Control Company Costs

Getting Your Company on Board with Automating Company Spend

Lara Edwards |

Most companies are feeling pressure to digitally transform how they do business—to stay competitive and build resilience, just to name a few. But in today’s climate, there is a greater emphasis on getting more done, with fewer resources and less money. As a result, it can be tough to encourage stakeholders in your business to invest in finance automation. After all, if your paper-based spend management flow works well enough, why not keep it for now?

If you’re all-in on automating your company’s finance process, but other company stakeholders want more information, we have some handy tips and talking points to help you get people on board.

Why Automate your Spend Management?

In a twist on a familiar saying, sometimes you need to spend money to save money, especially when it comes to building your company's technology infrastructure. The sooner you can get up and running, the better.

Spend management automation can help businesses quickly start saving money on travel, expense, and supplier invoice processes—seeing positive ROI within 8 months, on average, of adopting the technology, according to a recent Analysys Mason study. The study also found that companies that adopted spend automation reported saving an average of £32K (€37K) yearly on supplier invoice management and £38K (€44K) yearly on travel and expense management as a result.

magnifying glass on paper


Automating Finance on the Way to Digital Transformation 

The Analysys Mason study of global finance and IT leaders uncovered their mindset about digital transformation, top business challenges, and benefits of automating business processes. 

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What are Your Company's Goals for Digital Transformation?

The shifting economic landscape has made a lot of businesses redefine their long-term strategies, including using automation to improve their processes.  

The top finance leader pain points found in the study were:

  • Incomplete documentation
  • Fraud/risk management
  • Difficulty tracking spending trends and behaviours
  • Employee experience issues with manual expense and invoice management workflow

The top three expected benefits of digital transformation included...

  • Improving business process efficiency
  • Enabling the business to run successfully whether employees are in the office or working remotely
  • Making faster progress in digitising finance processes

And the savings reported after adopting SAP Concur solutions for spend management included…

  • 28% reduction in excess mileage claims
  • 26% reduction in budget overspending because of increased visibility into spend data
  • 26% increase in tax reclaim

You can keep these points in mind when you have conversations with other stakeholders. But it’s also important to acknowledge how spend automation can directly address the issues faced by your stakeholders and their team.

Get Aligned: Connect with Stakeholders' Interests 

To get a clearer picture of what your stakeholders’ needs are, ask them how the following benefits could impact their teams in the everyday and the longer term:

  • Streamlining processes, eliminating manual processes, and improving compliance with policies.
  • Ensuring corporate data security and regulatory compliance, built-in policy compliance, and meeting duty-of-care requirements.
  • Having clearer visibility into employee spend, financial reporting, and spend management processes.
  • Getting control over costs and savings through supplier negotiations.

Improving safety, satisfaction, and ease of support for travellers.

Align With Your Finance Leader

Your finance leader, or CFO, knows your company’s finance process inside and out - including its pain points. They might also already see how the company could benefit from automating spend management.

So, they might not ask, “Why?” but “Why now?”—which is a good opportunity to lead with the speed to ROI. In addition, remind them that automation can also help bridge the gap in finance processes for all work arrangements, gain real-time visibility into cash flow, and keep up on shifting compliance regulations.

Helpful resources for finance leaders include: 

Are you a finance leader looking for talking points to get buy-in from others? Check out: How the CFO Can Create Partnerships and Boost Company ROI.

Align With Your AP Team

With an automated spend management solution, you can connect all your company’s finance applications and platforms, for a more efficient and streamlined process. When your accounts payable team has an up-to-date view of all outstanding AP items, finance decision-makers have a clearer idea of what decisions need to be made—and when.

AP automation can help your team avoid making late payments, find opportunities to pay earlier for discounted rates, and gain insights to help negotiate better rates with suppliers.

Helpful resources for AP include:

Are you an AP pro looking for talking points to get buy-in from others? Check out: How AP Teams Can Create Cross-Functional Partnerships and Boost Company ROI.

Align With Your IT Team 

Your IT team will play a major role in the company’s transition to full spend automation. Be sure to communicate that cloud-based automation of your finance processes can help your IT team: Centralise finance technology into a single platform, protect company and customer data, and create secure and integrated back-end systems.

Helpful resources for IT include: 

Are you an IT pro looking for talking points to get buy-in from others? Check out: How IT Can Help Boost Company ROI with Automated Spend Management

Align With Your HR Team 

Your human resource leader is familiar with employee pain points, and can help determine the best way automation can be used to solve these issues. Talk to your HR team about how automating the finance process can benefit the company and its people by: Reducing manual tasks for employees—for submitting and processing expenses and invoices—so they can focus on higher-value and more rewarding work, as well as ensuring duty of care for all employees.

Helpful resources for HR include: 

Are you an HR pro looking to streamline systems and elevate employee experience? Check out: How SAP Concur Solutions Help HR Professionals Deliver on Their Priorities.

Connecting you Finances, Connecting your Teams 

face, and how working together can help mitigate and solve these issues. Take note of who seems ready for change and on board with digital transformation. And be sure to collaborate with the team members who can help you get buy-in across the entire company.

Being a good listener is key to building bridges and finding ways to set up your company—and its people—for greater efficiency and success.

Ready to start a transformation conversation, or feeling stuck in your journey? Contact us.


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