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SAP Concur: Managing the Second Largest Controllable Expense for Businesses – Employee-Initiated Spend

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Employee-initiated spend – i.e., travel costs and other expenses – is a fact of life for corporate entities. However, this doesn't mean it's something that should be simply ignored. Instead, today's businesses need digital solutions that can help them keep on top of this expenditure, and actively work to make their operations more cost-efficient.

This is where SAP Concur comes in. Concur is designed to support businesses as they adopt a data-driven digital strategy to manage employee spend. In this article, we're going to be looking at just how vital it is to remain in control of employee-initiated spend and how SAP Concur helps you do just that.

The Scale of Employee-Initiated Spend

For corporate entities, doing business means supporting employees in the field and sending remote teams and personnel to different locations – for meetings, trade shows, and various other activities. This, of course, costs money. The problem is, these costs are rising. In the 12 months to January 2023, the Australian Consumer Price Index shifted by 7.4%, demonstrating the growing price of goods and services in the country. The cost of travel is also skyrocketing, with domestic airfare prices growing by 56% in the second quarter of 2022.

All of this is impacting on employee-initiated spend. Data released by the Link Group showed that expenses were already rising between 2015 and 2019, but the financial situation of the last four years has exacerbated this still further. This is the kind of corporate landscape that makes an employee-open management solution so critical.

SAP Concur Overview

SAP Concur is designed to help businesses get on top of their employee-initiated spend, achieving a reliable set of processes for handling expenses, travel costs, and invoicing. By integrating these processes via a central cloud-based solution, SAP Concur gives business owners more control over these costs.

One of the key factors that make costs so problematic is their complexity. Traditionally, managing employee-initiated spent required large amounts of paperwork, as well as data input and processing from human personnel. This leads to significant inefficiency and the potential for error. With SAP Concur, these processes are handled via automated tools, eliminating human error while removing the need for paperwork and physical records. All of this is achieved according to employee expense and cost regulation, ensuring full compliance for your business.

With SAP Concur on your side, you can gain valuable insight into employee-initiated spend, making cost management much simpler and more straightforward. At the same time, user-facing tools simplify time-tracking, invoice management, and payments while also integrating with mobile and tablet devices for easy usage in the field.

The Key Benefits of SAP Concur

How does SAP Concur achieve all this? What are the key benefits you can expect from this solution? Let's examine this in a little more detail.

Automated Tools for Expense and Travel Management

Automation is at the very heart of SAP Concur. The most obvious benefit of these automated tools is in expense claim logging and data input – laborious processes that are much better suited to automatic digital tools than manual human operation. This means data can be swiftly processed and recorded, while automated tools flag any incomplete or erroneous entries.

Employees themselves can also make good use of these automated tools, managing their own expenses and keeping track of spending. The solution automatically identifies duplicate records and other potential errors, eliminating them before they cause confusion. Data can be captured and relayed in real time, ensuring that all records remain up-to-date and complete.

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Streamlined Receipts and Process Reports

SAP Concur integrates with mobile and tablet devices to enable swift capture of receipts and process reports. The employees don't need to keep hold of receipts, and then potentially misplace these physical copies – they can simply scan the hard copy with their mobile or remote application and upload this directly to the system.

Scanning and capturing documentation on the go means that deadlines are not missed and there is no backlog of claims. With difficult manual processes, employees may find themselves submitting bulk claims urgently as the deadline nears, leading to uneven expenses for the company and a huge amount of work for administrators. SAP Concur streamlines the process to remove these bottlenecks.

A Single Source of Truth for Expense Data

One of the key problems with expenses is the disconnection during the recording and approval process. Documents end up saved in multiple formats, across multiple locations, while the managers who need to approve them may be based somewhere else. SAP Concur utilises cloud-based technology to bring all these data points, documents, and approval tools together in one place.

Automation significantly reduces the workload, as the solution is able to assess and verify eligible documentation for each expense and each invoice. Managers retain control over expenses, signing into the solution to quickly sign off on claims. Essentially, SAP Concur achieves the best of both worlds by deploying automated tools while retaining manual control.

Failsafe Compliance

From regular payroll to bonuses and expenses, your financial teams need to work hard to ensure full compliance with regulation and tax protocols at every turn. SAP Concur is built with this compliance in mind, and once again automation has a huge role to play here. Once compliance prerequisites are programmed into the system, the solution is able to check and verify that each expense is handled according to ATO and other financial guidelines.

The cloud-based system also retains a digital paper trail, saving and structuring this record in a way that can be easily reviewed. This makes auditing simple and straightforward – a big part of compliance.

Valuable Insight into Spending Trends

With living costs and travel expenses rising in Australia and elsewhere across the world, businesses need to know precisely what they are working with. Understanding spending trends and patterns helps management teams not only keep track of costs but also actively work to reduce them without compromising on the effectiveness of teams in the field.

The analytics tools built into the SAP Concur solution help to achieve this in-depth insight. Through cost tracking and trend analysis, businesses can identify key cost centres and work to align employee expenses with budgetary constraints.

Do You Have Questions About SAP Concur?

If you've still got questions about SAP Concur and how the solution can work for you, no problem – just reach out. We're always happy to chat about how you can do more with your digital toolkit.

Discovery Staff Editor
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