“If companies have visibility across the board, they know what is being contracted and when it is being purchased—and they could plan for how best to finance that and pay for that purchase,” Cohen continued. “That would provide them with greater ability to manage the business in a better fashion, whereas right now, the CFO probably does not know a whole lot about what purchasing is doing. So that is where they are unprepared in smaller companies. Whereas in large organizations, the problem that they run into is that lack of visibility across the board—the finance, purchasing and procurement aren’t talking to one another so no one really knows what the other hand is doing.”
Mitigate your processes to grow
Suffice to say that financial responsibility must be clearly defined for a company to improve control of their investments and grow, regardless of what size within the SMB scope you are in. Key findings from Basware’s SMB report point to 1). Company spend rules and regulations; 2). Rules on company spenders; and 3). The desire for spend authority, as three main factors of controlling financial expenditures.
- Just 18 percent of organizations in the U.S. said that expenditure was controlled by departments and functions, compared to 44 percent in Europe
- Only three percent of employees in the U.S. say they are not allowed to spend company money, compared to 38 percent of employees in Europe
- Approximately 21 percent of employees in medium-sized businesses across all regions say they would like authority to make purchases in their own field versus 14 percent in small and six percent in micro businesses
Whatever the case may be, businesses must define clearer financial strategies for their executive leadership, enabling them to succeed at their role today to grow the company forward.
“Culturally, things will change in an organization as baby boomers move up and new blood comes in,” said Cohen. “Now, those within procurement and purchasing are looking to do things a little differently to identify ‘where else can we automate? Where else can we obtain savings and provide better visibility into what is going on?’ And that is through these areas—through automating the entire procure-to-pay or order-to-cash process and digitizing or receiving things electronically,” he concluded.