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Aussie businesses don’t understand the value of automated expense systems

10 Aug 2016

Paper receipts still cost businesses big money 

A huge majority of Australian are still submitting paper receipts within the workplace despite the cost it has on businesses.

According to Concur, relying on paper receipts to manage expenses costs businesses money due to the time it takes to process them, and the potential for errors, duplicate claims, and lost receipts.

The company refers to a recent survey that shows 91% of Australians are still submitting paper receipts and spreadsheets to managers, and a mere 23% of Australians are using online tools when it comes to submitting expenses.  

“It seems that businesses still don’t understand the value of automated expense systems,” says Matt Goss, ANZ managing director, Concur.

“Australian small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) could save up to $44,000 per year just by reducing the amount of duplicate claims that are made,” he says.

“Couple this with the number of exceptions or policy violations, and other non-compliant expenses, and Australian SMBs stand to realise considerable savings by automating their systems,” Goss adds.

Goss says automation is the most reliable way to clean up an organisation’s expense management.

“When expenses are managed via spreadsheets or paper-based forms, mistakes are bound to be made, including duplications. By contrast, organisations that implement automated, integrated, end-to-end travel and expense management systems can reap the benefits of time-savings, increased visibility, and better reporting,” he explains.

“Over three quarters (77%) of employees have unproductive moments due to lack of adequate tools,” says Goss.

“And according to Forrester Research, 80% of firms currently rely on T&E data entered manually this is time consuming and can cause extreme loss of productivity.”

Goss says there are six key benefits of automated travel and expense management systems: 

  • A strong platform means one user experience, one set of reconciled data, and one source of truth for analytics and reporting.
  • Automated systems can be configured to align with company rules and policies, including preferred hotels, airlines, and maximum spending limits according to the type of travel.
  • The system can be configured with data that is specific to the organisation, such as employee IDs, project codes, and customer accounts.
  • There is potential to connect with customer relationship management (CRM) systems to understand the cost-of-sale per customer.
  • They offer a real-time view of how each project is performing according to budget.
  • They deliver a better understanding of where employees are, and how to maximise employee satisfaction and productivity.

“Supporting employees with better expense management tools can make a significant impact when it comes to efficiency and productivity, both for employees who need to claim expenses, and for the finance department and managers who need to process and approve expenses,” says Goss.

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