How do businesses empower everyone within their organisation with actionable insights when it comes to spend management? It’s a tricky task that requires real-time visibility into spending to support decision making processes. Why? Because too often the business managers approving purchases are the last ones to be served with corporate business intelligence (BI) reporting initiatives. At the same time, financial and procurement leaders struggle whenever standard reports are not available to support fast decision making. But spend analytics is crucial to improving financial performance and the overall financial agility of a business.

Have you empowered everyone to manage their function's spend?

Lack of visibility into spending should no longer be an excuse for making poor financial decisions. In today’s digital age, everyone from managers to decision makers should be able to track their function’s spend, control expense patterns and manage budgets more proactively.

Making spends visible across a business fosters a culture of fact-based decision making and increased accountability, which improves financial performance. But it should be easy. Employees should be able to access data and analytics on mobile devices like iPads or other tablets to enable fact-based decisions, on the go. This will allow staff to become more self-reliant in their decision making, resulting in more informed financial decisions every day, anywhere.

How many people should it take to build a new report?

Things usually get complicated whenever individuals need visibility into spending that has not yet been input into an existing report. We all know the shortcomings of legacy business intelligence (BI) and other ERP centric reporting solutions. Businesses need to empower everyone with actionable insights into their spending and spend reporting. What’s more, in the new era of financially agility staff shouldn't need to look for a specific person to file a request or design a new report with complex database queries. Clearly, legacy BI solutions were not designed to serve everyone in the organisation. As businesses embrace technology, they should empower their staff with simple and easy to use solutions that ultimately make their lives easier.

How to deliver agility with cloud-based purchase-to-pay analytics?

As both finance and IT functions are adapting to the new demands placed upon them, greater flexibility is needed across the board. Cloud makes it much easier to augment existing ERP or BI investments, to quickly reach a new level of spend visibility and financial agility. Cloud also allows businesses to tap into new opportunities by leveraging big data and real-time insights from transactions, systems and processes.

Cloud-based purchase-to-pay and analytics solutions are delivering faster value out-of-the-box with built-in industry best practices and straightforward integration into existing ERP. A strong analytics solution embedded directly into a cloud-based purchase-to-pay solution on top of an ERP enables everyone to make more agile and self-reliant financial decisions, anytime and everywhere.

Today, organisations can pick and choose from a range of out-of-the-box dashboards for spend, suppliers, procurement, accounts payable and financial KPIs that will meet every business need from day one. What is key is to turn to purchase-to-pay experts who can deliver financial agility that enables teams to manage spend across an entire organisation, identify faster new opportunities and fuel growth quicker than ever before.

By Hannu Kilpeläinen, product marketing manager, Basware