Australian businesses could manage their expenses more effectively, according to a recent study conducted by Concur.
The 2015 Concur A/NZ spend management index polled 104 senior finance and management decision-makers across multiple industry verticals spanning financial services, retail, hospitality, transport and insurance.
Concur general manager, Matt Goss, said the implementation of an automated solution yields multiple benefits for businesses when it comes to the travel and expense (T&E) policy.
“For example, it removes the need to micromanage employee spending, giving business travellers freedom to choose within certain budget limits,” he said.
Of those surveyed, 40 per cent said their company's expense system was integrated with payroll. However, only six per cent reported that their system was integrated across business departments.
More than half (57 per cent) of businesses surveyed, said they processed invoices via a Cloud-based automated account payable solution and 26 per cent rated easier reporting as an important benefit of using a Cloud-based expense management solution.
One quarter (25 per cent) of respondents reported that improved visibility into corporate spending was important, followed by another quarter who rated better visibility into corporate spending as important.
Results also revealed 25 per cent of businesses said the most important benefit was less chance of fraud and better compliance, followed by cost efficiencies and savings for 24 per cent of respondents.
Reduced paperwork came out on top of the list of things businesses would like to change about their accounts payable process, with 39 per cent of respondents selecting it. Increased productivity was deemed next at 29 per cent.
“As shown by the results, the 58 per cent of businesses who analyse the data from their expense management systems, are likely to come out on top when it comes to managing costs more effectively, minimising overspend, and detecting and preventing fraudulent spending,” Goss said.
“Automating the employee expenses and accounts payable process, rather than using a manual or paper-based system, lets businesses collect and analyse spending data. They can then identify spending patterns to see where they can cut costs, where employees are behaving responsibly, and where fraud or theft may be occurring.”
Concur is a US-based provider of spend management solutions and was acquired by SAP on December 4, 2014.