Is your organization among the 26% of small to midsize businesses (SMBs) using spreadsheets to manage their expenses? Or the 49% of SMB businesses still using handwritten records to track, manage, and analyze spend?
While you may be comfortable with these status quo ways of working, maybe you shouldn’t be – because the costs can add up more quickly than you realize. A recent study reported that 50% of SMBs say that manual processes hinder visibility into cash flow, which increases the risk fraudulent or unqualified spending.
Manual-, spreadsheet-, or e-mail-based processes also lead to costly mistakes and delays. That’s why 42% of small businesses surveyed say they’ve experienced errors reconciling invoices. Meanwhile, 75% of finance leaders say their business often exceeds expense, travel, and invoice budgets. And even more agree their expense, travel, and invoice systems could be better connected for a single view of spend.
Expense automation is one cloud application away – and a big boost to your bottom line
The good news is, there are easily deployed, affordable cloud solutions to automate this work, freeing your people to focus on top priorities such as growing or reinvesting in your business, keeping pace with the competition, and building customer relationships.
When you automate and integrate expense processes, you can make them run better and bring more visibility and control to all your spending. This frees up finance professionals to focus on other critical things. At the same time, you improve agility by enabling your business to respond faster to change – for example, by pivoting and redirecting employee spend to ensure the best outcomes.
In addition, by eliminating costly, repetitive, error-prone work using intelligent automation, you can empower your people to do more with less. For example, accounting and finance teams see an average time savings of 15% after adopting travel and expense automation solutions.
And finally, according to AMI-Partners, SMBs are achieving significant cost reductions with automated spending solutions:
- US$30,000 – Average annual savings with automated travel and expense management solutions
- $20 per expense report – Average savings of travel and expense users
These savings can go toward hiring more people, investing in new assets, developing new offerings, expanding into new locations, and more.
If you think these kinds of savings are out of reach for SMBs, think again
AMI-Partners recently conducted a study looking at how SMBs are benefitting from travel and expense solutions from SAP Concur solutions, which automate and integrate travel and expense and vendor invoice processing from beginning to end. Companies using the Concur Expense solution report cutting costs and boosting the bottom line by an average of $39,000 in annual savings, according to AMI-Partners. Automation also gives everyone – both employees creating reports and finance staff who process them – more time in their day, while preventing costly mistakes, fraud, and surprise expenses. And finally, LOB managers and finance get a clear, near-real-time view into expense-related spending and trends so they can proactively control it and improve planning, accruals, and cash flow.