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Expense, Travel, and Invoice Management is Complicated; Here’s How to Simplify

Feature Article | February 16, 2018 by Rebecca Dolan

If your company is facing issues with expense, travel, and invoice management, you’re not alone. A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of SAP Concur found that 60 percent of companies face issues with manual processes and timeliness due to their current tools.

Outdated legacy technology is one of the core causes of inefficient expense, travel, and invoice management. Manual processes are clunky, time consuming, vulnerable to human error, and lack visibility across company spend. The inaccuracies and slowdowns they cause can also lead to auditing headaches, additional work, and extra costs.

Want better mileage out of your travel, expense, and invoice solutions? Read the report

The other major issue facing companies in this area is the lack of alignment between the IT and finance departments. Sixty-one percent of firms say that IT is focused more on the usability and employee experience, and less on spend reductions. Conversely, 64 percent of firms say that finance is focused more on reducing spending, and less on usability and employee experience.

What if there was a solution that would increase visibility, save time, and cut costs — all while satisfying the needs of stakeholders in both departments?

Financial Teams Want to Simplify Processes and Save Money

While new invoice management tools can’t lower your bills themselves, they can optimize your processes in ways that will cut costs. Automation will ensure those bills are accounted for and paid on time, saving you from late fees, reducing the time spent managing invoices, and allowing you to focus valuable time on other tasks.

Beyond time savings, you need visibility into what is being paid, to whom, and from what budgets. Inadequate visibility into expenses is a key challenge for better managing the expense, travel, and invoice process. This type of reporting is critical for understanding where and when spend happens with enough time to influence it.

IT Managers Want to Reduce the Burden of Tech Support

Thirty-eight percent of finance and IT decision makers cite increasing automation as a top expense and travel priority in the next year or two. And, it makes sense that the IT department has a stake in the game. Automated, cloud-based tools enable the efficiency that companies lack, lessening the burden on the internal IT support team, and allowing them to focus attention on supporting employees in other ways.

For Employees, Cloud-Based Tools Increase Productivity, Adoption, and Satisfaction

In a modern world, employees expect that the technological advances they enjoy in their personal lives will carry over to their work lives. Instead, they face fragmented, manual expense and payment processes that are inefficient and time consuming. As a result, both managers and employees in the Forrester survey ranked manual processes as a top frustration when it comes to managing expenses.

By fully automating expense, travel, and invoice systems with cloud-based tools available on mobile devices, you can reduce employee frustration, encourage adoption, and increase compliance. Likewise, better tools to track expenses in one place can help them make responsible spending choices and give managers visibility into any potentially fraudulent spending. All of this translates into money saved.

Unified Solution Benefits Everyone

When we combine needs across the board, the solution emerges: An automated expense, travel, and invoice management process will improve employees’ experiences and reduce spending. This can be accomplished by full alignment of IT and finance, which then allows both departments to accomplish their own goals.

Indeed, we think the results of the Forrester survey demonstrate the effectiveness of this approach. Seventy-five percent of companies with a unified strategy reported high satisfaction with travel and expense tools, compared to just 35 percent without a unified strategy.

Aligning the goals of the finance and IT teams has a profound effect on the overall travel, expense, and invoice management process. Download the full study now to learn more about how you can simplify your expense, travel, and invoice solutions.

Rebecca Dolan is digital marketing manager at SAP Concur

This story originally appeared on the SAP Concur newsroom.

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