Thejo Kote, founder and CEO of Air-base, shares his experiences on how 2021 has transformed spending management. âCompanies are realizing that if they don’t change their approach, they face an increasingly archaic world of slow manual processes,â he says. Learn more about Kote’s ideas, as well as those of 32 other executives, in “The way payments are now made. “
2021 has been a very exciting year, not only for Airbase, but also for the expense management industry as a whole.
Just take a look at recent activity in this particular area of ââFinTech – we’re seeing a big shift in payment systems for business spending. This was made possible by the openness of the payment infrastructure, allowing software vendors to create deeply integrated workflow products. Companies are realizing that if they don’t change their approach, they face an increasingly archaic world of slow manual processes.
This has been reflected in the millions of dollars invested in the industry, with companies like Airbase, Ramp and Brex recording impressive numbers in their respective funding cycles. I believe the world is waking up to what expense management software is, and this has seen a major shift in the way business payment routines have taken shape over the past year or so.
The growth of the sector does not surprise me. The problem that expense management solves is something I’ve witnessed myself, and it’s what inspired me to create Airbase to meet the need for a platform to manage all expenses from the company.
I started the business in response to something I saw too much of when running my first business: well-educated people sacrificing a lot of their time on low-value work. My talented finance team got bogged down in the chaos of repetitive manual approvals, refunds and accounting tasks. In addition, inefficient processes and inadequate tools prevented me from having an on-demand, real-time view of what we are spending as a business.
As I learned more, I realized that the status quo for accounts payable (AP) in small and medium businesses was broken. Using the concepts that are central to our approach to product design at Airbase, we have taken a holistic view of the entire process and developed a deep understanding of our users’ needs to solve the problem.
Expense management frees up time on manual tasks and equips finance and accounting professionals with the tools to contribute ideas, analysis and strategic thinking, making them more valuable to their businesses. We are seeing an upward trajectory of companies adopting an expense management model to provide an intuitive and comprehensive platform for all non-salary business expenses.
Our network is frustrated with legacy systems and processes that create high levels of manual labor, slow monthly closings, and ineffective cost controls. The surge in remote workforce triggered by the pandemic has further amplified these frustrations. Businesses have grown accustomed to a remote working approach, and the efficiencies created by a consolidated expense management platform have given a competitive edge to teams around the world.
This year has shown that my pre-existing concerns about faulty systems within companies and how they manage their expenses are valid. Now the rest of the world is quickly starting to realize this – and that’s just the start. Expense management is a crucial innovation whose time has come.