If you think expense management only means collecting receipts for meals and taxi rides, think again. Your employees spend money every day on things they need for their job. For SMEs this may range from a new computer to a last-minute trip to keep a customer happy. If your company is like 74% of SMEs, managing these expenses is a manual process. This means lost productivity for your employees and lack of visibility into cashflow. There is a better way.

Look for these five signs to find out if you need a new automated spend management system, one which is easier to get than you may think.

1. You are frustrated by too many expense surprises. On the 15th of the month you believed you had enough cash to invest in a new website. Ten days later you realize the cash is gone because someone bought ten new laptops. This is frustrating because the website is more important to your business than the laptops.

A new system can help you set up approval processes to define budgets and trigger individual purchasing approvals for laptops and much more. With a purchasing marketplace integrated right in your spend management system, the ordering process automatically sends out an approval request before the money is spent. With this system, you would have had the opportunity to decide in real time which is more important for your business, a new website or ten new laptops.

2. Your forecasts are off because you don’t have enough time to do them correctly. You find yourself consistently working around the clock at month’s end to reconcile the books and obtain a cashflow forecast for your business. Often employees put off an unpleasant manual process for expense approvals until the end of the month. Sometimes, they do several months’ worth at once, long after the actual purchases. You spend more time accruing for expenses than accounting for actuals and the resulting forecast never seems to be accurate.

With an automated solution that operates in the cloud, your employees can conduct the entire purchasing process – from sourcing to approvals to expense claims – in one, easy to use platform. Because this platform can integrate with leading finance systems, the books are balanced as expenses are entered into the system. At the end of the month, the forecast is practically done for you.

3. You feel out of control of the buying decision process. Your employees seem to be sourcing and spending all over the place. Two people are buying the same sort of supplies, from two different suppliers, at two different prices. Travelers are booking trips, without travel policy to guide their choices, or even traveler care services if they need help.

By integrating suppliers, including your travel management company’s booking tool, into one easy-to-use spend management tool, you can direct your employees to the suppliers you select. You save money on goods and services and book travel with a trusted agency that can help support your travelling employees as they get back on the road.

4. You fear that you are not making the right business decisions. You know your business, but you are frustrated when it comes to getting the data you and your staff need to make good and timely decisions. You find yourself going to several places to get data, which may be up to 90 days old.

Having one place that shows where a large portion of discretionary spend is made makes it easy to find and analyze all your spend data. Presenting that in an intuitive, integrated digital environment that is available to all can empower your staff to make the right decisions and be accountable for their choices. It becomes easier and quicker for everyone to make better, fact-based business decisions.

5. You are putting off change to avoid added expense and effort. Setting up a new spend management solution has been on your to do list forever. You know you need something better, but can’t seem to find the time to do the due diligence before investing in a new tool, much less the time to set it up and onboard your entire staff.

A new spend management solution doesn’t necessarily mean a big IT project. You need a solution that is fast to set up, comes with the built-in connections for your business systems and is easy to use for all employees. This type of system will help you get your cashflow in check and keep it there. 

Neo1 addresses all these signs. It is free to subscribe and only takes 5 minutes to set up. Once you’re  registered, your team can access it from home or office. Integrated with Amazon Business and American Express Global Business Travel, your employees can source goods, services, and travel all in one place.

If you recognize these signs, and want more information on how Neo1 can help, register today. It’s free, takes 5 minutes to set up and can help change the way you think about spend management.