As we saw in our last article, using spreadsheets for expense reporting doesn’t give you the data you need when you need it, to see what your employees are spending. Better expense reporting gives you a clearer view into your business expenses in time to do something about it.
There’s a lot at stake here
This figure may be familiar. If not, it should be. The average company spends 8-12% of its operating expenses on travel and entertainment every year. If people are waiting until the last possible minute to collect their receipts and do their expense reports, you’re blind for weeks to roughly one dollar in 10 of your spending. Can you afford that?
Look at it in a different way. At small and medium-sized businesses with up to 500 employees, the average expense filer accounts for $10,150 a year in expenses. With just 10 travelers, that’s more than $100,000. If 20% of your 500 person company travels, more than a million dollars a year in business expenses could be invisible to you for a long time after it’s spent. Aberdeen research shows 41% of businesses want more visibility into expense spending. Don’t you want to see your cash flow more clearly?
See more clearly
Automating expense reports online can clear the fog around what your employees are spending and planning to expense. That’s because your travelers capture their receipts with a smartphone camera and the information uploads immediately into the system where you can see it right away. Spending on a corporate card goes in automatically – you don’t even need to enter the receipt. Expense reports virtually write themselves, and travelers can, in many cases, complete them before they get home.
The power of data
All that information, delivered in a timely fashion, gives you the power to see and analyze your cash flow as the money is being spent. The best online expense reporting, like Concur Expense, gives you powerful reporting and analysis tools. Those tools help you use that information to make better decisions about upcoming business moves – to spot trouble and opportunity dead ahead. The chief financial officer of ALPS Corporation told Aberdeen researchers: “Excel is too manual to be used for monitoring company cash flow, and I had to take multiple steps before being able to run a full accounting report – incurring about two to three weeks’ worth of delay. Now, with Concur, we get instant visibility into where our employees are spending.”
The bottom line
Seeing cash flow more clearly in real time can’t help but strengthen an organization’s performance. And the way automated online expense software works means potential savings from better policy and regulation compliance, too. We’ll talk more about that in our next post.
Say hello to real time information and goodbye to invisible spending with Concur. Want to learn more? You can do so here.
 Aberdeen Group, “T&E Report Expense Automation,” 2012
 Concur Technologies, Inc. “Concur Expense IQ Report 2013,” July 2013
 Aberdeen Group, “Integrating Globally, Executing Locally: The Only Game in Town,” September 2014
 Aberdeen Group research, 2009