Travel, expenses and invoices – why bother connecting the dots?

[To skip the article and go straight to the spend research, click here.]

 

Travel. Expenses. Invoices. Three areas of spend in your business – one finance team. And while your finance department may ultimately be responsible for overseeing spend in all three areas, rarely are these processes joined up.

It’s likely you have finance controllers working on processing and reimbursing your employee expenses, while your AP team work on paying suppliers in a timely fashion (or at least trying to!) Then a travel manager or travel management company (TMC) may be booking business trips for your employees. It’s fine to have specialists working in different areas – after all, that’s how the best oiled factories do it. But what does that mean for the finance function? Can you see what’s being spent in all areas? Does your data marry up and connect across systems? Do employees know how to handle each of these separate processes? Is it even an issue?

 

New research on spend practices

That’s what we wanted to find out when we commissioned research with independent specialist Vanson Bourne, who promptly asked 500 senior finance professionals in the UK how they managed these processes.

Some of the findings we expected. Like the fact that 81% of finance leaders say they don’t have complete visibility over their travel, expenses and invoices. That means it’s near impossible to accurately forecast, budget and accrue for spend across these three areas at any one time.

Some of the findings really surprised us. Nearly half of all expenses and invoices aren’t checked for inaccuracies and fraud. HALF! How many are slipping through the net in your business? 75% of finance leaders say job satisfaction and morale in their team is impacted because of poor processes. How many functions are driven (or rather pushed along) by unfulfilled and unhappy employees?

Not only that, compliance with ever increasing government regulations and duty of care responsibilities is not up to scratch, putting many businesses in jeopardy. 

We found the results of the study fascinating and we think you will too. Compare your company’s practices with those in the research to get a good idea of how you measure up and how you can get better alignment between these core areas of spend.

 

How much time do you have (and how important is connected spend to you?)

 

45 minutes: Listen to a recent webinar we gave together with Vanson Bourne sharing the findings of the research and insights from our team.

15 minutes: Skim through the research report to pick up on the findings that matter most to you as well as get advice for connecting spend processes.

1 minute: Take a look at this quick infographic we put together to give you a flavour of the research results to decide if you’d like to read further.

 

We also have the results broken down by industry and company size, so if you’d like to dive a little deeper into the data, email me at lara.edwards@concur.com.  

 

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