Imagine for a moment you’re recruiting for a new Finance Manager. What are the personal attributes you’d be looking for? They’d probably include some of the following:
- An analytical mind
- Strong negotiation skills
- Good written and verbal communication skills
- Excellent time management skills
Now imagine you recruit someone awesome and they arrive for their first day. Are you feeling a mixture of excitement and fear? The excitement is because there’s someone amazing joining your team. The fear is because you’re worrying you’ll struggle to keep them when they discover the reality of their role.
Because when your finance process is paper-based, there isn’t much time for analysing data or negotiating better rates with your suppliers. Nearly two thirds of their time will be taken up with the day-to-day tasks – inputting data and double-checking figures. And the only time they’ll put their communication skills to the test is when they’re fielding yet another call from an angry supplier chasing late payment.
Indeed, research by Robert Half reveals that 69% of CFOs are finding it hard to fill their vacant roles.
The Dilemma of Recruitment vs Retention
It’s only right to want to recruit the best people for your team. But retaining them and keeping them engaged and interested is hard when there is so much manual processing to be done. In fact, nearly a third of finance leaders say staff turnover and low morale is their most pressing challenge for growth.
Low morale causes other problems too. When morale is low and staff are disengaged, mistakes creep in – 46% of finance leaders say errors and mistakes are the biggest challenge their team faces.
Of course, it isn’t just the finance team that’s facing the problem of lack of engagement. A recent global report found 85% of employees are not engaged – or are actively disengaged – at work. It’s a problem that’s leading to about £5.5 trillion in lost productivity.
The Solution to a Lack of Engagement and Low Morale
The solution to a lack of engagement and low morale is simple: give people more meaningful work to do. If you think that’s easier said than done, think again. Finance automation has the answer. It takes away the tedious, manual processes that make up so much of a finance person’s day. And it makes a massive difference to staff engagement.
Andrew Simcock is Finance Director at Atech Support. The company recently implemented Concur Invoice. He commented: “The finance team love it and wouldn’t want to go back. One team member has jokingly said they’d leave if they had to go back to the paper-based process.” But joking aside, he also says: “As a business we’re focusing on empowering our staff and helping them to grow and develop their careers. Concur Invoice has proved valuable in helping us with this.”
It’s something that has knock-on effects throughout a business too.
RED has implemented the full suite of Concur solutions. Feedback from Luke Braham, formally Head of Technology Operations at the company, shows how automation adds value to the whole business – and also puts to rest the common myth that automation leads to job losses: “Managers can now do expenses on the go rather than handing receipts to their PA when they get back. We’re not getting rid of those people, but they’re now freed up to do the things that are important because they’re not booking travel or sorting expenses for 15 people.”
The benefit of having more efficient, happier employees using a more efficient process translates to impressive bottom line benefits:
- The average finance employee saves 500 hours a year by using an integrated expense, travel, and invoice solution
- Companies see average annual savings of £47,000 when they implement an expense, travel, and invoice solution
Machines Make Happier People
So, if you’d like to boost morale in your team, perhaps it’s time to look at what finance automation could bring to your business. Contact SAP Concur today.