A business organization involves a lot of processes to walk through in order to get from point A to point B. The sequences include a hierarchy of authorization bodies and many verification processes which may take time before the output is reached.
Through automation of the process workflow, employees can experience increased productivity, reduced errors, and to reach the endpoint goals faster. Automation also involves migration to digital processes, which is more efficient to execute, than when using manual or traditional methods.
Significance of Automation
As processes involved in businesses become increasingly complex and demanding, the stronger the drive for automation to take place in most aspects. Some of the processes that a business can automate includes:
- Employee based processes like expense claims, payroll, requests, profiling
- Preliminary job application processes
- Purchase orders and invoicing
- Electronic data gathering and storage
- Email management
- Any process that is routine, or that needs an electronic trail
- Consistent and quality delivery of outputs and services
Delivering high quality products and services consistently can attract more customers that are in to be loyal for the long term. Consistency can also pertain to delivering continuous excellent customer service which can enhance a customer experience with your company.
- Significant time savings
Manual execution of tasks may be inconsistent with a time frame prior to completion. It is also prone to errors, especially when dealing with multiple entries. Automating most of the manually executed tasks can save more time, which can instead be diverted to core tasks which are also important for business growth.
- Consolidation of key metrics based on automated processes’ data
The concept of automation is that it enables a series of tasks to be executed in a timely manner where each step operates in a defined timeline. Through these repetitive tasks, there can be a consistent data that can be derived, which can be a source of key metrics that can reflect important insights and reports about the performance of the task or process involved.
- Improved business operational efficiency
Automation speeds up processes, using less effort by reducing the need for human intervention, without compromising the quality of the output. Automation also ensures that processes are executed with less errors, and complies to the policies and regulation that needed to be observed alongside.
- Maintained reliability of services
The consistency in the process execution and its output also signifies the reliability of the automation process. Software providers, since they are mostly operating in a web based environment, is required to make their software systems to have a 100% uptime, 24/7. This is in order to maintain its accessibility and reliability, especially with crucial applications needed by businesses.
- Reduced process turn around times
Workflow automation streamlines all processes involved and align them with the business goals for better output. This way, unnecessary tasks are eliminated, and there is an efficient flow of information within the system. Thus, the long process times are cut, improving business operational performance.
- Overall cost reduction
In an automated process, many tasks are accomplished by using fewer resources, which includes both time and money.
Benefits of Automation in Expense Management
Productivity and efficiency must walk hand in hand in order to yield the best results. In a business, it is important to drive down costs without compromising the quality of your products, and your services to the clients. What a better way to achieve this, than to automate your management systems.
Expense management is one of the major eaters of the resource pie in a business, which must be properly executed in order not to become an added liability for your company. Regardless of business size, there is a huge expectation for each in terms of its efficiency in addressing the needs of its clients, regardless of any pressing situation.
By executing an automated expense management system, there will be an increased transparency among the processes involved in expense management, which can be seen by employees, finance people and managers. This can build an atmosphere of trust, where employees will be inspired to contribute positively to the business because of the treatment they experience with their expense reports, claims and reimbursements. When employees are paid well, and the company policies can make them feel that their roles are important and acknowledged, one can expect that they can be more productive and efficient with their tasks.
According to the 2015 Annual Expense Management Outlook:T&E Trends and Benchmarks for 2015 conducted by Certify – one of the leading travel and expense management software today, about 51% of their surveyed companies cited that automation is the number one feature in the expense management process that should be optimized. This reflects how valuable automation is to businesses,and optimizing it further can make more significant benefits. Likewise, here is the list of reasons why businesses chose to automate their expense management processes:
- Implements cost efficient processes
Purchasing an expense management software requires either upfront or regular subscription fees, which can be flexed with your company budget. Depending on the pricing model you choose – either hosted or web based solutions, will still entail applicable fees in order to use.
However, getting one for your business can turn your processes to be cost efficient ones, because of the many advantages it can bring compared to using the traditional expense management methods.
Expense management tools can in incorporated with automatic payment arrangements like credit cards, which make it easy to book or purchase within the system. This way, a user can have better control of his expenses by looking at a bigger picture of all the incurred expenses in the past. Financial transactions can also be executed faster, saving more time which can also translate into savings.
Another thing is that a company can arrange deals with suppliers and vendors to get discounts or exclusive corporate rates, wherein the vendor’s booking or purchasing system can also be integrated with your existing expense management tool.
- Integrate out of office expenses like travel
An end-to-end solution is defined as a complete execution of processes involved in a transaction using one tool. Using an expense management app makes it easier to do business travel arrangements, as well as create an expense management report using one business tool.
Travel bookings can also be made through the same tool, thus saving time to transact with travel companies separately. Payments can also be coursed through using the same tool.
By using a software instead of the usual spreadsheet method, the risk of introducing errors and mistakes is reduced because of the predefined categories listed on the system. A user just needs to choose the appropriate description and category of the expense he is entering in the system.
- Ensure expense compliance to internal and regulatory policies
Being aware and complying with regulatory policies involved in the industry or in the countries that your business operates is essential in order to avoid serious implications and fines, which can cost you your business reputation when violated. It is important to check with your expense management software provider if their policies are in line with the industry regulations.
In addition, internal policies can also be formulated and incorporated the same on the system regarding purchase and travel policies like setting a budget for each expense, which when reached or have passed beyond, the system will either alert the manager, or the transaction won’t be able to push through automatically.
- Risk Mitigation
Task implications of certain expenses may be complicated to deal with, especially when multiples of it enters the expense management system. By automating the expense feed from the set corporate credit card provider, it can save time for the business to manually audit the expenses and look for its corresponding tax responsibility. Dealing everything electronically can also leave an easy audit trail to follow.
- Increase Savings
By making all expense processes visible through the expense management software platform, managers can get better insight on how to deal with expense-related decision making by looking at the bigger picture of all projects and its corresponding actual expenses versus the expected one.
- Flexible Cloud Based and Web Solutions
Cloud based expense management solutions are attractive to small businesses because it can give an enterprise advantage for a fraction of the cost. It is also easier to implement because of the absence of additional hardware requirements. The responsibility of setup, integration, and maintenance of the system is also on the expense management provider’s shoulders, which can also entail more savings by not needing additional IT workforce for it.
- Scalable solutions
Web based expense management tools are also scalable according to the number of users, which enables the solution to grow as the company grows too.
- Expense management transparency
Being transparent with the rules and regulations in using the expense management tool can indicate clarity and fair implementation among all members of the business organization. This makes it easier for the business to take action on arising conflicts, and expense claims that are unique in nature.
- Streamline Workflows
When everything is done electronically, or online, it is easier to integrate all processes under one working platform, including its associated documents. An expense management software also works in multi platform settings such as mobile devices and desktop computers. This can make the system easily accessible without regard to geographical boundaries or desktop access limitations.
- Mobile Integration
This is one important aspect when dealing with business travel expenses, which make it easier for travelers to jot down their expenses and scan their receipts to be fed directly on the system as they move. This can also be beneficial to the finance department, which can make verifications of the transaction right away as it just happened.
Automating processes can give a huge sigh of relief to businesses, especially when efficiency and productivity is the goal to achieve. A top expense management software can be a perfect partner in implementing cost efficient processes, without sacrificing the quality of your services.
If you would like to know more about the actual benefits that businesses experience from deploying an expense management tool, check CrowdReviews.com’s comprehensive list of expense management software reviews.
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