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How to identify seven major spend management challenges—and solve them

How to identify seven major spend management challenges—and solve them

6 min read

Spend management is critical for the financial health of a business—and it’s more than just budgeting. Your spend management strategy should include budgets, approvals and controls, methods of spend, expense reports, and an informed use of the resulting data. It can quickly grow complicated and unmanageable, especially as your company scales. 

Luckily, Divvy is here to help. We frequently hear customer frustrations regarding spend management, so we’ve made it our priority to solve those problems. Here are seven of the most common spend management challenges—and how we solve them.

1. You’re using old data

The most common spend management problem is using old data and expecting better results. Identifying useful expenses is difficult without real-time data.

Traditional expense management works with spending information that’s at least a month old. This makes it hard to tell what your money is doing for you. You never know what the company is committed to paying for until a month after the fact, making it difficult to gauge the financial health of the business.

Wouldn’t it be nice to know what’s being spent when it’s spent?

Divvy can do just that (track expenses in real-time). With Divvy, every purchase is tracked at the point of purchase, so you know what’s been spent right when it happens.

Let’s say an employee is using a company card when traveling for business. If the employee ever goes over budget or is making purchases that aren’t company approved, your finance team will know right away. If she has unexpected expenses, you can even increase her spend limit line on the fly.

2. Your spend isn’t linked to budgets

Far too often businesses see spend in a vacuum. A single corporate credit card account might be used for a variety of purposes, and your finance team needs to sift through and assign budgets after the fact.

Businesses frequently face the challenge of monitoring and budgeting for tail spend or indirect spend that has no clear budget or department. This means they’re left with a huge total and forced to retroactively assign and update individual budgets. 

When spend isn’t linked to budgets, budgets become completely meaningless. You end up tailoring budgets to meet last month’s spend, instead of reigning in spend to match budgets. Instead, you can use smart cards that operate within assigned and approved budgets.

Every expense needs a category first before spending can occur, and expenses are immediately attributed to the appropriate budget. 

3. Your spend isn’t suited to remote employees

The Global Work-from-Home survey estimates that 30% of the workforce will be fully remote by the end of 2021. As many companies have followed the lead of Facebook, Twitter, Google, Shopify, Upwork, and Lambda School, they’re discovering that their spend management is a complicated transition.

Employees can no longer walk down to finance to grab a corporate card or have things shipped to the office. How can you empower your employees to spend when they need to, even if they’re working from home?

Divvy has been supporting WFH companies long before COVID-19, so we can help you make the shift to managing spend for remote teams. No matter where your employees live, or how they spend, you can manage every cent of your spend with complete control. 

4. You don’t know when employees spend

At the end of the month when you’re finally running the expense reports you can make some unpleasant discoveries. Your sales team took some clients to lunch and you didn’t know they spent $300 on sushi. You didn’t realize that your software subscriptions were renewing this month. Your procurement team ordered materials for the entire year in one transaction. And suddenly you’re well over budget without even knowing those transactions occurred. 

Instead of facing these surprises, intelligent spend management solutions can allow you to know immediately when an employee makes a purchase—and updates your budgets accordingly. 

5. You manually track spending habits

If you’re still stuck using old data, how can you expect to track spending habits? Without help, you’ll spend a significant amount of time trying to make and track your budget, including lots of time spent trying to:

It’s a lot of work. Without insight into how you’re spending money, you have no idea what needs to be done to control it, and gaining that insight takes a lot of effort unless you have the right tools.

That’s why Divvy provides the resources critical for implementing spend management at your business. Combined with our system of analytics, you’ll have the insight you need to make critical financial decisions, and because all your data is real-time, you can make decisions that prevent shortfalls at the end of the month.

6. You need to cut costs

Working with old data and being unable to track spending habits makes it impossible to know what costs can and should be cut. Cutting costs across the board isn’t as helpful as it sounds. Not every expense is something you can just get rid of.

Some things you need just cost more than others and some expenses are justifiable and beneficial. Taking an ax to expenses indiscriminately won’t necessarily solve your spend management problems. That said, you likely can’t stay within your budget without cutting at least some costs.

Divvy helps in this area because you always have the newest spend analysis and the ability to track spending habits as they happen. With Divvy, you’ll have the proper insight into where and how effectively money is being used.

Once you identify ineffective costs, you can make informed decisions about whether to cut an expense.

7. You use multiple ineffective expense management software

From 2017 to 2020, SaaS subscription spending will more than double for companies worldwide. There are software applications for every type of process and pain points out there—it’s just a matter of how many different moving pieces you want to use (or pay for). 

Divvy helps you ditch your paid expense management, travel expense management, reimbursement, bill pay, bookkeeping systems, and manual processes, and replace them with one free, seamless software platform. Keep it all in one place and stop paying for multiple systems. 

Let us help you make your spend management and budgeting more effective and easy to manage. Divvy is free to use and free to try. Contact us for a demo today.

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