Enterprise Financials & Performance Management Blog

Rising travel costs. Paper receipts and spreadsheets. Poor conformance to travel policies. Sound familiar?

Managing travel expenses shouldn’t keep your CFO up at night. While it is one of the biggest, and most often overlooked, opportunity for cost reduction that exists today, effectively managing this process has far more benefits than just cost reduction.

There’s no denying that an automated, cloud based solution provides the most advantages for any business – large or small – by eliminating manual processes and the headaches and mistakes that go along with them. But how do you justify making a change, and automating your expense management process?

Probably a good place to start is by looking at a few of the downsides of NOT automating.

The dreaded “lost receipt” syndrome

This is likely one of the most frustrating circumstances for both CFOs and employees alike. As you can imagine, this sends up a big red flag to any CFO, who in turn will need to question the validity of the expense report and undoubtedly request additional information from the employee. The employee will likely be equally frustrated having spent countless hours trying to find the receipt, and if not successful, may choose not to submit the expense at all – driving frustration to new heights.

Just imagine being able to submit expenses seamlessly from your mobile device with the click of a button. Just take a photo of that receipt and submit. Yes, it can be that easy!

The “procrastinator” syndrome

Procrastination – the character trait we all despise in ourselves and no doubt the one that CFOs despise in those of us who submit late expense reports. The negative impact of late expense reports affects a variety of critical accounting functions including budgeting and planning, cash forecasting etc. Furthermore, any delay in processing client charge backs will inevitably frustrate your customer.

There’s no doubt that an easy-to-use and automated expense management system will improve employee engagement and result in fewer delayed submissions. People want to work the way they live – using intuitive and streamlined technology.

The “fixed budget” syndrome

Back in the day, organizations tended to allocate an annual fixed budget for company-wide travel and entertainment expenses. This model doesn’t allow finance departments to accurately optimize spend and analyze ROI.

Today’s successful and forward thinking organizations employ data driven solutions that provide unprecedented insight and analytics that not only help direct spend, but also deliver in-depth reporting and auditing capabilities, while helping guide employee compliance. They say “knowledge is power”, and that couldn’t be more true with an automated expense management solution.

The “spreadsheets will do” syndrome

Regardless of the size of your business, spreadsheets just can’t replace an automated expense management system – ever! Why you ask?

  • It’s expensive. Think of all the man hours involved in creating, reviewing and approving these reports. Time could be well spent elsewhere.
  • It’s error-prone. All manual entry involves a level of risk for error. It’s simply redundant and reduces employee productivity.
  • It opens the door to fraud. Manual processes, which lack automated controls for compliance, are at risk for everything from unintended duplicate expense entry and to the more concerning intentional expense fraud – both of which you’d like to eliminate.

The benefits of an automated expense management solution are undisputable. If you’re looking to remove the frustration and risk from travel and entertainment (T&E) expense management, the time is now to make the move. You won’t regret it.

Infor’s Expense Management solution gives you unmatched power to manage, process, and control your employee-initiated spending. As a result, you’ll be able to identify how that spending contributes to your business goals and ensure that you get maximum value from future spending. Your employees get a system that is easy to use, while you can take advantage of one the biggest, and most often overlooked, opportunities for cost reduction that exists today—the hidden costs in the T&E expense management process.

Click here to read the new Infor Expense Management eBook.

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