the maintenance and management of corporate budgets to departmental staff; whilst delegating procurement to each department simply creates an ever-growing list of suppliers with no attempts to achieve best price and significant wasted money. Financial managers have absolutely no chance of imposing control, achieving consistency or ensuring that paid for goods and services have actually been delivered.
The delegation of responsibility is set to end as ‘next generation’ finance managers are seizing the opportunity to take control of the critical process of how the company spends its cash. This automation of the purchase-to-pay process is the foundation stone of spend control, delivering quantifiable and significant savings to the business that instantly benefit the bottom line and cash flow.
And the financial benefits are significant with most organisations readily conceding that a three to five per cent saving in prices paid can be easily achieved through a more focused and controlled approach to purchasing, and a further one per cent to three by purchasing cheaper equivalents. Finance management is at lastcoming of age, proactively generating cash instead of just counting it and making a real contribution to profitability.
Neil Robertson – CEO, Compleat Softwarewww.compleatsoftware.com