The finance team can be the busiest department in any business. With many tasks to tackle, a few challenges can arise along the way.
But what are these difficulties, and how can they be overcome?
Read on to find out more.
1) Corporate credit cards cannot be tracked accurately
Traditional corporate credit cards create a whole host of challenges for the finance team. Although usually a staple in the world of business, as technology advances, physical business cards have become inconvenient, lacking in insights, and posing a risk of scams and fraud.
Managing company expenses successfully is a key challenge faced by finance professionals, and not having a detailed record of where company spend is going can make things worse.
Nowadays, the best way to pay for business expenses is through virtual corporate cards.
Incorporated with expense management software, virtual cards can track transactions in real-time, so each month, members of the finance team don’t have to manually work out which employee spent what, and where.
This is often the case with physical business cards, when they are shared amongst multiple employees and departments.
Virtual cards can help to track and control corporate spend, especially in areas such as travel expenses, software and subscriptions, as well as any miscellaneous spend.
2) Time-consuming invoice management
Manual invoice processing involves many challenges for the finance or account payables team.
Not only does it take a considerable amount of time to input, code and verify each invoice, it can also be at risk of human error, or lost or duplicate invoices.
This is significantly increased if you take into consideration multiple teams and suppliers.
However, there are several ways to overcome such challenges through applying some best practices for the invoice management process.
First of all, the finance team can ensure they’re prioritizing invoices by the payment due date, the terms of the invoice, and the bill type. Based on these criteria, it can make the process more organized, and ensure all parties are happy.
Secondly, adding strict internal controls, and limiting access of the invoice process to specific employees, can make things more efficient and accurate when inputting data, and help prevent fraud.
Finally, automating the invoice management system can streamline the process, without the risk of manual errors. This can be an integral part of an overall spend management software, linked with your accounting software, which can then scan invoices, validate the details and match with the purchase order, and generate approvals for payment.
Furthermore, this software can provide the finance team with full visibility and control of spend, expenses and invoices.
3) Managing remote finance teams
In a changing world, more of us are working from home, which means finance professionals now need to manage a team working remotely.
This isn’t always an easy task, and requires some investment in time and money. However, there are some strategies to follow which can help a remote team to thrive.
If you’re managing a finance team who wishes to work from home, then you’ll need to make sure each team member has the appropriate equipment to work effectively remotely, as well as access to the correct software from the relevant device.
Next, think about security — which is even more important when team members are working from home. Train staff to recognize phishing scams and how to safely store and send financial information.
You also need to consider other security measures, such as the use of company approved devices, and individual passwords to access software and data.
Using automation and the right spend management software can allow access remotely, and save time and money by digitizing workflows and processes.
4) Wasting money on unnecessary expenses
Optimizing corporate spend is a main focus of finance professionals, but can be tricky if the business is wasting money on unknown expenses.
It can be too easy to have undetected costs when it comes to multiple corporate cards, unexpected travel expenses or inactive Software as a Service (SaaS) subscriptions.
It can be up to the finance team to take control of spending. And this can be done through spend management software, incorporating virtual credit cards.
An expert spend management software can provide insights and reporting which let you know when a cheaper alternative is an option.
For example, the finance team can gain an overview of the unused SaaS tools which are still being paid for, and potentially where money can be saved by cutting the subscription.
With virtual credit cards and expense software, it also makes it easier to enforce travel expense policies, with spending limits, budget restrictions and set expiry dates for the cards used on business trips.
Although finance professionals can face many challenges when it comes to corporate spend and expenses, with these handy solutions, there can be a way to overcome these issues.