From one CFO to another: The top 5 things I learned from the IDC whitepaper

I’m a big believer in automation. As CFO of Concur and throughout my career, I’ve seen the rise and fall of companies that don’t keep up with the pace of modern business. If your company isn’t moving towards automation, you’re falling behind. Manual processes are becoming obsolete as industries move to cloud-based models.


And nowadays, companies can’t simply “automate” existing processes and call it a day. True automation means finding solutions that improve your processes, to increase efficiency and ROI. With the help of the correct application, employees are set free to do more strategic tasks, improving business and market competitiveness. This is particularly true for the finance department, where tracking and processing every dollar counts and ultimately affects the bottom line.


Every day at Concur, I see first-hand the value automation is bringing my company. Manual methods slow down the pace of business and hinder innovation. At Concur, we believe there is a better way to manage finance and accounts payable that doesn’t just automate your existing process, but changes the way the work gets done.


But don’t take my word for it. In an independent whitepaper published by IDC, The Business Value of Concur Invoice, Concur Invoice was thoroughly researched and analyzed on its effectiveness for finance departments. This 14-page document walks through detailed descriptions and findings from in-depth interviews with eight organizations that use Concur Invoice to manage and process vendor invoices. And while the overarching theme is that Concur Invoice has improved business and saved money, there are five points I think as a CFO you will find most valuable:


  1. Mobility: In this increasingly mobile world, business happens anytime, any place. With Concur Invoice, individuals involved in any stage of the invoice management cycle can work outside of the office, having the ability to submit, review, approve, and process invoices on mobile devices. Eliminating the need for a paper process allows employees to work with invoicing on-demand and increasing productivity and not interrupting the flow of business.
  2. Time Savings: With Concur Invoice, the automation of the invoice life-cycle, intuitive interface, and decreased percentage of error, allows for substantial time savings for the finance department. The IDC study found on average, employees can be expected to spend 34% less time on tasks related to the invoice management cycle, including invoice-related data entry, managing vendor payments, performing audits, and invoice processing.
  3. Speed and Compliance:  With automation, invoices can be paid faster (decreasing late fees and interest), human error is minimized, and compliance with company policy increases. The surveyed businesses found that by using Concur Invoice:
  • Vendors received payments 51% faster.
  • Delayed payments were reduced by 67%.
  • Employees following procurement policies increased by 32%.
  1. Competitive ROI: IDC’s Five-Year ROI Analysis (Table 7) chart shows the initial investment in Concur Invoice is far outweighed by the benefits. Not only is the payback period 5 months, but, over a five-year time period, they can expect an ROI of 505%.

  1. Business Productivity: The proof of staff efficiencies and cost savings can be seen in the numbers alone. The Average Annual Benefits per 1,000 Invoices (Figure 1), shows how the surveyed organizations benefited from the use of Concur Invoice. Over the period of 1 year, business benefits were $751,682 per organization, or $14,953 for every 1,000 invoices processed. In particular, improvements were found in productivity, invoice related cost reductions, finance and IT team efficiencies.



The business landscape is continuing to change at an increasing rate, and a company relying on manual business processes is going to find it harder to keep up. Delaying the move to automation not only costs you time and money, but also increases the risk of missing business opportunities. Now is the time to give your company a competitive edge. Read the IDC Whitepaper in entirety here.

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