Think for a moment about the systems you have in place and the processes you use on your team. How many of them were strategically implemented with an eye on the short, medium and long term? And how many of them were invented as a quick fix at the time and have evolved to give you what you need? (For the most part.)
How will those processes invented as a quick fix at the time work as you grow? Will they continue to give you what you need with a few tweaks here and there? Or will they sink under the strain?
Systems and processes that are no longer fit-for-purpose is one of the most common reasons that people talk to us. Take Maria Santos Roman, Office Manager at DRC Capital, an SAP Concur customer: “It would take days to approve an invoice and even though I was only involved in creating expense reports for three or four people it was all taking a lot of time. Plus, I was concerned about the massive amounts of paper we were printing and how much we were spending on storage.”
If you’re concerned about how your systems and processes will cope as you scale up, maybe now is the time to take action to address any challenges you may have in the future.
Automation equals scalability
Automating processes such as invoice, expense and travel makes them more lightweight, which means they are scalable as you grow. But, it is important to think strategically about the solutions you implement.
Choose integrated tools that talk to each other, so you aren’t just streamlining one process - you’re streamlining all of them. Luke Braham, Head of Technology Operations at SAP Concur customer, RED, said: “We liked the multiple layers we could look into further down the line. The single platform gave a benefit you don’t get with other products.”
Another decision that could mean less work and admin in the future, is to choose tools that are cloud-based. Tools such as Concur Invoice, Concur Expense and Concur TripLink upgrade automatically with the latest tax and government regulations, so you’re always using the most up-to-date version. Most importantly, built-in policies and triggers speed up time to reimbursement by as much as half. There is also no up-front investment in expensive hardware and no expensive upgrades required. It means you can use the same tools and get the same benefits as your big business counterparts.
Choose tools that can be customized so you have technology that fits your processes rather than trying to make your processes fit technology. SAP Concur solutions can be tailored to your precise requirements. At the same time, every implementation is led by an SAP Concur expert who can make sure your processes are optimized, so you get the very best from what the tools have to offer.
The not-so-fringe benefits of automation
Automation won’t just save you time in the future it will save you time now. A recent study found that finance teams using automated T&E solutions saw a 15% reduction in the time spent processing expense reports and invoice management users saw a 16% reduction.
The time you save can be spent on analysing your numbers and providing meaningful insights that add value to the business – helping it to grow. And the good news is that with automation, you get greater visibility in the first place. Laurence Harper, Finance Systems Analyst at SAP Concur customer DAS, said: “I don’t think we could do without the business intelligence side of SAP Concur. Our teams are now proactive instead of reactive to changes within the finance department – a transformative shift.”
In other words, automation has the power to make a good team even better.