How ERP Integrations Can Improve Spend Management

Even with the advent of new technological solutions, many accountants still find themselves spending too much time on disconnected manual tasks.

They’re chasing down colleagues for receipts and information about purchases, sifting through piles of expense-related documents, and manually entering data in a mad dash to balance the books.

The traditional spend management process is tedious, error-prone and inefficient. It lacks the controls necessary to ensure compliance. And it prevents your finance team from focusing on more strategic tasks that have a greater impact on your company.

Though many software tools exist to solve for these challenges, their value is limited if they cannot sit within your existing workflow. You don’t need another separate, disconnected system to deal with. 

In order to fully modernize the way your company manages spend, the specialized software must integrate with the ERP that you are already using to unite your purchasing process into a single, automated system.

Connected data 

Data aggregation is one of the most time-intensive tasks in finance, especially given the increasingly distributed spend behaviors. Finance teams are often presented with disconnected and incomplete data, which they must decipher themselves (or chase down employees for additional information) and then manually match. 

Automation platforms link each transaction to a corresponding receipt and vendor. Purchase requests are coded upfront using the categorizations from your existing accounting software. This gives finance teams the context they need to accurately close the books.

Real-time visibility into spend

When it comes to company spend, many finance teams are left flying blind for 28 days until they receive the company credit card statement at the end of the month. This lack of visibility on where money is being spent means that finance can’t anticipate spending or plan for the future. Even worse, they are often unable to fix any spend problems while they’re happening, but instead step in only after the problem has already done its damage for that month or even year.

By integrating your spend management tool with your existing accounting software, data automatically syncs as soon as purchases are made. This gives finance teams the information they need to monitor and track company spend as it’s happening, create accurate forecasts, and intervene immediately if any issues arise. 

Error-free financial reports 

Manual reconciliation invites a myriad of errors. Missing receipts and other information forces your finance team to use their best guess to match charges incorrectly. They can accidentally make entries to the wrong account or omit entries altogether. Discrepancies may emerge due to an incorrect product delivery, a project that runs over, or simply different operating structures within different departments of your organization.

Automated reconciliation eliminates this human error, resulting in 100% accurate reports. ERP integrations that sync transaction data to your GL keep information up-to-date.

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    Clean audit trails

    Employees may not always submit expense reports on time. They may leave out receipts and other important information. As companies become more decentralized with increased employee autonomy, individuals across an organization can make purchases with little to no accountability, which often leaves finance with incomplete data and murky audit trails.

    But distributed spend doesn’t have to be a problem. Purchasing software that integrates with your ERP connects purchase requests with the actual transaction that appears on your statement. This means that finance can monitor the full process and verify the accuracy of reports to an auditor.

    Reduced fraud risk

    Human errors make it harder to catch fraud. Payments may be tied to a shared corporate card or other payment method rather than the individual who made the purchase, and unauthorized transactions can fall through the cracks.

    Real-time ERP integrations increase transparency, which means it’s easier to identify fraud when it occurs and track it back to the source. Alerts can notify the finance team of purchases made at unapproved vendors or other suspect behaviors the moment they happen.

    Improved talent retention 

    Employee turnover is a challenge facing all businesses, and finance teams are no exception. Your workforce may become frustrated when they are forced to spend the majority of their time on tedious manual labor rather than using their analytical skills and growing in their careers, which can lead to lower retention.

    By automating reconciliation with an ERP integration, you can free your finance team to focus on more strategic tasks. This improves employee happiness and motivation–and benefits your company by enabling your workforce to have a greater impact on long-term business goals. 

    So what are you waiting for?

    As your organization grows and evolves, managing your spend will only become more complex. Software solutions like Teampay zero in on the problems caused by distributed spend and offer a complete solution. 

    Our robust integrations with major accounting software–including Intacct, NetSuite, Xero, QuickBooks, and Workday–automate your workflow into a single, unified process.

    Once a purchase request is approved, Teampay creates an audit trail of the request and pairs that request with a dedicated virtual card, physical card, or purchase order. 

    Then, once the card is used, the software immediately prompts the purchaser to upload a receipt and automatically syncs the transaction data to your ERP.

    With Teampay’s ERP integration, you can reduce manual labor by 75% and give finance the real-time visibility they need to do their jobs.