Platforms for Spend Management Give Finance Directors Access to the Firm’s Data Strategy


Data is constantly present and overflowing, according to Kevin Alexanderson, head of business systems and analytics at Airbase.

However, he stressed that data by itself is insufficient to assist diverse stakeholders inside a company in making strategic decisions. It must be disseminated throughout activities and condensed so that several, dispersed teams can view the same thing and concur on what they’re looking at.

Easier said than done considering that there isn’t always consensus on how to define a company’s clients and users, transactions, or even the potential income.

For an instance, the customer support team could define a customer as someone who merely goes by that name, while the finance team would insist that a person cannot be considered a client until they have conducted business with the company. Furthermore, no business wants a person to have to go through a bad user experience at any point in the process such that they decide to leave the game altogether by voting with their feet.

He asserted that including sophisticated analytics can aid in fostering consensus around criteria like yearly recurring revenue and the point at which transactions can be seen as having been completed.

When it comes to cost management, according to Alexanderson, things can get quite complicated due to technical issues like integrating data to flow smoothly between departments. He mentioned that Airbase has been making significant investments to push data over its platform and onto client organizations’ general ledgers so they may effectively close their books.

Then there is the issue of simplifying procedures so that the accounting and finance teams can have some control over how much spending discretion a person or team may have.

He said, “We give that knowledge in terms of whether or not you’re in line with industry norms and how to handle deviations.

Controlling Risk

In the end, he claimed, data flow aids risk teams in determining who is creditworthy in the effort to onboard business-to-business (B2B) clients and suppliers. The duration of the potential customer’s incorporation might be included in that data.

Even while some of this is rather elementary, he said, “it’s particularly important when you have some really sophisticated fraudsters out there who are getting very, very good at impersonating CEOs and even faking official papers.” If a bad actor has gained access to a system or has successfully impersonated a current client, the platform’s sophisticated analytics may evaluate behavioral patterns in terms of spending (whether through bill payments or credit cards) and trigger warning lights.