The art of cashflow control in a remote working environment

As the economy stalls, and buying behaviour and priorities change, business leaders are looking to conserve costs. With many companies instituting remote work, it’s more important than ever to gain visibility and control to proactively manage employee spend. This is particularly important for small and medium-sized businesses that are operating on tighter margins.

Without access to the office for supplier invoices and employee expense reports to be processed, some organisations may struggle to get a clear picture of where money is being spent and, more importantly, where it could be saved.

We have identified four ways to manage spend when working remotely:

  1. Use technology to eliminate manual processes
    Paper-based expense and invoice management can lead to challenges in a remote work setting, creating an unnecessary burden on staff members and opening up the potential for errors. For example, late payments due to inefficient processing can skew financial reporting. Instead, companies should use cloud technologies to operate and control spend remotely and in real-time. This lets employees submit expenses instantly by simply taking photos of their receipts. Finance managers can also approve expenses and automatically update them into finance management systems without having to track down the physical paper trail at the office.
  2. Set clear spend policies and processes
    An updated and clear online expense policy and process can reduce uncertainty and get everyone on the same page when it comes to corporate goals and parameters for company spend. As a best practice, policies should be transparent and provide comprehensive direction on how expenses, invoices, procurement requests, and other financials should be handled. Online tools can help employees more efficiently navigate expense processes to save time and reduce the risk of error.
  3. Get ahead of outgoing spend
    Keeping on top of essential business operational costs can be the difference between a healthy cashflow and late payment fees. Cloud-based tools are playing an increasingly important role in giving organisations better spend visibility and the ability for automated invoicing and payment options.
  4. Focus on employee needs
    Businesses need to take care of their employees, now more than ever. While there has been a focus on business continuity, there is a critical need to better manage the online employee experience. 71 per cent of Australian decision-makers believe employee experience will be one of the most important factors impacting their ability to deliver on key business objectives within the next two years.

Businesses must determine what their employees need for success, and pinpoint solutions that will streamline their work, opening up more time to check in on customers and foster positive relationships. This can include mobile solutions that simplify administrative tasks with the touch of a button or API integrations that connect data across an organisation so it’s accessible in one place.

During times of rapid change, businesses must find the balance between managing immediate issues and maintaining long-term organisational goals. In this economic downturn, businesses can use low-cost cloud-based solutions to save resource costs, increase process efficiencies, drive innovation and protect the bottom line.

Fabian Calle, General Manager – SMB, SAP Concur ANZ

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