Written on May 13, 2014 at 12:22 pm, by Amy Higgins
Henry and Richard Bloch started their small business in 1955. Today, they no longer have that small business. What they have instead is the largest tax solution company in the world.
H&R Block now serves over 24 million clients per year, and you can hear co-founder Henry Bloch tell the inspiring story of the company’s success at National Small Business Week, which takes place May 12 – 16th in various cities.
Most small businesses launch with H&R Block’s growth curve in mind. But what often happens is they get bogged down with “business tasks.”
Yes, these tasks need to get done.
And yes, they can be time consuming.
But no – and this is where the original vision becomes a mirage – these “business tasks” cannot replace the time needed to meet growth objectives. When business tasks become the priority while business-critical tasks get placed on the back burner, growth gets placed on the other back burner.
Perhaps there’s no better example of time-consuming tasks that bog down small businesses than manual expense reporting. So the answer is simple, right? More small businesses should switch to expense management software. But the truth is most small businesses think they’re “too small” for automated expense management.
Do you think your company is too small for expense management software?
According to the Small Business Expense Management survey from American Express OPEN and Intuit, 74% of business owners said that time spent reconciling expenses keeps them from tackling more important business-related activities. Given a reduction in expense management, 35% said they would use the extra time to interact with customers and 33% said they would market their business.
Why the wrong expense management solution inhibits small business growth
We’ve already covered how manual expense reporting prevents businesses from tackling essential projects and growth plans. What we haven’t discussed, though, is how people in leadership positions regularly get sucked into the expense mess, often as the bad guy.
“As the CFO who’s responsible for controlling costs, you end up being a disciplinarian at times, but in reality, it doesn’t need to be like that,” says Sid Katari, CFO of Oribe Hair Care, a Concur client. “It’s about adding value to the business and understanding what your staff needs to succeed and ultimately their success is tied to the company’s, right? Finding a win-win solution that fits into that makes me feel very good.”
Why the right expense management solution gives you room to grow
Small business expense management empowers your entire business:
It empowers the finance team to do their jobs with greater accuracy and efficiency. Plus, they no longer have to enforce rules. They have a system that does the enforcing for them.
It empowers employees with a solution that assists them in following policies, and allows them to perform expense-related tasks whenever, wherever it’s most convenient. Employees also enjoy visibility into the process and faster reimbursements. For example, employees at Concur client Amoena USA Corp. now enjoy a reimbursement turnaround of three days, down from 1 – 2 weeks.
It empowers decision makers with actionable, real-time data. Transactions from travel partners, credit cards and other sources are imported automatically – no tasks needed. Insights that used to require a special project by the resident data scientist can now be gained with a few clicks by anyone with a smartphone. “Concur is an entire platform, not just a travel tool or an expense tool,” says Patrick Linnihan, president of Gant Travel Management Ltd. “It has the potential to enhance so many areas that touch the profitability of an organization.”
It empowers the human resources department to tout employee-friendly technology during the recruiting process, a key consideration for today’s workforce. “And with Concur’s mobile solution, you virtually eliminate the problem of lost receipts,” says Encell Technology, a small business with less than 30 people.
Let’s celebrate a smarter way of doing expense reports for any businesses, no matter its size. Listen to our Small Business Week webinar to learn how to take your business growth tasks off the back burner.