How Spend Management Innovation Is Creating Equity Value

Few big companies today still use a manual spend management system to process their accounts payable and other back-office functions but the technology has been through so much innovation in recent years that what constitutes a state of the art system today is very different from what it was just a few years ago. 

For smaller and mid-sized companies that are still managing paper invoices, the amount of money they’re losing by not automating can be significant — maybe as much as $20 an invoice, according to specialists in a CFO.com webinar. 

But AP and other spend management automation has never been just about saving money; it’s about attracting talented staff in a tough labor market, reducing compliance problems and scaling integral back-office operations in a way that can create equity value. 

“Resources [like AP automation] almost always pay for themselves, so focus on surrounding yourself with the quantity and quality that is going to allow your finance organization to really help drive the business,” says Beth Clymer, CFO of employment-resource platform Jobcase.

The tight labor market makes the case for automation even more urgent, because few young accounting specialists have an interest in working in an organization that still uses manual processes for functions for which an automated alternative is available.

“The new generation has a totally different mindset,” says Jess Scheer, executive editor at the Institute of Finance & Management. “Not a lot of people say they want to sign up for manual tasks. But if you give those people a higher-level task it will be more attractive.”

We hope this selection of pieces from CFO Dive will help you get a picture of the latest thinking on the impact the technology can have on the accounting function.



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