The future is here. With the rising trends in spend and expense management, there seems to be a common thread – Technology. Whether it is automation, mobility, visibility or integration of new methods; incorporating and replacing age-old ways of managing spend and expense has improved greatly with the introduction of new technology.
Here are five apparent rising trends in the field of spend and expense management:
Replacement of first-generation solutions:
A change that has been evident is that first generation solutions are being replaced in large numbers. Companies are increasingly replacing first generation solutions with those that not only integrate big data models but are also category-specific and cost-effective as well.
Predictive solution approaches are starting to become popular which is key to the long-term increase of machine learning models.
The decline of conventional expense reports:
As spend and expense management software gets more and more integrated with advanced technologies, expense reporting will be automatically processed in the background. This will not only help employees save time, but also allow them to prioritize by focusing on business.
Manual expense reporting will soon be wiped out by technology such as optical character recognition (OCR) and other scanning recognition technologies.
Countries such as China, Spain, France and Japan are deregulating the validation and documentation of paper receipts which will soon make them obsolete, paving way for the standardization of e-receipts.
With automation and machine learning, there is a clear view to spot patterns through data, which is rapidly leading to a large decline in expense fraud.
Introduction of the cloud:
Previously, the acquisition of enterprise tools came hand in hand with enterprise cost which in essence priced out several technologies for small businesses. However, with the introduction of the cloud, the playing field has been leveled, letting in a plethora of web-based apps that are not only cost-effective for small businesses but pave way for them to grow at a rapid rate. In the coming year, there will be a rise in the adoption of cloud-based enterprise tools by small businesses for the enhancement of business functions.
Tackling customary functions such as corporate travel management and integrating rising technologies such as chatbots will be popular as well.
Predictive analysis and personalization:
In the world of business travel, technology is slowly surpassing business travelers by forecasting and predicting their next move. There will be a major transformation in the traveler experience with predictive analytics being able to anticipate and recommend while being able to book the most favorable travel itineraries. This will be based on user profiles, favored loyalty programs, calendars, and experiences.
Travel experiences will be personalized to an optimal level with advanced technologies customizing even room temperature and amenities on arrival. There will also be the option of a virtual concierge rescheduling business meetings and booking rides, completely obliterating the need for manual expense management.
Corporate funds are being spent more rapidly over more spend categories by employees, by using multiple payment methods, even more than before. As more GenZ workers enter the workforce, they are offering cheques directly for supplier invoices, booking travel through mobile devices and utilizing corporate, virtual and personal cards for most expenses.
The largest uncontrolled and poorly managed spend category is the employee-initiated spend in almost every other company. This is mainly due to the fact that there is a miniscule amount of forethought or oversight from procurement and finance managers regarding this spend.
With the future here already, technologies are adept at tracking and understanding employee spend with possibilities that have opened up such as real-time visibility. These technological strategies not only aid in the decline of unnecessary and unwanted spend but also allow proactive management of funds and saving.