Providing your Chief Financial Officer with the right tools to plan the budget and future investments is the 52nd reason to go beyond Technology Expense Management.
We can all agree on the fact that the position of Chief Financial Officer (CFO) is not the most fascinating of all, but that doesn’t mean it’s not important to a company. Even if the role of the CFO seems to be well defined in a company, it’s not always limited to the points listed in the job description, especially in a context where markets are constantly evolving and extremely fast changing.
The list of official tasks of the CFO can include (but is not limited to):
- Control accounting
- Develop tools
- Validate the company’s solvency
- Anticipate finances
- Anticipate development strategy
- Carry out regulatory monitoring
- Contact tax authorities
- Ensure a legal and social permanence
- Participate in personnel administration
So you might have noticed; managing an organization’s finances is not an easy task.
In a context where technology is becoming increasingly important to a company’s growth, we cannot afford to neglect the importance of planning the company’s budget. Whether it is about purchasing assets, managing invoices or analyzing discrepancies, the Chief Financial Officer has a crucial role in the decision-making process.
So, where do you start? First, let’s establish some basic principles to define the contribution of Technology Expense Management (TEM) – as well as a TEM software – to your CFO’s ability to make relevant decisions focused on future investments.
1. Cost Cutting or Cost Optimization?
Often, when it’s time to save money in a business environment, the finance team must make important decisions concerning how to save that money. With that being said, there is not only one way to accomplish that goal.
The concepts of cost cutting and cost optimization are both very close and very different in meaning. Why? Because both concepts aim to save money, but adopt a fundamentally different strategy to achieve it.
Cost cutting consist of identifying a specific amount of money to be saved along with a deadline for achieving it. Most common cost cutting techniques often involve dismissing employees, reducing salaries or changing medical insurance for a cheaper one. You might have guessed it already; although it’s an effective method, it certainly is not one of the most pleasant, considering that employees can suffer from the consequences.
Optimization, on the other hand, focuses on maximizing the company’s value through optimal processes. Some common techniques include making purchases at better prices and conditions, using a technology expense management system to unify and centralize expenses, and automating operations. When it comes to automation, not only do you save money, but you save time too. Two birds with one stone! And every great company knows that time is money. So, the more the CFO has time to focus on what really matters, the more he or she will have the chance to make successful progress towards the company’s objectives. And above all, no employee, salary, or insurance policy will suffer from it.
2. Empower Employees
Employees’ empowerment consists of giving your employees the tools they need to accomplish certain tasks by themselves. In the context of Technology Expense Management, it could mean having a self-service module, for example. This empowerment not only aims to make your employees more independent, but also aims to save your IT team some precious time.
Of course, empowerment is not something you can accomplish as fast as a blink of an eye, but the benefits are worth the effort. Here are some of the benefits:
- Improvement of processes
- Employees’ satisfaction
- Culture of cost transparency
By taking action themselves in Technology Expense Management, even at a minimum, employees are not only more aware of what they use - and the price it costs - but the CFO has fewer tasks and they are more focused on the future rather than managing the actual state of the organization.
3. Allocation; another solution
It is totally logical that the right costs are associated with the right people and the right departments, isn’t that right? But when your company has more than a thousand IT assets, whether it's mobiles, wire lines, cloud licenses, or even Internet lines, allocations can quickly become a complex mix that no longer seems to make sense. What about the Chief Financial Officer? Chances are the CFO doesn’t know exactly who owns what and how much which asset costs. And it’s totally normal! One brain cannot memorize all this information at once.
The purpose of Technology Expense Management allocation is therefore to untangle that mix so that all costs associated with group services are allocated to departments or operational units, and services associated with individuals are allocated to the right people. Thus, it is easier to monitor business expenses, and to understand costs and usage.
Now that you are aware of all these methods, and what they can bring to your business, it is time to consider the great contribution that a TEM software could bring to your Chief Financial Officer’s job and tasks.
A well-equipped CFO
In order for a Chief Financial Officer to focus on the decisions that really matter and future investments, he or she must first have the time to do so. All the methods listed above can be combined within a single Technology Expense Management platform: you’ll be able to optimize costs, empower your employees and better manage cost allocation (and much more). All these tasks, which were the responsibility of the CFO at first, will be centralized, optimized and automated, which will free up his or her time, allowing him or her to focus on important decisions, critical investments and the future of the enterprise. Not only that, but cost transparency and visibility will allow the CFO to better understand where costs go, and what amounts are spent on what, which will make it easier to organize the overall budget!
The future and growth of a company depends on good decisions and investments, and it is by giving your CFO the necessary tools that you will be able to achieve your goals and focus on what really matters.
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