Southeast Asia

Transforming spend management in the new world of work (The Business Times)

The Covid-19 pandemic represents a major challenge for businesses that were already under pressure even before the crisis. Financial decisions now happen at a blistering pace, and at scale. Research from Accenture identified the frenzied strain on CFOs who used to make $100 million decisions each month or quarter, who now make $1 billion transactions each week, or even daily.

Businesses have also had to adapt their operations and service delivery for survival. The International Labour Organisation also found that 81% of Asia Pacific’s businesses have done so and almost half terminated staff or had plans to do so due to insufficient cashflow.

For the 97 per cent of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in Southeast Asia, the crisis has created unpredictability and put a strain on anticipated cash flow. As a result, businesses must deal with the resulting fallout on employee salaries and business operations. Making matters worse is how thousands of micro, small, and medium businesses in Asia have declared insolvency during the pandemic because of widespread disruptions to supply chains and demand.

While the pandemic is a once-in-a-generation disruptor that was nearly impossible to prepare for, it has underscored the need to build true resiliency in peace time before any unexpected crises. Businesses need to look inwards and take control of their spending and plan for the future.

Digital transformation goes into overdrive 

CEOs in Southeast Asia are investing heavily in digital transformation to fast-track recovery, by rethinking portfolios and speeding up decision making through data analytics. Technology has been a key enabler keeping businesses afloat in the wake of Covid-19, and it has also been critical in the development of post-pandemic recovery plans.

To secure the bottom line, technology tools have proven to be important decision-making tools. Operating against the constantly changing backdrop of Covid-19, businesses must practice greater discipline when it comes to spend management. It is insufficient to only search for and deploy the most affordable digital platform or software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions.

Smart spend management helps businesses survive and thrive

Spend management enables businesses to make informed procurement and sourcing decisions through a continuous process of collecting and analysing financial data, so that the business spends money wisely. Digitalising spend management processes allows teams to redeploy funds as required in the unpredictable economic climate.

And with most spend management software now based in the cloud, businesses will always have instant access to their data anytime and on any device connected to the Internet.

To read the rest of the article, please use this link:

The Business Times

15 November 2021