Control Company Costs

5 Ways to Get More Budget Clarity Across Your Business

Kyla Kent |

For many companies, gaining clear insight into financial resources, spending patterns, and overall financial health can be a challenge. Yet, maintaining a tight grip on your business’s budget isn’t just recommended — it’s required. To do that, you need a clear understanding of how travel, expense, and invoice automation can help you steer your business confidently towards its goals. It's time to transform confusion into clarity, complexity into simplicity, and uncertainty into optimism. Here are five ways to get more budget clarity across your business: 

1. Automate processes to foster financial clarity and efficiency 

Managing employee spend shouldn’t be daunting – even if you work at a large enterprise. Instead, it's an opportunity waiting to be seized.  

Automated systems can increase employee spend oversight, dive deep into your financial data and sift through the intricate web of transactions with remarkable precision. They can meticulously examine each transaction, pattern, and anomaly, far faster than Lucy in accounting. Automated systems can scour vast datasets, and identify duplicate invoices, erroneous charges, and non-compliant expenditures that often remain hidden from your coworker Fred.  

We have nothing against Lucy or Fred. . . In fact, automation can help them be more efficient and productive in their jobs. For example, even those tricky out-of-policy expenses can be captured and brought back in with the right automated solution. Take Concur TripLink as an example — it far exceeds any human in uncovering hidden bookings. 

The result of process automation is a transformative shift — a newfound understanding of how your employees spend money throughout the organization. And no, it’s not to point fingers, unless Dave really overspent on bagels (again) at that client event. Instead, automation is all about operational efficiency, increasing visibility, and identifying areas to minimize waste. This is where fostering financial wellness for your business comes in: Automation makes it possible to identify and redirect resources towards more strategic initiatives for growth and innovation. Which brings us to our next point. 

2. Align valuable budget resources to key business objectives 

Once you’ve unlocked this new level of visibility, now you can start aligning your budget to your business objectives. Think of it as if you were on a road trip: You have a clear map that shows all the roads, landmarks, and destinations. Or in this case, all employee expenses, travel bookings, event spend, and supplier invoices.  

Budget, an SAP Concur solution that visualizes spending all in one place, is like a map, but for your company's money. You can see where your money comes from, where it goes, and how it's being used at any given time. This helps your company make smart decisions about spending, saves you from surprises (like bagel lover Dave), and lets you plan with confidence. Just like a map helps you navigate smoothly, automated tools like Budget help your company steer its finances in the right direction. 

With more budget visibility, even large enterprise organizations can empower decision-makers to make informed choices. When budget owners can easily track where money is coming from and where it's going, they’re better equipped to allocate resources wisely, identify cost-saving opportunities, and ensure that financial goals align with your business’s overarching strategies. That sounds a lot like accountability if you ask us. 

3. Enhance transparency for a culture of accountability and collaboration 

Yes, automation certainly enables accountability. It allows different departments and teams to take ownership of their expenditures and assess whether or not they're staying on track. Procurement cards (P-Cards) and corporate cards offer easy ways to enhance the transparency of spending while empowering employees to make choices on behalf of the business. And because every spending decision is an opportunity to invest in your organization, this helps foster responsible, transparent spending and encourages a culture of accountability and collaboration. Employees know they are being counted on to make the best spending decisions, while technology ensures there are proper controls to receive better discounts, manage costs and risk, and minimize fraud. 

On the other hand, limited insight into your organization’s spending makes it difficult to know when and where spending happens with enough time to influence it. And if you can’t see spend, you lose the power to negotiate with vendors and the ability to optimize your payment strategies for better cashflow. Cue the robots: with Concur Detect by Oversight you can leverage the optimal intelligence of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to work on your behalf. AI and ML are masters at: 

  • Tracking and automating when you make payments. 
  • Seeing when you can capture early payment discounts. 
  • Ensuring employees are booking with preferred vendors. 
  • Utilizing added savings to help fund the next big opportunity. 
  • Auditing expense reports to flag out-of-policy or noncompliant spend. 

4. Consolidate your data to power your business strategy 

Now that you’ve automated your processes and hired robots to enforce the rules, it’s time to dig into the details. This is where the magic truly happens. Your business strategy should be defined by accuracy – this means running your numbers and using correct, clear, up-to-date contextual information to guide you. So, when managers must decide how to spend their precious budgets, finance teams must determine how to revise a forecast, or program leaders must adapt policies or re-negotiate with suppliers, the data needed to drive these decisions is all in one place, and it’s easy to see the right choices for your business. 

With this approach, businesses can transform a once fragmented financial landscape into a cohesive, comprehensive story that shows where their employees' time and energy are focused. But it isn’t just about collecting numbers. By harnessing the wealth of information with analytics tools like Intelligence you can propel your business forward and unlock insights that keep you ahead of the competition. Armed with data, you can anticipate trends, optimize resource allocation, and navigate unexpected complexities with confidence. In a world where information reigns supreme, embracing data isn't just a choice — it's a necessity for resilience, growth, and lasting success. 

 5. Stay on top of ever-changing tax rules and regulations 

Financial regulations are always changing. As governments struggle with declining tax bases, they’re working to capture every source of revenue they can. These shifting regulations and tax issues could create a moment of pause and concern for your company. It’s important that all your employees can stay in the know and act to ensure your organization remains compliant whenever they can. And when your view of spending is disconnected or budget management tasks are unclear, you run the risk of keeping employees in the dark. The move to hybrid work, for instance, has created new categories of spending that may be considered taxable benefits – and, as a result, need to be identified and included in the payroll. Just consider Concur Tax Assurance by Bluedot, and see what our latest technology can help uncover. With help from AI and machine learning it can automatically identify VAT-eligible expenses, validate receipts, and optimize reclaim potential. 

And when it comes to keeping your policies up to date, automation can help ensure your employees are never caught off guard. So, you can turn a moment of risk into a moment of opportunity; a moment to boost confidence in your ability to manage tax and regulatory compliance and protect your budget along the way. You can start by tackling taxable employee benefits (TEBs), using AI to parse out which expense report charges are TEBs and take the manual work off your team while creating a comprehensive, reliable audit trail. Thanks to technology, staying attuned to the ever-changing regulatory environment has evolved from a challenge. Give it a chance and position your business at the forefront of ethical and compliant practices, all while fostering growth and innovation with an unwavering spirit. 

Sharpen your budget clarity with these additional resources 

Finally, intelligent technology that offers a cohesive platform to track expenses, manage invoices, and monitor travel costs, all in real-time. And with a personal assistant, too, thanks to  AI. With the data at your fingertips, you can say goodbye to tedious spreadsheets and manual calculations and welcome a clearer, more streamlined approach to financial management. It’s time to empower every budget owner to see what’s happened and what’s ahead and give them the right tools to take action before it’s too late.  

Further your knowledge with these budget resources: 

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