Growth and Optimization

Let's Get Automating: Why State and Local Governments Need to Modernize their Expense Systems

SAP Concur Team |

In today's fast-paced world, state and local governments are pushing to optimize spending while ensuring transparency and compliance with taxpayer dollars. Unfortunately, many are still stuck with legacy expense systems that rely on manual processes or outdated technology, hindering their efforts to efficiently manage expenses. In this blog, we'll delve into the challenges government organizations face when it comes to expense management and explore how automation can be the game-changer they need.

For honesty’s sake: Manual expense systems are a pain

Manual expense systems are notoriously slow and labor-intensive, both for employees filling out expense reports and for finance teams processing them. Tedious tasks such as completing spreadsheets, stapling receipts, and matching expenses consume valuable time that could be better spent on more strategic pursuits. Furthermore, the approval processes are often lengthy, resulting in outdated spending information.

One of the most significant downsides of manual expense systems is the potential for human error. Tracking employee expenses manually is prone to mistakes, with risks of unreported expenses like mileage and the approval of non-compliant charges. Such errors can lead to an inaccurate picture of your organization’s spending. In addition to this, legacy expense systems may inadvertently allow acts of fraud to go unnoticed.

Perhaps the most critical issue with these systems is the lack of transparency and visibility. Effective budget management requires clear, accurate, and up-to-date information. Unfortunately, legacy systems fall short in providing the tools needed for efficient oversight.

Why the time is now: Key ways automation transforms your expense system

The solution to all these challenges lies in automation. Automating your expense process can address the drawbacks of manual systems, offering benefits such as accelerated cycle times, error reduction, fraud prevention, and enhanced visibility into expenses. Plus, when you ditch the paper, an automated expense process allows for easy and accurate expense tracking. It can swiftly identify inconsistencies and highlight issues like duplicate claims and missing receipts. Here are three more key ways state and local governments can reap the benefits of automation:

  1. Spend Management: Automated expense processes provide near real-time insights into who is spending how much and where. This transparency and visibility are crucial for managing spending and cash flow. With the right financial data and analysis tools, you can identify trends and improve spending forecasts.
  2. Control and Compliance: Automated expense systems can flag and prevent non-compliant transactions. By incorporating your government's compliance policies, your finance team gains transparency in tracking expenses, enhances control through pre-approvals, and simplifies reports and audits with intelligent tools like analytics, Artificial Intelligence, and Machine Learning.
  3. Employee Experience: Cumbersome manual expense processes can be a source of frustration for employees, especially as remote work becomes more prevalent. Automation simplifies the expense process, making it more efficient and less error prone. For instance, a GPS-based app can automatically track car mileage, while on-screen digital assistance guides new employees through the learning of new technology and processes. The time saved can be redirected towards more strategic work in serving constituents.

The solutions you need, the automation you deserve

Managing a government budget is no small feat, and outdated manual expense systems only make the task more challenging. That's why an increasing number of state and local governments are turning to automated solutions like SAP Concur to modernize their expense systems and gain real-time expense tracking capabilities, even on mobile devices. A platform that integrates travel, expenses, and AP together; that’s packed with AI, best practices, and continuous innovation; and that delivers it all through an easy, clear, “I-can’t-believe-how-simple-that-is” experience.

With SAP Concur, you can make it more efficient for all involved parties, while providing a comprehensive view of how your funds are serving your constituents. With our unparalleled automation, you'll know more so you can do more for your county and its residents. It's time to embrace the future of expense management and leave the legacy systems behind.

See how SAP Concur can help modernize your state or local government’s spend management process, so you can focus on serving citizens. Visit us online.


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