Automating your expense processes as a small business

Let’s face it – everyone dreads tedious, time-consuming expense spreadsheets. For busy small businesses, this is especially the case.

The SAP Concur portfolio has just launched a brand-new small business package to automate and manage small-business expenses. This package is tailored in both price and functionality to ensure that small businesses can have an enterprise-grade software at a very affordable price point.

Managing business expenses is a common headache for managers and finance teams, who often need to sort through hundreds of receipts, determine any out of policy spend and integrate all the information into the accounting system manually.

Small businesses often assume that, due to their size, employee count, or income, investing in emerging technology isn’t necessary or feasible. However, Sap Concur have already helped hundreds of small businesses, just like yours.

There are five common challenges for small businesses when managing expenses that an automated solution can solve. 


1.Missing receipts

Lost receipts lead to inaccurate reporting and visibly waste a lot of time. Any small business knows that time is money. With an automated solution, employees can simply snap a photo of each receipt, attach it to an expense claim, submit it and see every transaction – all from a mobile phone. From an approval perspective, the data and images are captured in the mobile app and visible to an approver. All this information is stored securely in the cloud so that you really won’t lose another receipt again.

2.Out of policy spend

Your employees may not intend to spend out of policy but spending policies can be quite complicated. For example, employees may try to save your company money by booking hotels with reduced rates. However, if the hotel is not on your preferred hotel list, they may just be out of policy. With an automated solution, employees will be notified about any out of policy spend that occurs and the expense will be flagged, before they submit their report for approval.

3.Error prone spreadsheets

Manual spreadsheets are never fun. They create room for error and for the most part, creates unnecessary work for those involved. With an automated solution, expense reports will begin to write themselves with the data captured from the receipt image- automatically coding expenses to your existing GL codes/cost centres. The information is directly captured from the receipt or e-receipt using OCR technology (Optical Character recognition).

4.Lack of visibility into cashflow and the “why” of spending

You can’t optimise spending if you can’t see it. Understanding what spend is about to happen is crucial to cash flow management. Small businesses especially don’t need to be shocked with last min expenses. An automated solution will allow you to see spend before it happens. As employees are incurring their expenses, see what is being spent and why they are spending company money.

5.Manual data entry and reconciliation

Data entry can be extremely time consuming and error prone- all those duplicate receipts we miss. By automating your expense process, expense data is automatically integrated into your current accounting system. Corporate cards can be automatically reconciled on the go, and business card statements can be uploaded into SAP Concur for easy matching.

Small businesses should not underestimate the benefits of an automated solution. Let an automated solution like SAP Concur take the pain out of expense management so your small business can focus on what matters in 2020.

If you would like to learn more or get a quote, visit

Fabian Calle, General Manager – SMB, SAP Concur ANZ