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Spend Management
August 10, 2022

Survey says that finance pros desire spendlightenment. Where are you on the road to AP nirvana?

Written by
Laura Slauson
Laura Slauson
Survey says that finance pros desire spendlightenment. Where are you on the road to AP nirvana?Survey says that finance pros desire spendlightenment. Where are you on the road to AP nirvana?
Download the Spendlightenment Survey of Finance Professionals.

The Age of Spendlightenment has dawned. The innovation of spend management has the power to elevate the work of finance professionals to a higher state of being, one characterized by unprecedented vision, power, and flow. When those elements are achieved, spend management becomes something more — we call it spendlightenment. 

Spendlightenment represents a revolution in AP processes that isn’t just the development of new features, but rather encapsulates an entirely new, holistic approach. However, as with all great paradigm shifts, a state of transition must happen first. In order to determine where finance pros are on the journey to spendlightenment, and what they need to truly arrive at this transcendent state, we surveyed over 200 accounting and finance professionals from mid-market to early-enterprise companies (50-3,000 employees). The results show that most finance pros have a strong desire to reach this elevated state of consciousness, but many lack the right tools to support it. 

Let’s take a look at some survey results that spotlight the need for vision, power, and flow, and find out how finance professionals can leverage tools to achieve spendlightenment. 

Clouded vision blocks true spendlightenment.

A healthy spend culture and effective budgeting and forecasting depend on full visibility into spending across a company. But, many of our respondents struggle to obtain real-time visibility into all non-payroll spend.

  • 54% don’t see spending until after it has occurred. This can wreak havoc on budgets, and frequently puts the finance team in the awkward position of having to police non-compliant purchases after the fact. 
  • Only 13% know about spending before it occurs. Automated approval workflows make this possible. Why aren’t more companies employing them?
  • The area with the murkiest visibility is corporate card spending. This can be cleared up with the right software-enabled corporate cards. Airbase’s cards not only provide visibility into spend as it happens with an automated booking to the GL, they also provide insight into subscription spending. Spend intelligence tools alert users to duplicate card spend, zombie spend, and opportunities to save money through discounted pricing.

The power to drive company growth. 

In a state of spendlightenment, an accounting team is empowered to play a more strategic role within a company, thanks to automated processes that free up time and reduce the risk of errors. The resulting real-time data facilitates more informed decision-making.

Our survey shows that many finance pros feel they haven’t yet achieved that kind of empowerment, largely because they’re mired down by too many time-consuming manual processes. 

  • 41% say they are significantly less efficient due to a lack of finance and accounting automation.
  • 66% say company growth has been damaged by a lack of control and visibility. 
  • 88% would like to automate more processes in order to save time.

Finding flow

In a state of flow, tasks move seamlessly, and you can immerse yourself in engaging, satisfying work without hitting roadblocks (like missing receipts). Many of our respondents hope to achieve this, but feel their current level of automation falls short. 

  • Only 8% feel they currently have an adequate level of automation. 
  • 47% say this lack of automation costs their company time and money. 
  • An astounding 97% say they waste time each month tracking down invoice details. 

Survey shows that the need for spendlightenment is real. Here’s how to get there. 

Clearly, our respondents want more spendlightenment in their lives. So, what’s the first step toward achieving it? Based on the results of the survey, automation is imperative. The following elements can facilitate the necessary vision, power, and flow. 

  • End-to-end accounting automation. 
  • Automated approval workflows.
  • Real-time reporting tool. 
  • A deep integrations with the GL.
  • Software-enabled corporate cards.
  • Spend intelligence insights. 

For more info on where your peers stand on their own route to spendlightenment, download the Spendlightenment Survey of Finance Professionals. 

Learn how Airbase will help you and your team reach spendlightenment. Request a demo today!

Laura Slauson
Laura Slauson
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About Airbase

Airbase offers a one platform solution to manage all non-payroll spend. It provides oversight and control over spending with real-time reporting and automatic syncing directly to your general ledger. Control all paymentsphysical cards, virtual cards, ACH, and checks – from one place. Close faster. Empower employees. Control spend.

To learn more about Airbase, contact us for a product demo.
Laura Slauson
Laura Slauson
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