22 Dec 2022
4 min read

Tightening the purse strings: How better spend control and visibility can support business success

CFOs discussing how better spend control and visibility can support business success
Quick summary

At Payhawk, we recently participated in a Contentive b2b event with a range of CFOs from across the UK. Our solutions engineer, Robbie Hadfield, shared some insightful thoughts and tips at the event. He drew on his challenges as a former finance manager and how spend management solutions like Payhawk can help.

Table of Contents

    The Contentive round table “Tightening the purse strings: How better business spend control and visibility can unlock financial insight to encourage stability and success” was led by Martin Sanders, Strategic Business Advisor at Alitus and Ex-CFO Honda. With support from Robbie Hadfield, Solutions Engineer at Payhawk. During the event, the speakers covered various topics, including strategic decision-making for financial leaders and innovative spend management processes, all designed to help CFOs and finance teams boost spend visibility and expense management efficiencies in their own teams. Here are our key takeaways.

    How should finance teams manage large volumes of data?

    Sanders and Hadfield began the discussion by asking how the finance leaders and their teams manage large volumes of data.

    The participants shared that the volume of financial data was, in fact, less of an issue than the accuracy of data and finding a single source of truth. They shared that gathering the data from other teams was a challenge too.

    One participant mentioned that different teams work off different data sets, which led to discrepancies within the data. Here Hadfield shared how Payhawk resolves some of these challenges with our intelligent financial data categorisation and integration strategies.

    At Payhawk, our data entry is designed to encompass mandatory fields and align to accrual rules so that our customers get as seamless an experience as possible, real-time spend visibility, and a reduction in finance admin tasks of about 80%.

    Increase spend control, empower safe spending

    How can the right software and systems support the finance department’s key activities?

    The importance of data accuracy is a no-brainer for finance teams, but across the business, different departments use different tools, and that can make getting the correct information difficult.

    Hadfield described how the Payhawk spend management solution uses company cards and associated expense management software. Once a corporate visa card user makes a payment, they can take a photo of their receipt, and the built-in OCR tech will auto-capture all of the data in the receipts, which saves manual reconciliation. Then all they have to do is choose the correct spend category (which will have been custom designed by the finance team), and the expense is categorised correctly and assigned to the appropriate budget. The expense management software will even chase card users for missing receipts if they haven’t yet uploaded them, saving another admin burden from the finance team.

    How can you improve cash flow management and savings?

    Hadfield discussed some of our key features and integrations and what they offer regarding control and cash flow.

    Our Payhawk solution features subscription management which helps makes sure there are no duplicate or unused subscriptions. It also helps ensure that receipts are logged correctly in order to claim back VAT. Our customer ATU, a German automotive company, saved approximately €2m in VAT tax claims in their first year using Payhawk. They made this huge saving because they eliminated missing receipts. We even have an integration with 60dias which helps companies ensure they get the unclaimed VAT back from past receipts.

    We also help companies achieve vital spend control and visibility with more flexibility to manage cash flow through smart credit cards in the UK.

    How quickly should companies expect to achieve month-end close?

    Some participants shared that it takes an average of three days to close the books, plus another five to close the general ledger. In comparison, others explained that it could take up to 20 days at their business, where they have over 30 separate companies which aren’t integrated into the same systems.

    Hadifeld shared how our customer Essentia Analytics halved their month-end close from ten days to five days. And how combining their spend management into one solution meant that they could even adjust the finance team headcount and give their finance controller a split job as an SDR to drive revenue for the businesses.

    In summary

    Overall, the participants agreed that an investment in spend management is more than worth it, especially when it comes to long-term cost savings thanks to spend control and visibility.

    Discover these insights and more, book a demo.

    Trish Toovey - Content Director at Payhawk - The financial system of tomorrow
    Trish Toovey
    Senior Content Manager

    Trish Toovey works across the UK and US markets to craft content at Payhawk. Covering anything from ad copy to video scripting, Trish leans on a super varied background in copy and content creation for the finance, fashion, and travel industries.

    See all articles by Trish →
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