Within finance departments, there are three main benefits to adopting updated expense management systems.
Outdated systems take their toll: A Concur survey of 500 employees with accounts payable responsibilities at small- and medium-sized companies revealed some of the top complaints that stem from current expense management processes. The survey shows 47 per cent say they’re too time-consuming, and 36 per cent think they’re outdated. Most of the employees surveyed said they are still using manual systems that include Excel spreadsheets and physical file folders to store receipts and expense reports. A switch to cloud-based solutions would ease many of the pain points associated with filing and processing expenses.
Catching exaggerated reports: Whether intentionally or by error,employees often falsify expense claims. In fact, accounts payable professionals surveyed believe that almost 18 per cent of expense reports submitted include personal, non work-related expenses. Automated accounts payable and expense reporting systems like Concur Expense can help finance departments identify fraudulent or exaggerated reports.
Future-proofing expense and AP processes: With corporate travel on the rise – global business travel spend approached $1.3 trillion in 2016 and is expected to grow in 2017 – it’s more important than ever for businesses to stay on top of tools that can make expense management more efficient—and more transparent. By automating expense management, businesses can ensure they’re prepared for even more growth in corporate travel and the additional reporting that comes with it.
But the benefits of updated expense management systems extend far beyond a business’s finance department. These systems work behind the scenes to benefit employees in all areas of a business, from sales to marketing and more.
A recent report revealed that almost half the employees polled think their offices aren’t “smart enough.” Many employees expect the ease and convenience technology affords in their personal lives to be present in the workplace. Technology plays such a big role that for 82 per cent of millennials, technology is enough to impact whether or not they take a job, so dated and slow financial processes could be a serious deterrent. The reality is that to meet employee expectations and to maximize engagement, businesses need to utilize technology to simplify business tasks and improve the work environment – in the same way technology has made personal tasks and experiences easier and more personalized.
Nearly every employee likely interacts with a financial process, even if they aren’t in the finance department. Smart, automated tools extend their benefits to the whole workforce. For employees who have come to depend on advanced technology in their workplace, updated expense management systems can significantly improve traditionally slower tasks. They let employees use easy-to-use mobile apps to capture expenses on the go, automatically populate expense reports using electronic receipts from airlines and hotels, and more. All these solutions can significantly speed up the time it takes employees to file expense reports and receive reimbursements, so they can get back to spending time on the core of their job function. And considering a Concur survey revealed that 38 per cent of employees complain it takes too long to receive reimbursements, this is a noteworthy benefit.
It’s clear that updated, cloud-based expense management systems can positively impact all employees, not just the finance team. With these solutions, you get streamlined processes and full visibility with fewer complaints, which is a win for both your bottom line and all your employees.
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