Why spend management software should be a priority for 2024

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As we discussed in our recent white paper — 3 steps to recession proof your business — 2024 looks set to bring many of the same economic issues that we saw in 2023.

While the outlook does seem to be brightening in some areas, some economies are still struggling to pick up speed as a result of high interest rates and costs.

As a result, businesses need to invest in strategies and tools that can help place them on a stronger footing in the face of continued economic uncertainty.

Spend management software just so happens to offer a range of capabilities that can help businesses gain much greater control over their finances, and improve a host of internal financial processes.

In this article, we’ll outline three reasons why spend management software should be a priority for your business in 2024.

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1. AI and automation capabilities

2023 will be remembered as the breakout year for generative artificial intelligence. Platforms like ChatGPT and Midjourney revolutionised the way we interact with and think about AI in general.

But generative AI is just the tip of the iceberg, especially when it comes to enabling businesses. Looking ahead to 2024, AI is set to have a big impact on business technology and software spending. According to Gartner, IT spending is set to increase 8% year-over-year to $5.1 trillion worldwide.

However, very little of this spending will be related to generative AI. Instead it will focus on other types of AI, like neural networks that facilitate automation, process improvements and decision-making. G2 has identified automation, alongside simplification and consolidation, as one of the key technology trends for 2024.

This is precisely where spend management software excels, as it allows businesses to automate, or semi-automate many internal financial processes to save time and money. For example, accounts payable, accounts receivable, and financial reporting workflows can be streamlined to require minimal oversight from finance teams.

2. More control over spending

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Spend management software offers a variety of different features and capabilities to help businesses and their finance teams. One of the most important is more direct, precise spend control. It's easy to lose track of which team has spent what when using conventional business payment methods. This can easily lead to duplicated payments, out-of-budget expenses and additional admin time.

By switching to smart corporate credit cards, you can give your teams access to the funds they need to pay for supplies, software subscriptions, employee expenses, and any other costs they may incur at work.

Each smart corporate card can be set up with custom budget limits to stop excess spending and approval flows to ensure the right pair of eyes can green light specific transactions. This will help your business save money, and simplify admin for your finance team.

3. Spending and data insights

Alongside greater control over spending, spend management software provides a wealth of spend data. This data is a valuable asset that businesses can use to develop better insights and understand their outgoing cash flow in much greater detail. For a step-by-step guide to help you build better insights with financial data, download our checklist — Equipping your business with better financial insights.

The strategic decision-making process is more data-driven than ever before, with financial data in particular playing a crucial role. This no longer applies to the largest companies only; smaller businesses can now equip themselves with granular financial data that they can use to develop financial insights, without paying huge sums of money.

To do so requires moving away from conventional payment methods and processes, which are unable to provide high quality spend data. Conventional corporate credit cards typically provide a bill at the end of each month. With smart corporate cards and spend management software, you get real-time spend data that you can feed directly to your accounting system, or other business tools, via software integration.

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