Many companies embarked on their automation journey in the thick of the pandemic.
The challenges imposed by employees having to work from home have triggered or fast-tracked many organisations’ digital transformation.
Companies very quickly had to look to the power of computing, cloud technologies and intelligent automation to find ways to improve their various processes and increase productivity.
An area that businesses are increasingly automating is expense management. On the one hand, business travel in the past 18 months has been hit hard, with corporate travel reported losing more than US$700 billion in 2019.
But on the other hand, expenses have also increased as a result of companies implementing hybrid working models with employees spending almost all or a significant portion of their time working from home.
The hybrid work arrangement trend is likely to continue with more companies in Asia Pacific open to more flexible work arrangements as they realise that a mixture of home and office work is more likely to help retain and attract talent.
With that, companies need to consider the spend requirements of employees and how they report expenses.
Save time and increase operational efficiency
More than 45% of businesses still use a manual-based expense reporting system in Asia Pacific, and some companies have no visibility into employee expenses. With traditional expense reports management, it is difficult to put spending into perspective.
For many employees, automation means less administrative time and more productive time.
Paper management is time-consuming, with many low-value tasks. In some cases, a highly qualified manager performs these tasks, representing a significant cost to the company.
A company with a workforce of 250 could save 16 hours a month and slash its processing costs by 70% if they automated their expense management.
Expense automation increases operational efficiency. It helps businesses manage their expenses by grouping, tagging, and organising them into easy-to-understand and use reports. It reduces the time spent on administrative tasks such as processing expense submissions and approvals, tracking expenses, and analysing figures.
With the right automation tools, the accounting manager can focus on optimisation.
There’s no need to manually enter the data of a receipt and then file and store it. Data relevant to accounting is directly scanned and extracted.
Transform your data into a profit centre
Companies have enough data to satisfy every possible query, and that’s the beauty of automation.
Process automation comes with vast quantities of data being generated and processed. But only companies that understand the true value of this data can leverage it to enhance their business.
Think of all the advantages accounting managers can have with a real-time view of business expenses. Data helps you to forecast business spending.
With real-time data, you don't have to wait until the end of the month to check and analyse your employee spendings.
Having expense management software with a forecasting function can help you understand your potential expenses each month. That makes it easier to make decisions and protect your bottom line.
AI and process automation are two technologies with incredible potential in their own right.
The way to transform what’s perceived as a cost centre into a profit centre is to merge the two technologies. Do that, and companies can drive remarkable revenue growth and achieve innovation at speed and scale.