How Can Technology Help Control Government Spending?

As a government professional, you know how much people depend on your programs. You also know that budgets are tight and the public keeps a watchful eye on how you use their tax dollars. Fiscal responsibility, transparency, and accountability are critical to maintaining trust in your agency and confidence in its mission. So is the ability of your staff to work in an efficient and effective manner.

Yet many state and local governments continue to rely on outdated, paper, e-mail, and spreadsheet-based process that slow people down and cause mistakes. It’s time to start focusing on worker productivity by providing simple solutions that bring convenience and control, thus freeing up time for higher value work.

To find out what that means for travel, expense, and invoice management, we asked experts at IDC to explain how cloud, mobile, and AI technologies are impacting government organisations.

The first important change surrounds employee experience. When people have the right tools for their work, they get more done and are happier doing it. In an industry where headcount is almost always an issue, making sure you get the most out of every team member is critical. Process automation serves to simplify expense and invoicing workflows, save time, and lower costs. It also helps eliminate the risk of human error that can result in wasted budget, incorrect payments, and delayed reimbursement.

This brings us to compliance. When it comes to spending, there is no room for fraud, waste, or abuse. But internal and external regulations are constantly in flux – making it near-impossible to keep your entire staff up to date on the latest spending rules. Using AI to automate compliance builds it into every transaction by enabling smart audit functionality with machine learning. By alerting the user of noncompliant spending automatically, before it can occur, you can reduce costly errors that may impact service, program effectiveness, and the bottom line.

Another benefit of a data-centric, AI-native approach is more sophisticated analytics. By integrating expense and invoice systems with back-end ERP, you have the instant data access you need to analyse spending, track trends, influence spend behaviour, align priorities, and quickly identify questionable transactions.  

So, where do you begin? The answer is with finance and IT. Government CFOs wear many hats – from acting as comptroller to planning and managing accruals and cash flow. In fact, for every major investment, finance must demonstrate long-term benefits to the public. This is why CFOs must work closely with IT to ensure they find the right technology solutions to meet their goals.

A recent IDC survey found that 82% of state and local government decision-makers consider cloud-based travel and expense applications to be highly important.1 Supplier invoicing also represents significant spending for state and local government. So these are a good place to start.

A well-designed invoice management system allows organisations to capture, process, and pay vendor invoices in a fast and efficient manner. Duplicate invoicing is avoided, promoting clear accounting and reducing late payments. And, with detailed data on every aspect of spending, finance officers can better see and present long-term impacts and use that information to make sound financial decisions. 

Read the full IDC Analyst Connection to find out how you can give your finance teams clear, real-time insight into spend and more control over budget at every level of your organisation. Then visit us at www.concur.com.au to see how you can start ensuring the people you serve get the most out of every dollar.

 

 

1.IDC Analyst Connection, sponsored by SAP Concur, The Value of Technology for Helping Government Agencies Control Spending, February 2020.