It goes without saying: running a small business isn’t easy. The financial decision makers at small and medium-sized businesses know this the most intimately, because they are often the individuals held responsible for the success or failure of the business. That’s why it’s helpful for leadership to have as much information as possible going into every decision they have to make.
That’s where AMI Partners comes in. The research group surveyed over 400 financial decision makers at small and medium-sized businesses across five different industries to learn more about their spend management practices. Several challenges related to expense, travel, and invoice management were common across many of the businesses surveyed. Below, we’ve compiled the top four pain points decision makers encountered most often:
1. Many common business processes are cumbersome
Among the respondents to the AMI survey, 69% of them found that their manual expense, travel, and invoice solutions were inefficient and labourious. This pain point topped the list for nearly every industry that the research firm tracked.
2. Tracking spending trends and behaviours is often difficult
As businesses grow, the number of employees submitting expenses grows, too. So do the number of invoices from various suppliers. And with the increasing number of methods for spending and invoicing, tracking cash flow can go from an ongoing challenge to an enormous headache very quickly. Sixty percent of companies surveyed felt that this was a pain point before they implemented an automated solution.
3. Documentation is often incomplete or nonexistent
Manual processes are frequently prone to human error, which results in missing paperwork for receipts and invoices. According to the report, 56% of businesses saw this as a challenge, and “moving away from manual solutions can eliminate the issue of missing documentation and the need for paper-based filing.”
4. Approval cycles and reimbursements are too protracted
Nobody likes to wait – but manual solutions involve a lot of waiting. Slow approvals and reimbursements were a significant pain point for more than half of the decision makers AMI spoke to.
As a result of the research that AMI conducted, they found that the best run businesses adopted automated solutions for travel, expense, and invoice management. Those businesses had the highest employee satisfaction, saved key roles hundreds of hours, and reduced costs by thousands of pounds per year.