Faculty and staff at colleges and universities have increasing access to and are spending more of their institution's money across more spend categories and using more payment methods than ever before. For finance departments who may still be struggling with manual processes, it’s challenging to accurately track spending. Without greater visibility, universities have less control to enforce travel and expense policies, reduce fraud, and ultimately make informed, timely financial decisions with confidence. That is why it is critical for administrators to adopt tools that automate these processes and provide insight into the financial health of their institutions
Maintaining Financial Control
Many spend management and travel solutions that were adopted by institutions decades ago are now outdated, making financial control difficult. This is why implementing a modern, easy-to-use spend management solution can increase adoption and increase visibility into spending. By consolidating all of your data in one performance dashboard, you can see every aspect of your spending. With valuable insights at your fingertips, you can prevent duplicate payments, flag unusual transactions, or lead more informed negotiations to take advantage of discounted supplier rates.
For finance departments to effectively manage their budgets, here are some critical steps to take:
- Automate all spending: Moving from a manual or semi-manual process across all faculty and staff spending will increase visibility and avoid error. Automating processes for expense, travel, and check requests creates efficiencies that result in reduced costs.
- Embrace an open strategy: Travel vendors will continue to develop direct relationships with faculty and staff. You can’t stop this behavior, but you can manage it by digitally capturing all spend through the apps your faculty and staff are already using. By connecting all travel, expense, purchasing cards, and invoicing tools directly with suppliers, you can better manage spend in ways that will avoid penalties and gain savings.
- Go beyond automation to strategically manage spending: Technology that enables effective management of all faculty and staff spending in a centralized manner ultimately paves the way for smart, proactive, and customized management of your company’s spending.
- Review Spending: Conducting an audit to see where costs can be recovered is a great way to spot issues and spend leaks before they get any worse. In the same way that regulatory bodies would review your books and processes in a business audit, an internal spend audit checks all your transaction data, as well as identifies any missed savings opportunities.
By integrating automation tools and increasing visibility into institutional spending, you will gain a better understanding of where resources are going and be better able to develop a strategy to manage it proactively – and ultimately save your institution money.
Learn about how SAP Concur's solutions help higher ed manage spend here.