Accuracy and risk mitigation have long been the primary focus of finance operations, but it’s time to expand that horizon. County finance leaders can no longer afford to ignore inefficiencies around invoices and employee discretionary spend that are draining productivity in their organizations. Working in the finance department of a state or local government has always meant working under pressure. But now, when many are working from home, those pressures are greater than ever. Simply reducing a step here or automating a process there won’t deliver the far-reaching optimization that organizations need to succeed today. It’s no longer an issue that county finance leaders can table until later.
COVID-19 has driven down funding sources while the demand for services is climbing. Your constituents need digital support as they sort through this new and disrupted reality – yet the income and sales tax revenues which fuel that support are declining at unheard of rates. The Brookings Institute projects that state and local income tax revenues will show a decline of 4.7% in 2020, or $22 billion, 7.5% in 2021, or $37 billion, and 7.7% in 2022, or $40 billion.
While finding a way to do more with less has always been top-of-mind, the events of 2020 have brought this need even more into focus. Rapid-fire, stay-at-home orders sent organizations scrambling to keep the operation going, suppliers paid, and customers, students, and patients served with a newly remote workforce. It quickly became clear that one manual process or a seemingly small inefficiency could have a significant impact on the organization’s ability to pivot and adapt. So there you have it: Less money, fewer people and, just because it’s government – greater scrutiny.
Digital revolution: Cloud-based management for government operations
Automate. Integrate. And digitize. These are significant concepts, yet with the right tools, they’re relatively simple to put to work. According to a Billentis Market Report for e-invoicing, seventy percent of all invoice processing globally is still paper-based. Those cumbersome processes not only make the employee spend management inefficient, but also hamper the AP department’s ability to add strategic value to the organization. By implementing cloud-based invoice management software, organizations can decrease the time spent processing an invoice by 75%. At the same time, these tools enable the organization to pay vendors 13% faster and increase AP staff efficiency by 45% – all while gaining access to the comprehensive data needed to negotiate terms and pricing with suppliers.
Revolutionize your county’s digital process with these four steps:
- Integrate credit card and purchasing card feeds
- Automate receipt and invoice capture and categorization
- Automate payments and reimbursements to suppliers and employees
- Monitor progress and adjust along the way
The road to recovery: Automation equips your county with efficiency
Investing in digital expense and invoice processes isn’t something you have to do, but as state and local governments face a changing and challenging future, it’s the best way to gain the adaptability it takes to manage those changes. Organizations that take the steps to actively improve invoice and employee spend processes will reduce costs, decrease errors, and speed up processing throughout. This will, in turn, increase agility and provide the visibility to better govern how each dollar is spent. That’s a strategic advantage that both offers immediate value and equips your county with the efficiency and intelligence it needs to steward resources for years to come.
Resources to Leverage
Read about increasing efficiency and productivity with SAP Concur for your county’s financial operations in our whitepaper today.
To learn more about how to optimize county financial operations, visit SAP Concur partner page at the National Association of Counties.