Requirements gathering is one of the earliest steps for a business looking to buy new software. When specifically buying Business Spend Management Software, especially for mid-to-large businesses with lots of affected employees, the success of this step is ultra-crucial. Get it right – the next steps can be a straight drive to going-live. Get it wrong – not only is getting to going-live unnecessarily complicated, chances are you might do it with a mis-fit solution.
We are here to help you get it right though. After analyzing the requirements given to us by KFC, Billini Shoes, Judo Bank and others, we identified recurring, overlapping criteria that formed the core of their lists. After a bit more analysis and discussion with their implementation and support teams, we landed on the below list of key, foundational requirements.
Fraud Prevention, Data Security and Compliance
The first core requirement from a financial software must relate to security. How a business spends and manages that spend is the most vulnerable weakness that scammers and fraudsters look for. Beyond just keeping you compliant and maintaining your audit trails, your business spend management system must deliver AI and Machine Learning based features that help stop fraud in its tracks.
The second fundamental requirement takes into account the breadth of the solution. For every dollar spent, the business spends additional resources to process that spend. When multiple spending methods are involved, especially when they’re managed with disparate tools, this cost-of-spend increases drastically. Your solution must connect all the tools needed to cover your spending methods in a hyperautomated, modular, one-stop-shop solution. This creates overall economies-of-scale across every dollar spent and ensures you find all your spend-solutions with one provider.
Best-In-Class, Cutting-Edge Tools
After breadth, comes a solution’s depth. Each individual tool and feature must solve more than the surface level pain. If it’s OCR extraction, you should be able to extract beyond basic level information. If it’s approval flows, you should be able to set up differing, complex approval flows for different scenarios. If it’s incorporating budgets, you should be able to drive the right budget’s visibility to the right employee’s mobile at the right time. If it’s out-of-pocket spend, you should be able to replace that with feature-full virtual cards. The level of thought and detail built into each feature must showcase the vendor’s expertise.
Configurable and Customizable
For the mid-to-large business, the next core requirement is the solution’s adaptability. You could get the best features out there but if they don’t adapt to how you operate, they’ll be more trouble than use. Whether that’s integrating with your particular tech-stack, handling the unique way your cost-codes are structured, managing multiple entities or even something far more obscure – the best vendors find solutions in their existing library of configurations or custom-build the bespoke solution, tailored to your needs.
Customer Centric, Tech-Driven Implementation
Another fundamental requirement takes account of the Vendor’s transparency, maturity and customer centricity in terms of how they implement. The best Vendors have been there, done that and know how best to professionally progress complex projects. Your requirements should include the provision of dedicated, experienced consultants as well as savvy portals through which you can track progress, find responsive support and even identify, rate and mitigate risks.
Maximizing Return on Investment (ROI)
Last on our list here, but perhaps almost as important as the first requirement, you must find a Vendor/Solution that goes beyond generating some ROI, to helping you maximize ROI. Paying for only one implementation but getting many solutions, staff not having to train on multiple systems, spending close to nothing to unlock new modules that more than double the solutions value, paying only for what you used as opposed to paying ahead of time for things you may not even use, even developing strong relations and good-will with a trusted vendor that masters your systems and builds solutions with your use-cases in mind – a crucial requirement is to understand and optimize the many ways a vendor can add value.
We are very proud to say that some of Australia’s best businesses (KFC, Billini Shoes, WWF, Judo Bank, Ronald McDonald House Charities, Autism Australia, Soul Origin, QSL, PeopleBank…) ended their comprehensive search for the best business spend management solution with ProSpend (formerly expensemanager).
In us they found an Australian solution that satisfies all of the above and more and we’d love to be able to do that for you too.
It all started with a simple requirements scoping call. Contact us today to start the discussion with one of our spend management specialists.