New tech key to expense management for small and micro businesses

Small businesses are now able to take advantage of new automated cloud technology to increase efficiency and generate extensive time and money savings. Manual driven processes have a significant impact on the efficiency and growth goals of smaller businesses, particularly businesses that employ less than 40 people, because of their inherent resource constraints. Automated cloud technology such as expense management, takes the burden off business owners and their staff so they can focus on core income-generating activities.

The solution is in the cloud

In 2020 there will be a rise in small businesses taking advantage of new automated cloud technology, particularly expense management automation. These emerging systems tailored to small businesses provide access to world-class, affordable tools that deliver greater spending visibility, focus, and control.

Traditional invoice processing can be cumbersome and inefficient, often involving expense claims processed without careful review. This can have a detrimental effect on small businesses, as they are left to pay inaccurate, over-exaggerated, or even fraudulent expense claims. Expense automation uses the data the business already has to independently and accurately write expense reports, as well as flag unusual activity. This helps the business not only remain compliant and within budget, it also gives business owners and staff a higher capacity to contribute to business growth, saving thousands of dollars annually due to time, mistakes and fraud.

Three ways automated expense systems can help

  1. Increase spend visibility and control
    Manual, paper-based, and spreadsheet-driven expense processes are not only time consuming, but they increase the risk of fraud and costly mistakes, and limit spend visibility and control. Sixty per cent of SMEs have difficulty tracking spending trends and behaviours and 56 per cent struggle with missing paperwork. New automated expense management for small businesses provides more accurate and timely reports, while also crosschecking expense claims with company policies. Using automated systems, employees won’t be able to claim expenses that don’t align with policy, giving small businesses back the control and visibility that are essential for success.
  2. Increase ROI
    Automated systems process information far more accurately than manual reporting, and are able to identify double-handed receipts or claims, meaning business owners and staff don’t have to double check payment data or try to locate errors. According to AMI-Partners, SMEs are achieving significant savings using automated spending solutions including an average saving of approximately AUD$16 per invoice or AUD$49,500 annually. Further savings come from improved resource efficiency, giving staff more time back in their day.
  3. Empower employees
    Automated systems significantly reduce the load on employees traditionally tasked with managing expense claims, empowering them to apply their skills and efforts to other strategic business needs. Small businesses need to encourage staff wanting to adopt automation, and help those who are resistant, to understand the long term benefits.

Automated expense management systems provide businesses with an unparalleled tool to increase productivity, accuracy and ROI. It is essential for small businesses, particularly those with less than 40 employees, to embrace the power of automation, as it prevents revenue loss as a result of incorrect payments, or operational inefficiency – something they can’t afford.

Fabian Calle, General Manager – SMB, SAP Concur ANZ

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