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Why expense automation has the potential to turn the frowns of busy employees upside down

on Thursday, 25 July 2019. Posted in Financial management, Finance

An unhappy workforce will harm your company in more ways than one – and the remedy starts by automating what needn't be manual in this day and age

Why expense automation has the potential to turn the frowns of busy employees upside down
When managing corporate spend, there’s no room for error if you want  to accurately forecast, budget and invest like a well-oiled company. As a result, every expense report must be submitted on time and each vendor invoice receipt accounted for – but this is easier said than done.

Many small-business owners and employees have plenty on their plates, letting process inefficiencies easily creep in. Such inefficiencies won’t only hurt business operations but can affect your and your employees’ personal lives too – and the problem is more widespread than you may think.

To put it in perspective: nearly half of all accountants put in more than 13 extra days per year. That’s 13 fewer days they have to spend enjoying their lives outside of work.

Maximising company profitability shouldn’t come at the cost of you and your employees’ precious personal time. Fortunately, expense automation means it doesn't have to for many reasons.

Free up your life

As the corporate accountant for Stevens Engineering & Constructors, the heavy industrial construction company, Mary Ann Andrews struggled getting away from her desk while managing and approving expense reports. Considering Stevens has over 250 employees, that’s no surprise.

Making matters worse, expense reports were frequently submitted late, costing the company potential profits. “We used to have issues with expense reports not being filed until after projects were complete, so costs couldn’t be recovered,” Andrews said.

After switching to an automated expense solution, it’s now easier than ever for Stevens’ staff to submit and track expenses in a timely fashion. This means fewer sunk costs for the business and Andrews has more time away from the screen.

Nothing left out of sight

Automation's primary benefit is real-time spend visibility. A clear picture of all business  expenses lets you better control operating costs and make more informed, data-driven decisions.

Insight to identify new business opportunities, take calculated risks and better understand purchasing patterns makes it simpler to negotiate and strengthen relationships with vendors, which can save  lots of money. Moreover, improved visibility will boost communication across the organisation and give employees a sense of ownership of their work to in turn increase motivation and satisfaction.

And let's not forget all the time your employees will save. After all, keeping work and personal lives in proportion really is a big deal as the work-life balance conversation is a common theme among the modern workforce.

Workers who find balance between their jobs and personal lives are undoubtedly happier, more productive and show greater loyalty to employers than anyone else. In fact, employees who have a good work–life balance are 10% more likely to stay at their companies than those who don’t. And every little bit counts as a business leader, especially when you consider that the cost of losing an employee can be up to twice th employee’s annual salary the benefits of expense automation are twofold. Not only does the data and insight boost your bottom line, the time it saves you and your employees is the key to improved wellbeing – the definition of a win-win scenario.

This article comes courtesy of SAP Concur, the expense management provider

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