Making a Business Case for Automation

When you read about the difference automation makes, it’s hard not to be persuaded by the arguments. It’s frustrating not to have the visibility, the control or the agility you want to have. And your team are no doubt fed up with shuffling paper and chasing people for approvals.


But even if you are convinced about the benefits, it can be hard to convince the rest of your organisation’s leadership team to feel the same way.


The solution lies in building a powerful business case document that showcases the benefits and addresses objections.


Expense Automation Solutions: A Buyer's Guide


Accounts Payable Automation: A Buyer’s Guide




The Contents of Your Business Case

To put forward a compelling argument, your business case needs to include:


  • An executive summary
  • A cost-benefit analysis
  • An implementation plan
  • A timeline
  • Expected progress milestones


Here are a few insights about what each section needs to contain. But if you would like the support of an expert in automation as you bring your own business case together, contact a sales representative today. They’ll be happy to help with facts, figures, templates and more.


Section 1: The Executive Summary

This is the opening section of your business case. It needs to describe:


  • The exact problems you’re addressing
  • The consequences of neglecting them
  • Why it’s important to make a change now


You also need to:


  • Define the root causes of your accounts payable challenges because this informs what resources your business needs to invest in to solve them.
  • Identify any barriers that may cause delays, such as people, processes, and technology. Make you sure you show how they are impacting your business.


Section 2: The Cost-Benefit Analysis

You know better than anyone the importance of showing the cost-benefit analysis of any investment. SAP Concur representatives will be able to give you industry ROI data to help with this.


You also need to quantify the high cost of manual processes by demonstrating how much time and resources you’re currently spending on day-to-day tasks.


You need to pull together a spreadsheet that quantifies savings on items such as:


  • processing, coding, data entry and filing
  • eliminating errors and duplications
  • producing paper cheques


Section 3: The Implementation Plan

An implementation plan shows you’ve thought everything through and have a process ready to deploy. This framework can help you outline your processes.



Validating with a small team helps you work out any kinks and understand what questions to expect from users. At a minimum be sure to test the following:


  • Submitting and reimbursing expense reports
  • Paying invoices
  • Data imports from credit cards and Human Resources



Decide whether a staggered or one-time rollout works best for your organisation.


  • A one-time rollout lets you maximise your ROI faster
  • A staggered rollout allows you to train and prepare your teams over time as users come on board
  • Simplify your users’ access to cloud apps with single sign-on that’s scalable and secure



Before you roll out to your employees, think about how you’ll support them when they have questions.


  • Will you provide email or phone support to your users?
  • How will you staff support so users can get help when they need it?
  • Who will be a backup contact?


Section 4: Expected Progress Milestones

People are impatient and will want to know when they can expect to start to see benefits. An expected progress milestone gives them this. For example, a three-month progress chart might include dates when you expect to:


  • Eliminate paper
  • See business process improvements
  • Increase productivity
  • Get more visibility into spend
  • See cashback rebates
  • Reduce cycle times
  • Repurpose headcounts
  • Be able to analyse business intelligence data
  • Start negotiating supplier rates


Get Control, Visibility and Agility

If you’re ready to use automation to get control, visibility and agility and become a proactive powerhouse of knowledge in your business, the first step is to get buy-in from the rest of your leadership team. And the key to that is in building a powerful business case. For more information, guidance and templates, contact a sales representative today.

Loading next article