I won’t be the first to say it, but it is time for this year to move on. The pandemic, the politics, the pretending to be your child’s science teacher when, in fact, you work on a finance team – we need to rip this page off the calendar, toss it in the trash, and pour ourselves another big glass of burgundy.
Ah, but if only we could.
Instead, we’re going to get up again tomorrow and deal with what we’ve been dealt. And any card in our hand that helps keep the lights on is a card we’re going to use.
Budgets are going down, money is flying out the window – use whatever metaphor you want, times are tight for many businesses. And when that happens in the business world (or at home), your first thought is to cut – or at least more tightly control – costs.
It’s a great idea, especially if you know what those costs are. If, however, you’re like many businesses, you don’t have a completely accurate picture of your expenses. Too much of it is hidden from view. Too much of it is going on personal credit cards. Too many employees are doing too much spending with too little oversight.
And working from home has only made the matter messier.
However, if you have the tools to govern that spending – to capture every expense of every employee, to automate invoices and auditing and, well, all the other critical costs that hit your balance sheet – you’re going to know exactly where you stand financially. No worries. No wondering. No waiting for expenses to come in next month to see what you spent last month.
You’ll see it all in real time, so you can make informed decisions about where to spend and how to save.
In this time of cost control, you need to make it easier for your employees to spend money.
Now, while that might seem counterintuitive, it’s actually a little bit brilliant. When it’s hard for employees to buy the things they need for work the right way, or when it’s difficult for them to manage the paperwork and other processes that directs spending to the right places, they’re still going to buy what they need. It’s just that they’re going to do it their way. They may pay cash or put it on their own card, and then they’re going to procrastinate on their expense report. The result is that you can’t see what they’re spending until long after it’s gone.
Direct them to their corporate card, point them to the right payment method and process for each and every purchase, give them expense reports that write themselves – give them the easiest possible ways to get what they need – and you’ll get all the spending data you need to stay on top of spending.
In other words, when you make following your spending rules the easiest, fastest option for employees, they’ll actually follow the rules.
Really, the biggest thing you can do to tackle spending (and thus save your business from unexpected expenses that erode your budgets), is to make sure you direct the right type of spending to the right payment method through the right process. The tools we talk about here are all designed to do just that. To shed light on your expenses, so you can finally see them and manage them. They’re meant to give you visibility into what employees are spending, so you can not only see some consistency in your spending patterns, you can see the dollars going out the door.
Without this level of governance and visibility, there can be no control. And with no control, it’s just going to be 2020 all over again.
To see more on this topic and the tools to help you do the work, read this quick eBook: Foresight 2021.