Managing company spend is a hot topic today – especially among small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) – because cash flow is key to driving profitable growth. But are you optimising how you manage it?
In the age of Big Data, digital transformation, and automation, this requires intelligent automation to provide company-wide visibility across travel, expenses, and supplier spend. SMBs that fail to modernise their processes place themselves at high risk on many fronts – most notably, through wasted time and spiraling indirect costs that can derail growth strategies and drain working capital. Put simply, wasted time equals wasted money, and what SMB can afford that?
According to a new survey conducted by AMI-Partners, leaders of small and medium-sized organisations agree. They cited their top challenges related to time as:
These challenges share a common thread: they result in lost time and financial opportunities due to inefficient travel, expense, and supplier invoice management processes. Traditional methods such as spreadsheets or pen and paper for tracking and managing expenses and supplier invoices are inherently slow, cumbersome, and costly. This becomes more evident as companies begin to grow beyond 50 employees.
Manual travel, expense, and supplier invoice management impedes growth and scale because it requires that time spent by finance and accounting teams increase proportionately to the overall growth of the firm. More time means higher costs.
But perhaps you’re asking yourself – how much is all of this REALLY costing my business? Is it so much that it’s worth spending the money on an automated travel, expense, and supplier invoice management solution?
How True Costs Can be Calculated
The AMI-Partners’ study looked more closely at the true costs of manual processes through the lens of the challenges firms face prior to automating their travel, expense, and invoice management. And they found that the costs can be categorised into three key areas:
More evidence of the cost of manual processes is the hard savings realised after companies deploy T&E automation solutions – but especially by users of SAP Concur.
According to AMI-Partners, SMBs using T&E solutions save over £24,000 per year after implementation. Firms using Concur Expense reported greater average savings of £31,000 per year. Companies implementing supplier invoice management solutions saw similar cost savings. The average annual savings was nearly £27,000. Firms using Concur Invoice indicated that they are saving over £33,000 annually.
Make no mistake: There are inherent challenges related to implementing a new automation solution, including the onboarding and training of employees. And it takes time to learn a new system. But these challenges should not discourage you from implementing automated travel, expense, and invoice management solutions or taking a further step of integrating across various processes. The benefits of automation significantly outweigh any cost of implementation, and there is a considerable return on investment once you adopt automated T&E and supplier invoice solutions, as the research reveals.
To learn more, download the full research paper (The Value of Automated Travel, Expense and Invoice Management) or just the UK data (The Before and After Journey of Automating Travel, Expense and Invoice for UK SMBs).