Most people don't realise how many ways a corporate expenditure management solution could impact their business. Yes, the financial benefits can be large. You can almost always find 15% to 20% of spending that hasn't been managed closely, according to the Harvard Business Review. But that's not all. The benefits can range from cost savings and efficiency through to enhancing your brand.
The more you know about what a corporate expenditure management system could do, the better equipped you will be to choose a solution that works for your business.
More than 50% of finance professionals view process automation as an inevitable evolution and identify themselves as early adopters of technology, according to research by Hubble}. Others won't know where to start in evaluating an IT solution. The best place to begin is to familiarise yourself with the ways in which a corporate expense management system could empower your business.
At its simplest level, a good corporate expenditure solution will reduce the need for manual intervention. Being less reliant on people to perform manual tasks such as processing manual receipts for a whole department (or more) not only allows your team to focus on more impactful business activities but it's also likely to reduce the opportunity for fraud or manual errors. Look for a system that offers real-time reports that give you full visibility of company finances, compliance and early fraud detection. All of these factors add up to more accurate data for your management team and lower costs for the business.
Lack of supporting evidence is the number one mistake SMEs make in managing their VAT according to Business Advice. Lost receipts cost your business time and money. A good corporate expenses solution should enable you and you staff to capture and upload receipts directly into your business payments system. This not only makes life easier for your employees but also avoids delays in recording purchases and losing out on your VAT claim. Depending upon where you operate, be careful to check whether local laws require you to hold on to paper receipts.
Great expenditure management systems can empower your business by enabling you to implement incentive programmes. Incentivisation schemes can both increase sales outside or reward successes within your organisation. Incentives for your teams can also be helpful in rewarding specific behaviours that support a programme of cultural change. Some cards can only be used in a limited number of shops, which can be frustrating for employees and partners. Look for an incentive system that is based on a major global payment scheme such as Mastercard pre-paid cards. These are accepted around the world and so are likely to leave your staff feeling great about your business or service every time they use them.
Some expenditure management solutions offer the option to have pre-paid cards branded with your company logo. This is a great idea that means your company name is visible every time staff spend their wages or customers use their reward cards, This option not only increases awareness but also builds a positive association between the card user and and your brand. Branding company cards can be possible from relatively small runs - even as few as 100 units.
In a fast changing commercial environment, you need to know what's going on in your business. Your corporate expenditure management system should keep you informed wherever you are and whenever you need it. Ideally, choose a system that you can access via a number of channels so a solution that is mobile, tablet and PC compatible for maximum flexibility.
The UK workforce is changing and so are their employment needs. Greater employer flexibility was named as important to employee satisfaction by 51% of respondents to a survey by ITPro. Similarly, a report in the Telegraph states that having modern technology is a key factor in employee satisfaction.
Companies are adapting their payroll to meet those needs. Some systems use a as a prepaid card that eliminates the need for expensive payroll systems, cash or BACS transfers. Prepaid cards can be a way of transferring funds to employees instead of needing a traditional bank account.
It used to be ok to ask employees to fund their own expenses and then claim them back. Today, this is viewed as a real burden, particularly by millennials and those that may have large student debts. Making per diem payments and controlling the visibility of spend as it happens by using a prepaid card for company spend is an effective way to help out your employees and remove the pain of claiming back expenses.
Technology is the foundation of effective business systems and practices so don't be left behind. Choosing the right corporate expenditure management system with the right capabilities could help you not only make a real difference to your business by increasing its efficiency but deliver a wealth of other benefits from brand awareness to employee satisfaction.