Is Shared Services the Key to Expansion? Centralising T&E Can Be a Lynchpin of Strategic Growth.

T&E isn’t the same everywhere you go. But no matter where you expand, you need to know that a) you’ve got your standard procedures in place, and b) you can quickly and easily incorporate regional requirements into your process. Without fail, and without hassle.

 

That’s why many growing organisations choose to centralise T&E as a shared service. Our clients who have done so have seen some pretty powerful benefits, including:

 

  • Improved quality control over process and procedure, while getting a single, global view of T&E spend.
  • Connected offices around the world and improved collaboration across the organisation.
  • Saving time and budget by automating and unifying processes for travellers and finance managers.
  • More time for teams to focus on growth and other valuable work.

 

Shared services not only increase your efficiency, they give you the time to focus on your expansion strategy.

Growth is difficult enough already — attempting it without a clear picture of what’s being spent isn’t going to make success any easier. Handing travel, expense, and invoice management responsibilities over to a shared services organisation provides visibility into spend (not to mention consistency in process), which means senior leadership gets a sharper lens into where the business could go.

 

Getting there relies on four key points, according to our global customers.

 

1. Centralise your processes.

Start the process of centralising spending now — even if you don’t yet have systems in place or common policies across your organisation. Get the process centralised first, then shift to a more unified program.

Outcome: One global client was able to go from 200 expense types in their system down to 50. This 75% reduction simplified the process for users and finance teams without sacrificing clarity or control.

 

2. Use policy to create pull.

Bring shared services outliers in with policy. For example, the creation of zero-based budgeting and unified

corporate T&E policy (where they haven’t existed before) create a demand for shared services. How? Business units need to comply with the new policies, and they need help to do so. So instead of forcing them to work in a new way, they’re knocking at your door.

                  Fast Fact: 77.5% of SAP Concur’s large, global clients have a global policy, or a primarily global policy with

some local policies where needed.

 

3. Make everyone accountable.

Once you get your business units, geographies, and departments on a global policy, keeping the shared services model flowing requires a culture of commitment. Often, organisations will outsource portions of the centralised spending processes to key partners, which can be a great way to cut costs.

 

4. Employ a single, simple system.

Make sure everything from employee purchases to card administration to invoice approval and expense report audits is centralised. If it’s easy to use, it will get used, making it easier for your company to focus on growth.
 

 

See more of what you can do to control spending and support growth with a shift to shared services. Download the Economics of Sharing whitepaper now

 

Blog #3 in series - to read blog #1: What Does Visibility Look Like for a Growing Business? or #2: Seeing Your Way Through Growth

 

 

 

 

 

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