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Survey Reveals Outdated Expense Management Tools Compromise Profitability

By on April 2, 2015 in Poll with 0 Comments

When it comes to protecting their bottom line, small businesses must ensure they have the right tools in place. According to the results of a new survey conducted by Concur, the use of outdated expense management tools could result in compromising SMB profitability. The SMB Financial Decision Makers survey found that the expense management solutions utilized by small and medium business operations tend to rely on manual methods.

As part of the survey, the decision-makers at more than 200 small to medium business were asked about expenses, invoices, and travel and were asked to identify a variety of needs, such as automation and flexibility. The survey found a significant need among employees for a faster turnaround for reimbursements. Participants in the survey also expressed a need for more flexible travel and expense programs as well as automated expense reporting in order to reduce the amount of administrative effort and time spent on such tasks. Despite expressing such needs, 70 percent of survey respondents indicate that they do not currently use expense management software. Instead, SMBs tend to use a mix of various outdated expense methods, including corporate cards, paper-based submissions, and Excel.

SMB Approach to Travel Policies

Most of the SMBs surveyed did indicate that corporate travel policies are in place in their organizations. Employers are interested in finding incentives that would encourage compliance with those travel policies, however.

Increasingly, businesses are recognizing the benefits associated with automation. In fact, 70 percent of the SMBs surveyed report that they do use invoice software for tracking finances.

Benefits Offered by Upgrading to Automated Expense Management Software

According to the survey conducted by Concur, SMBs can benefit by upgrading outdated expense management tools to automated systems. Such upgrades could provide the basis for reducing costs, improving bottom lines, and helping small to medium business operations in focusing on their core business. The survey indicated that the automation of expenses can decrease expense claim transactions by at least 75 percent while also reducing processing time by as much as 35 percent.

For many small to medium business operations, traveling is a must in order for their operations to succeed. Yet, without an automated expense management tool in place, expenses can quickly get out of hand. Over time, this can result in the loss of hundreds if not thousands of dollars. Automated expense management software also makes it possible for businesses to gain a better idea of exactly where their funds are going, thus providing the opportunity to make better informed decisions regarding expense management.

Automated expense management tools can help save valuable time by making it possible for approved employees to document expenses accurately in the system in a faster and easier manner. An automated solution can also provide cost saving benefits by being configured to catch expense items that do not meet the company’s travel and spending policies, resulting in improved compliance. Employees can also benefit from more rapid reimbursement.

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