As the cost of living crisis emerges and petrol prices are at an all-time high, there is no doubt that we are all looking after our money and planning ahead more than ever. Wall Street is warning of inflation rates and fears of a repeat of 2008 and the UK is being squeezed into a potential ‘mild recession’ that could begin next year.
Small and medium businesses are being particularly hurt by this as their mixture of obstacles such as supply chain issues, covid recovery, import prices and wage inflation are all attacking at once. This is leading to the closure of companies that don’t have huge investment wallets to fall back on.
What can SMEs do about it? Well, whilst we don’t have a magic wand to prevent a recession, there are a few things that businesses should consider to tighten their pockets and grasp control on spend. By focusing on the accounts payable process and using an affordable, fully-integrated system, you can control the money that leaves your business. Here’s how:
Get every single purchase approved
A good AP system will have customised approval workflows as standard, with users easily able to raise a purchase order that gets sent to the correct approvers in a team automatically. Approvers can read the order, decide whether to approve to the next stage or reject, then add comments or supporting documentation. An audit trail left behind keeps hold of every detail of the order, so there are always answers to the questions “Who raised this?” and “When was it approved?”
Budget, budget, budget
Set budgets for your business departments like HR, Marketing, Sales etc and different projects you may be working on. When raising orders, users should be able to see how their order aligns with a budget and if it will take them over the allotted amount.
Choosing an AP system that allows you real-time access to any changes in your supplier pricing keeps you in the loop of what you’re spending as you’re spending it. It also allows for staff to streamline their usual process and save their time on tasks that can be easily handed over to a computer. Giving current employees more time to add value and saving money on further recruitment.
So how much is this going to cost? A better question is how much is it going to save? Shifting from manual to automated AP saves significant time, which in turn saves significant costs in staff wages. AP automation doesn’t need to cost the earth and most companies see a valuable return on investment, often saying they could never switch back to old ways.
For smaller companies, choosing Zahara as their all-in-on AP solution of choice for future-proofing before a recession means a quick and affordable way of introducing greater spend control. Starting from only £39 per month, Zahara offers a self-service system that you can implement yourself and use resources such as our knowledge base and step-by-step YouTube videos on how to get started. Learn more about AP automation ahead of a recession or jump straight in for a free 30-day trial.
Future-proof your business with Zahara.