Why does it take so long to get around to fixing things?

Have you ever lived with something that’s become annoying to the point that it’s the bane of your life, just because it’s too much effort to fix it?

I regularly have this problem.

There’s a squeaky table in my office. Every time I sit down at it, it frustrates me. It probably just needs someone to adjust the screws – but it’s the kind of thing I only notice when I’m getting involved in a meeting and so don’t have the time to fix it.

I have similar frustrations at home – whether it’s a leaning blind or a shelf that needs putting up. And once the job is done I wonder “Why did it take me so long to get someone in to fix it? Why do I keep waiting?” But the next time there’s something that needs fixing do I get it fixed and overcome the inertia? No. Because there’s always something more important to do. And there’s never time to get around to doing those things that are annoying, but not critical. So I live with them.

It’s the same with expenses.

In so many companies, finance teams are burdened with an exhausting process of checking, analysing, filing, and reporting on expenses – often by hand, or using spreadsheet based expense report forms. For the processor it’s frustrating. For the employee it’s irritating. And for the manager who wants the reporting and has to wait for information that might not even be available, it’s downright infuriating. It’s one of those business issues that isn’t critical enough to do anything about in a hurry – but it’s still really, really annoying.

In our extremely busy lives it’s human nature to ignore things that aren’t critical – whether it’s expenses or those annoying but not-quite-critical things at home. It’s human nature to think ‘if it’s not broken, I don’t need to fix it’.

But it doesn’t pay to wait for someone to tell you to fix it.

Over time, your business will demand more efficiency and business improvement (if they aren’t asking for it already). Sooner or later it’s going to be time to look at your travel and entertainment expenses too.

When it comes to expenses, don’t wait until you’ve had an audit and HMRC tells you that your process isn’t good enough and you have to fix it. Don’t wait for your employees to ask for an easier process – most of them are using their mobile phone apps at work anyway, they could easily add an expenses app to the list. Don’t wait to make savings, improve employee satisfaction, and get better visibility into your spend. Do what I haven’t done – and fix it now.

Which reminds me… there’s a dripping tap in the kitchen that really needs seeing to.

If only it were as easy to get those annoying things at home fixed as it is to fix the expenses process!

Find out more about Expense Management in 5 Steps – download “The Don’t Wait to Fix It” Guide.

 

 

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