Canadian small businesses are struggling in the face of rising costs, creeping debt, and a phenomenon known as the Big Quit. As organizations of all sizes look to control expenses, engage employees, and prepare for a future that includes flexible work, process automation offers a light at the end of the tunnel.
“Leaders know flexible work is important to employees, yet rarely are expense processes optimized for the hybrid workplace,” says Brian Veloso, Managing Director of SAP Concur Canada, the world’s leading provider of integrated travel, expense, and invoice management solutions. “Despite rapid advances in digital transformation, the majority of small businesses continue to rely on cumbersome manual processes.”
The Problem with Manual Processing
The problem, according to Veloso, is threefold. First, manual processes open the door for human error and leave gaps for fraud to fall through. Second, they are incapable of capturing a true picture of spending, which obstructs any informed management. Finally, they do nothing to fuel business growth. Cloud-based systems, on the other hand, have the capacity to automate everything that can be automated – from simple receipts and mileage claims to complex payment processes. The value for small businesses is increased control of all types of spending, better informed decision making, and a reduction of labour intensive tasks.
To get maximum benefit from company spending – which includes expenses, travel, and supplier invoices – Veloso suggests working with one trusted leader in automated spend management to formulate a plan of action for digitizing and automating processes. Preferred solutions will offer robust support during rollout and adoption as well as ongoing, 24/7 support on a user-friendly, virtual hub. These solutions will address immediate needs, but even more important, they will have the scalability to evolve with the company.
Many customers of SAP Concur solutions begin with Concur Expense, a streamlined tool that keeps all expense data in one place and automatically captures receipts and processes reports. The Concur Expense solution offers enhanced dashboards, personalized data views, report scheduling, spending analysis, and a mobile app that employees love. An easy way to manage GST, HST, PST, QST and RITC, it simplifies expense management for everyone.
Simplification is also the hallmark of Concur Invoice, an automated tool that eliminates tedious tasks and helps small businesses boost productivity. Although digital transformation continues to reinvent the workplace, and employees are becoming increasingly mobile, invoice management remains mired in obsolete practices, such as sorting, scanning, and recording information from paper invoices. The dangers, in addition to employee frustration, are money left on the table, exposure to fraud, and reduced working capital. The upside from a SAP Concur study is that Canadian finance teams save an average of $52,000 annually when using Concur Invoice to capture invoices digitally, automate the payment process, integrate data, and generate reports on cash flow.
Business travel comes with its own frustrations, but safety and scheduling are top of mind for respondents in the Global Business Traveler Report 2022. Thanks to cloud-based corporate travel management tools, such as Concur Travel, businesses of all sizes have an affordable way to provide business travellers with everything they need, while at the same time taking control of costs related to business travel. Seamless, scalable and secure, Concur Travel integrates travel with expense reports and facilitates decision making by consolidating travel data in a single solution. A secure mobile app manages and improves every aspect of travel, from booking, transportation, and itineraries to expense reporting, compliance management and risk reduction.
The pandemic demonstrated the need for agility and kindled a new appreciation for automation. It also shone a light on inefficiencies that prevent small businesses from optimizing operations. With cloud-based solutions, such as Concur Expense, Concur Invoice, and Concur Travel, small businesses get a full view of finances and valuable data insights, all in one place. The value is in having one platform that manages all areas of business spending in a way that saves time, cuts costs, and fosters employee engagement.
For more information on how to automate expense, travel, and invoice management, visit concur.ca.