Does your month-end start long before the last working day of the month and typically spill into the start of the next? Is it a stressful, inefficient exercise that doesn’t really deliver as much value as you’d like? If you use a paper-based process, this is likely to be a familiar scenario.
However frustrating the process is, the end of the month is a critical time. Accurate data capture and analysis is a vital part of compliance.
The three things that stop you having an efficient month-end
Firstly, there’s getting hold of the paperwork. You ask for expenses to reach you by a certain date each month, but the reality is you spend a lot of time following up. You and your team feel like schoolteachers chasing homework – not the skilled professionals you are with insight and intelligence to offer.
Then there’s the data entry. It’s time-consuming and tedious to enter figures and code costs. But it’s an activity that can’t be rushed because when you do, mistakes creep in and accuracy is compromised.
Finally, there’s the quality of the data you have available. Because you’re working with figures in arrears, you don’t really have a clear picture of the current finances of the business. This is something that’s all-too-clear when an unexpectedly large expense claim or invoice lands on your desk and throws all your cashflow forecasting out.
Automation is the answer
There is a solution to all three problems: automation. Here in the UK, the government is pushing businesses towards automation with initiatives such as Making Tax Digital for good reason.
Automation turns a stressful, tedious scramble into an efficient process. It also makes it easy to plan your cashflow and give the management team valuable information they can use in business planning. It also gives you more confidence in your compliance.
Create the efficiency you need
Automation helps you overcome all three problems caused by a paper-based month-end.
Gathering the paperwork is effortless. With Concur Expense, expense claims can be compiled on-the-go. Employees simply photograph their receipts on their smartphone and they’re automatically converted into claims to be checked and submitted. Concur TripLink captures travel plans and spend, no matter where it happens so it’s in the system from the moment it’s booked. Plus, nothing slips through the gaps – every detail is captured and your policies are applied automatically so your end-users know spend is compliant.
With these solutions, data entry is a thing of the past. They capture data automatically and even code costs too. Data flows seamlessly into your finance system so everything is in one place. With the risk of manual error is eliminated, you save time and you can be confident nothing has been missed.
The other advantage of having costs in the system so much earlier is visibility and the ability to more effectively. You can see at a glance where claims are in the approval process so you can follow up quickly. Your data is digitized and connected, so you can interrogate and analyze information much more easily and your reporting capabilities are super-charged. You also have an end-to-end audit trail should you ever need it.
Map your processes and understand the blocks
If your month-end process is slowing your business down and leaving you at risk of non-compliance, then you need to map your processes. You can then start to understand where your blocks are and how automation could make the difference.
To learn more, read the report on elevating business performance and spend management with automation.