There’s No Spend to Waste: Why It’s Time to Fully Automate Your Spend Management

In  May 2021, Oxford Economics and the SAP Concur organisation surveyed more than 500 senior business leaders spanning seven countries about their economic recovery strategies. Respondents revealed that: increasing agility is their top functional goal, yet difficulties implementing changes to company culture and automating manual operations remain top challenges

Now, more than ever, finance and IT leaders are in an ideal position to lead their companies toward greater business agility and resilience.

Top benefits of digitisation in the new world of work

You might already know that automating spend management could help your business reduce costs and free up employee time for more revenue-producing activities. Perhaps you’ve even automated some key finance functions. But fully automating your financial processes can lead to a significant return on investment.

For businesses in the global survey that have already automated their expense, invoice, and cash flow management:

  • 43% increased agility and resiliency from automating AP
  • 42% increased productivity from digitizing expenses
  • 35% increased functional collaboration by automating cash flow management

How does that level of digitisation equate to actual cost savings? Research conducted by AMI-Partners found that, on average, small to midsize companies saved:

$30K annually after implementing an automated expense solution

$34K annually after implanting an automated invoice solution

For Concur Expense and Concur Invoice customers, the savings were even greater at $39K annually with each solution.

The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners estimates the typical organisation loses 5% of its revenue to fraud every year, which means you’ll have plenty of reasons to build a business case for fully automating your finance processes.

Ready to create your digitisation plan? Here’s how

There are four key recommendations highlighted in the Oxford Economics report following the May 2021 global survey. Consider how you might apply these recommendations to your recovery plans:

  1. Think long term with your agility strategy. Digitisation is not just a quick fix, and leaders should resist going back to old ways of working. Instead, consider using the pre-recovery period as an opportunity to redefine strategy and reorganise financial processes to achieve long-term success.
  2. Build on lessons learned. For businesses to remain flexible and agile, leaders need to freshly evaluate the effectiveness of their current spend management processes, and then consider how adopting newer spend management methods and solutions can boost their ability to navigate future uncertainties.
  3. Improve finance and IT collaboration. As the two functions assume a more strategic role, the finance and IT functions must work effectively together to meet their organisational and functional goals. They can do this by communicating their business and functional goals clearly, and by working together to ensure technology is in place to meet those goals. Better collaboration will drive better financial management, create efficiencies, increase productivity, and ultimately help grow the company.
  4. Use technology to keep up with the pace of change. The business world has quickly adapted to recent events—cloud, mobile, and AI technologies are increasingly the foundation of a solid technology infrastructure. Manual or semi-automated processes limit the ability to capture and connect the financial data needed for accelerating strategic business decisions.

You can learn more about how Finance and IT leaders are guiding post-pandemic strategy by downloading the Oxford Economics full report: Leadership In a New Era.

There’s no spend to waste. It’s time for SAP Concur solutions

Your future business resilience and agility rely on your actions today. Take the first step toward automating your expense, travel, and invoice management. We’ll show you how.