This prompts business owners to ask the question, “Have I done everything in my power to allow my finance teams to go about their business?” “
Keep in mind that almost all functions of the finance team depend on other departments. While they could meet with everyone in person for submissions or clarifications, moving around from a distance threw all of these out the window and brought new challenges. What, you wonder? Let’s find out.
What challenges has teleworking posed to finance teams?
A typical working day in the office for a member of the finance team would involve several meetings with all other departments to get their tasks done. With distributed teams, those 1×1 meetings, which could have been geared towards submitting reports, correcting errors, or informing about new policies, can no longer take place. Of course, there are webinar platforms to bring people together, but it’s just not the same as a face-to-face conversation.
This results in a severe lack of control over corporate spending across the enterprise, combined with tons of follow-up emails for clarifications, broken records, inaccurate reports and possible fraud. to expenses. What else?
- All basic financial functionality such as payroll processing, invoicing and AP&AR breakdown with increased physical distance if handled manually.
- As financial processes slow down, employee reimbursements increase dramatically, ultimately lowering their morale and confidence in the company. This leads to lower retention rates.
- By managing finances manually, teams were missing or simply missing out on all the big spending trends in the business.
- As it becomes increasingly apparent that finance teams are missing out on certain things, some employees may exploit these leaks by submitting fraudulent expenses.
To address these issues, financial leaders around the world have begun to understand the importance of automating expense management to regain control of expenses and cash flow across the enterprise.
“Automation is the key to an optimized spend management process. Businesses have understood that they don’t want to find themselves unable to adapt or lose control of finances while working remotely.” – Payment report.
Why should businesses consider switching to cloud-based expense management software?
- Digitization of processes to adapt to remote work
Whether they are remote or roaming employees, they both incur expenses whose receipts might have hard copies or PDFs. Imagine having to store the hard copies in a box or the PDFs in a folder on your phone. But, of course, they wouldn’t be too excited, would they?
Although these tasks are low impact, employees would pay a lot of attention to them because it is their money invested for the needs of the business. So it is only fair that the company facilitates this process.
Cloud-based expense management software comes with OCR (Optical Character Recognition) which allows employees to capture images of their receipts using their phone’s camera. In addition, the software automatically fills in all the fields of the expense report, thus avoiding any incorrect data entry.
- Strengthened collaboration between finance and other teams
When working in an office, finance teams would have multiple interactions with employees to get the job done. Additionally, if an employee was not aware of the company’s spending policy, it would lead to fraudulent submissions that could affect your long-term bottom line, significantly affecting your bottom line.
As you can see, the responsibility for finding and correcting these inaccurate reports rests entirely with your finance teams. This means productive hours wasted on menial tasks that could have been simply automated. Also, while this was possible in a centralized office, as they could just go to an employee’s desk and discuss those fixes, you just expect them to do the impossible with distributed teams.
This is where cloud-based expense report software comes in. It facilitates transparent collaborations by allowing finance teams to integrate custom business rules based on their current needs. It then effortlessly applies these business rules to all employee expenses at the time of expense creation. This ensures that no non-policy expenses are submitted. In addition, the software takes the burden off the finance team tremendously by adding a layer of security and precision to all business expenses.
- Easy access to data from anywhere, anytime, using any device
Cloud-based expense management software stores all financial data in a secure location while allowing employees to easily submit and track their business expenses from daily apps like Whatsapp, Slack, G Suite, Outlook, etc. .
Having access to secure cloud storage is more useful to finance teams as they have access to all expense data including claims, receipts, refunds and violations, all stored in one place with easy retrieval. In addition, it further improves the audit process, as retrieving documents for audit becomes easier.
- Use advanced analytics to support business decisions with data
Traditional ways of managing expense reports deprive finance teams of any real insight to ensure a transparent expense management process. This, in turn, leads to financial leakage, bad business decisions and no cost optimization.
Cloud software comes with advanced analytics that support the math behind all the essential calculations. With the click of a button, finance teams get data on spending habits and patterns across departments, projects, cost centers, categories and even individual employees. There is also additional information on the top policy violators and top spenders in each particular category.
Think how crucial this data would be to making the right business decisions. For example, finance teams can look at cost-cutting initiatives with repeat airlines and hotel chains, or look for areas in the budget where overspending is taking place to put stricter rules in place.
In short, as a manager, you gave pretty much everything they needed to help you make better decisions.
- Improved employee and financial productivity
Cloud technology frees your employees’ minds from having to be chained to their desks all day. With the ability to work from anywhere, employees can maintain the same levels of productivity with just a basic Wi-Fi connection.
In addition, your existing financial processes benefit from an upgrade with increased transparency, optimization, control and planning. With around 70% of the employed workforce calling for a move away entirely by 2025, this would be a great time to consider moving your finance process to the cloud.
Why this sudden change in preference? This is because remote working gives employees full control over their work-life balance to manage themselves and create their schedules, which would not have been possible without cloud technology.
CFM (Cloud Financial Management) is more than just cost reduction. It’s mainly about how businesses should embrace the creativity, innovation and agility that these services offer, which help your business reach new heights.
A single, unified space where your entire organization can access all the information it needs can actually make remote working more efficient and sustainable. Ensure the sustainability of your business and the productivity of your employees by switching to cloud technology.