Automating your expense management process cannot only save tons of headaches, but it may be able to save your company more than 10 percent of its non-salary operational expenses. At least that’s what Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) Chief Executive Anthony Healy discovered reviewing his company’s formidable mid-year results.
While part of BNZ’s growth could be attributed to an increase in revenue, another part was due to careful and thorough expense management. Healy’s two-pronged approach involved:
- Examining how his company managed corporate spending behavior
- Automating wherever possible
Managing Spending Behavior
Corporate spending policies are designed to keep things efficient and economical, and getting lax can cost your firm big time. New Zealand’s news website Stuff reports nearly 20 percent of expense claims are processed without valid tax invoices that regional regulations demand. That faux pas alone costs organizations about 1 percent of the total claim value of their expense budgets.
Expense management gets even messier when you consider the many different types of expenses that need to be tracked, from cash expense claims to corporate credit and fuel cards. Companies are increasingly looking to corporate credit cards to review real-time transaction data, which allows them a more efficient and accurate paperless view of expenses.
Automating Where Possible
Combining business credit cards with automated expense management tools and apps can increase efficiency and accuracy even further, explains Darrin Grafton, CEO of the travel software firm of Serko. He notes this combination can significantly reduce the overhead typically spent for staff to reconcile and submit claims and expense reports, a cost not always taken into account.
Additional cost savings and other benefits of automation include:
- Ongoing expense management that eliminates the colossal month-end reconciliation process
- Immediate targeting and control of out-of-policy spending due to continuous oversight
- Discovery of spending trends, allowing companies to adjust areas for savings and improvement, such as negotiating with a preferred supplier for items or services that have become heavy on the expense list
Before jumping into expense management automation, Grafton says it’s important to review a few key points about your business. These include:
- Your company’s current cash position
- The true cost of processing expenses, staff time included
- Your current spending policies and how well they’re enforced
- How easy it is for employees to follow procedures in a timely manner
The bottom line is choosing an automated solution that gives your finance team what it needs while making it easy and efficient for employees to manage their expenses. Making it easy for everyone increases the chances all will comply, saving money for your company in the long run.
Start saving money now with Chrome River’s expense reporting software.
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Our choice of Chrome River EXPENSE was made in part due to the very user-friendly interface, easy configurability, and the clear commitment to impactful customer service – all aspects in which Chrome River was the clear winner. While Chrome River is not as large as some of the other vendors we considered, we found that to be a benefit and our due diligence showed that it could support us as well as any large players in the space, along with a personalized level of customer care.
We are excited to be able to enforce much more stringent compliance to our expense guidelines and significantly enhance our expense reporting and analytics. By automating these processes, we will be able to free up AP time formerly spent on manual administrative tasks, and enhance the role by being much more strategic.