Part 2: Returning to Work
As the quarantine guidelines have extended in many places, the traditional office and workspace as we know it has changed, and likely will be impacted. The best way to prepare your business to return to work is to emphasize the three basic tenets of safety during the pandemic as covered in Part 1: Returning to Work and Travel.
Along with this, it’s also important to utilize the resources available from the CDC to best analyze your unique situation and make the smartest decision possible. The resources is has to offer include FAQs, General Guidance, and a Resuming Business toolkit that acts as a checklist.
But preparation shouldn’t stop there. Even though travel has decreased for many, employees are continuing to spend. Here’s a list of best practices many of our customers are following:
- Controlling cash flow: Governing cash and spend has been a priority to help control cash flow. Companies are also instituting a pre-spend tool, as mentioned above, to control spend before it happens within their expense solution.
- Expanding globally: Many are using this “pause” in time to expand and optimize their travel and expense (T&E) programs to other countries. Senior management is realizing the need to have better oversight of spend management globally through integrating T&E onto one platform, so they can mitigate fraud, tax, and other business risks. With SAP Concur solutions, expanding T&E programs to other countries doesn’t take years considering our experts are well-versed in understanding various country regulations.
- Implementing new remote spend policies: Customers are quickly adjusting their expense workflows and software to accommodate agile policies that enable their employees to be productive at home.
- Setting further controls and compliance: The ACFE shared during our April webinar that they expect occupational fraud to increase by 90% over the next year. Companies are looking to provide a mix of audit rules, services, and technology, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), to battle this and ensure they have the necessary reporting capabilities.
- Instituting project codes to signify COVID-19 related expenses: Senior management expects finance to have a way to track COVID-19 related expenses as they are found to be typically unusual or unexpected when relating expenses to the previous environment. Other teams who manage areas such as tax and compliance may need them as well.
- Automating AP: Many companies required a fast reinvention of their AP processes. Some customers even revealed that invoices disappeared when the initial work-from-home mandates were issued, and it has been an ongoing struggle to update vendors with invoice delivery instructions. Many banking software tools are falling short in managing p-card spend and providing clear visibility in this new mobile environment.
- Improving the WFH employee experience: Aberdeen Analyst Bryan Ball, in a recent webinar, shared that Mobile is back. Automating the expense process and streamlining workflows with mobile-enabled tools are essential. When expense reports write themselves, it makes it so much easier for employees, plus, reimbursement happens more quickly. But companies need to set this up to streamline on the back-end. For example, pulling in credit card feeds into the employee’s report with spend, date, and vendor saves time and leaves less room for human errors. When you make things easy, positive outcomes can emerge for both the business and the employees when considered holistically.
Is your company considering implementing a pre-approval expense process before employees spend to help control cash flow?
How important is it to your company to have a tool or mechanism that can communicate with all employees, not just travelers?
Source: Return to Work and Return to Travel, SAP Concur webinar, July 16
For more information
Read the final bog in this series Part 3: Returning to Travel, which will be published on August 11.