SaaS Spend Management
Oded Zehavi has global payment experience from his time as an executive at leaders including PayPal and Payoneer. With Spend Management, especially SaaS Spend Management, becoming such a hot topic in 2023 - we wanted to start our conversation with Oded to understand his definition of "Spend Management"? Oded defines spend management as enabling finance teams to automate, control, and increase visibility into non-payroll spending. Spend Management has been around for 20+ years - why is it trendy again? Before Covid - spend management was primarily about travel and entertainment, including how to collect manual receipts and reimburse employees for those expenses incurred. During Covid, travel and entertainment expenses were reduced materially and provided finance a chance to pivot to new strategic financial control opportunities. Covid also increased the decentralization of the majority of employees and added another level of complexity to traditional expense receive collection, review, and payment processes. Finally, the maturation of SaaS adoption across all sizes of companies introduced new challenges for finance teams to gain visibility into the distributed procurement, usage, and individual expensing of cloud-based software. Oded also highlighted that traditionally the expense submission, reporting, and payment processes were not integrated. Specifically, first-generation expense management solutions were not integrated with the financial payment infrastructure. With today's more sophisticated spend management technology, companies can identify in real-time expenses and even expense payment attempts and ensure they are adhering to internal expense policies and controls. Next, we pivoted to "when should a company consider implementing a spend management program"? In a company's early days, there are general-purpose tools that can handle the majority of financial transactions, including non-payroll expenses. Beginning at 50 employees is when finance processes being to have more complexity and is a good time to begin considering a spend management program. At 150 employees implementing a spend management program becomes more important and at 1,000 employees a more sophisticated spend management program that integrates expense management and financial payment infrastructure becomes imperative. 98% of US-based companies are not using advanced technology and process to manage and control expenses. A growing trend is the evolution of dedicated, vertical spend management solutions such as "SaaS Spend Management". One of Oded's "aha" moments was when he was speaking with a CFO when a corporate credit card linked to 40+ SaaS vendors expired, and one by one SaaS vendors started to terminate their access to their platform. As such, SaaS Spend Management was an area of top focus for Mesh Payment early in their evolution. If you are evaluating spend management in your company, or just want to better understand how next-generation spend management solutions can increase visibility and control of all your non-payroll expenses, including your SaaS expenses, this episode with Oded Zehavi is a highly informative listen.