Proactive in the Public Sector: Spend Visibility, Not Recovery
Considering an audit of your spending? With the Crown Commercial Service’s new spend recovery programme, designed to help governments take control of their costs, you might think you’re overdue.
But while spend recovery is good, what if you could prevent misspending before it happens?
Government Spend Recovery
Let’s look at the new Spend Analysis and Recovery Services framework for UK central government departments. According to the Crown Commercial Service, this new programme of services includes ‘analysis of accounts payable systems, supplier invoices and payments, [and] supplier contracts’, to identify overpayments and duplicate payments. The aim is to provide an improved customer service, with more suppliers and services than ever before.
Taking a Proactive Approach to Spend
Conducting an audit to see where costs can be recovered is a great way to spot issues and spend leaks before they get any worse. In the same way that regulatory bodies would review your books and processes in a business audit, a spend audit checks all your transactions data, as well as identifies any missed opportunities.
Who doesn’t want to pinpoint where they’re being overcharged? But while this is pretty handy, it’s a very reactive solution to something that really needs a proactive approach. That’s where spend visibility comes in. All the same data analysis principles apply, but it happens as you’re working so you don’t make overpayments or miss opportunities in the first place.
SAP Concur Specialist for Public Sector, Karl Seward, says, “a major challenge around spend visibility is that without visibility, there is little control. Control includes the enforcement of travel and expense policies, a reduction in fraud, and ultimately the ability to make informed timely financial strategic decisions with confidence.”
Maintaining Financial Control
In the public sector, business transparency and spend visibility are high on the agenda. Not only to prove that money is being spent wisely, but also that it’s being used in the right way. Big changes in the industry, seemingly ever-changing taxation, and enhanced scrutiny over regulatory compliance means tight budgets are under even more strain. And keeping track of every penny is easier said than done.
Implementing a spend management solution can make the public sector more efficient. By consolidating all your data in one performance dashboard, you can see every aspect of your spending. With valuable insights at your fingertips, you can prevent that duplicate payment, flag that unusual transaction, or lead more informed negotiations to take advantage of discounted supplier rates.
Be Proactive, Not Reactive
Automated spend management basically gives power back to your finance and procurement teams. And it automatically ensures compliance with the most up-to-date regulations so you don’t have to worry about penalty charges.
As Karl explains, “SAP Concur dynamically integrates employee-initiated spend with real time data and applications to track, manage, and analyse transactions as they occur for accurate insight and forecasting. Benefits include accurate reporting of spend including accruals, ensuring policy compliance, maximising VAT Reclaim, and having the full picture of employee spend to improve supplier negotiations.”