Spreadsheets and other manual solutions are the cornerstones of many financial processes. I’m sure you have a few in your business, as they appear to provide documented evidence for every penny of spend.
But they really mean a lot of paper-shuffling that drains everyone’s time. And, what's worse, they can create blind spots in your data.
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Chances are you think of these blind spots as a fact of life. After all, 81% of finance leaders say they don’t have complete visibility over their travel, expense, and invoice spend, so you aren't alone if you feel that way.
You’ve heard it before, but it's worth repeating: Automation can help eliminate blind spots by giving you greater visibility while making everyone more productive. But how does it work in reality? Let’s take a look.
You get control over the second biggest area of expenditure
Travel and expense is typically the second largest controllable item on a business’s finance books. It means you need to know about this spend as early as possible if you want to manage it proactively rather than reactively.
Starting with travel, the sooner you can capture future travel arrangements upfront, the more prepared you will be to budget and anticipate associated expenses. Products like TripLink get travel spend into the system at the time trips are booked, which means you know about it sooner rather than later.
At the same time, Concur Expense allows employees to scan receipts and submit claims on the go so you’ll know about them as they happen rather than when the pile of receipts lands on your desk much later.
You can pay suppliers on time and accrue for the spend more quickly
Almost 80% of companies admit to paying supplier invoices late.
Concur Invoice uses OCR technology to reduce invoice capture times by up to 75%. Businesses that use purchase orders can streamline their invoice matching meaning that up to 45% of their processing can be touchless. System reports mean you can see how long each stage of the process takes, making it easy to identify and resolve bottlenecks. It all speeds up payment times, improves productivity, and frees you and your team to focus on more strategic activities.
Your policies are maintained and your costs are more accurate
We found that 60% of finance leaders aren’t confident that employees comply with company T&E policies. It’s a problem when you want to control your costs and it’s a bigger problem come audit time.
True automation means having your travel and expense policies built in so that out-of-policy spend is flagged at the time of booking. (We recently worked with a customer who reported that the percentage of their approved expenses that were out of policy reduced from 15% to 1%!)
Your VAT return is a breeze
Reclaiming VAT manually is a time-consuming chore. There’s also every chance you’ll miss reclaimable expenses because you don’t have complete data. When you automate the process, everything changes. Current VAT rules are automatically applied to expense types so you can be confident you are always reclaiming the right amount.
Banish those blind spots
In 2017, SAP Concur solutions helped customers process nearly 124.6 million expense claims and more than 58.7 million travel bookings, pay more than 22.7 million suppliers, and undertake more than 13 million audits. It means we’re able to see just how effective automation is in helping businesses to capture data more effectively, reinforce policies and rules and – ultimately – get better visibility into their numbers.
For more insights, tune into our on-demand webinar The Top Blind Spots Hiding in Your Finance Data.