Predictions for the year ahead by Christian Müller, Chief Financial Officer of Moss, the innovative fintech platform enabling businesses to spend smarter.
2022 was the year businesses emerged from the shadow of the pandemic and the many disruptions it caused. While life has returned to normal for many companies, and some even discovered new growth opportunities, unfortunately, the light at the end of the tunnel is not in reach just yet.
As we look into the lens of 2023, the same questions around financial uncertainty linger: How long will inflation continue? Will there be a recession? What measures should be put in place to protect the future of a business?
It’s challenging to find clear answers. Still, the past few years were focused on responding and surviving. With that in mind, 2023 looks to be the time for business leaders to leverage technology and build long-term resilience, achieving sustainable growth for their organisations.
Here are my top 5 predictions for the year ahead:
Greater focus on spend control
2023 is sure to be the year of frugality, and the pressure will be placed heavily upon the shoulders of CFOs to provide financial stability as the economic downturn hits.
The impending recession highlights the need to prepare for future economic uncertainty and streamline processes wherever possible.
Business approaches have been changed forever in the past couple of years thanks to rapid digitisation, with markets becoming a more level playing field and competition increasing. As a result, companies are encouraged to seek innovative ways to achieve a competitive advantage, despite the new and continually changing circumstances.
To best prepare for future economic battles, businesses should start exploring now how to manage spending in a recession and operate beyond just looking at budget cuts. For example, establishing internal controls that monitor spend approvals, improving visibility across all company outgoings and automating time-consuming tasks that don’t add business value.
Accurate tracking tools
Financial tracking and spend management tools will prove their weight in gold for the year ahead. Finance leaders require the best tools to help them confidently make informed decisions, particularly regarding cost control and cash flow visibility.
As we approach 2023, it’s clear that the world’s business leaders will continue to grapple with economic, political, and environmental uncertainty. The good news is that dealing with uncertainty does not mean operating our businesses blindly.
Digital processes have created a new era of visibility, collaboration and strategic decision-making based on real-time and accurate data. With the right technology, finance professionals can access an integrated view of total business spend and deep visibility into their supply chain. This advancement enables improved inventory management, predictable lead times, cost savings and, crucially, more accurate financial reporting. It also helps businesses tackle some of their most complex challenges, such as achieving sustainability compliance and building long-term resilience for their company.
Streamlining processes through automation
Acceleration of automation is a safe bet in 2023, allowing finance teams to automate their day-to-day tasks and remove the notoriously labour-intensive month-end processes and management of accounts payable.
In a nutshell, automation increases productivity, frees employees from manual tasks and allows them to concentrate on strategy and innovation. Automated spend management processes empower teams to add more value to the bottom line instead of wasting days pulling together spending data.
Manual tracking and auditing spend to increase the risk of mistakes, repeated entries or gaps in the data. By reducing these risks, businesses can make significant cost savings.
More visible spend data leads to precise predictions and better decisions. With the right spend management software, you can make light work of previously laborious manual tasks, get complete control and visibility and have more time to focus on growing your business, even in difficult times.
Streamlining software integrations
We now see a trend towards integrating software stacks via interoperability of systems with high-quality tech integration or even with multi-purpose software that solves multiple problems at once.
With all the software systems we use today, things can get messy and complicated with so many tools, especially when synchronicity between software is not guaranteed.
An increase in tech stack integration means all tools complement each other, working together to provide seamless access to relevant data. The beauty of accessible data is that everyone in the business can get involved at any stage, which can help streamline production and delivery.
Instead of having to rely on IT to provide information, with tech stack integration, all your tools work together, so it’s easy to jump in at any point and get the information you need to make a decision.
With this kind of functionality, you can avoid all types of bottlenecks, as no one has to wait for data provision before moving forward. It also creates a single source of truth for financial reporting, reducing the likelihood of costly errors.
If everyone on your team is empowered to make decisions based on accessible data, you’ll also see massive productivity improvements.
Bespoke and customised tech solutions
We believe in providing a customised solution for businesses, not a one-size-fits-all approach. Teams should offer a bespoke service rather than only helping with the initial implementation.
A customisable modular solution based on specific needs allows for more flexible issuing of virtual and physical credit cards, better digital invoice management, easier accounting, and more reliable liquidity management.
Prior preparation prevents poor performance.
The new year is the perfect time to review spending insights and correct workflow challenges. By studying and improving spend management in economic uncertainty, leaders can position their businesses to be ready for any future economic challenge and set themselves up for a prosperous long-term future.