While automation in T&E expense reporting has been rapidly increasing, many businesses are still not taking full advantage of it. SMEs are still lagging in automating their T&E, despite the increasing availability technological advances. Cloud-based and mobile apps are the future of T&E management, yet adoption is slow even when it comes to getting an automated expense management solution.
Many who are not fully automated in their T&E management or are using entirely manual processes report many obstacles in their expense reporting procedures. According to a leading 2016 Travel and Expense Management Report, 63% of SMEs still rely on entirely manual T&E processes, while 38% of average business entities are still stuck in the same manual systems.
“While there is growing availability of T&E automation options that could fit any company’s size and needs, the greatest challenge lies in change management, i.e. making decision makers take that step towards fully automating and streamlining their T&E processes,” says Gorilla Expense. “SMEs tend to carefully weigh the so-called ‘pains’ of switching against the many short- and long-term benefits.”
Many organizations in the report believe that their current T&E processes are effective, and are therefore unwilling to shift to newer technologies. For example, the primary method for receipt management is via emails, resulting in lost documents, delays, and potential compliance issues. This in return causes further struggles and inefficiencies. End result: these companies struggle with costly T&E processes, inability to enforce corporate travel policies, lack of visibility, and lengthy reimbursement cycles.
Meanwhile, 90% of large corporations, are now fully or partially automated. Due to this, they are seeing plenty of benefits that go beyond just a solid ROI. These benefits include lower processing costs, improved visibility, better enforcement of policies, quicker reimbursement periods, improved fraud detection, better negotiation with merchants for volume discounts, and better overall employee satisfaction.
However, despite automation, many are still using disparate systems, therefore still causing delays, frustrations, and inefficiencies that could have been avoided with streamlined, integrated systems and infrastructure.
Another key point, according to the report is that many small businesses are foregoing automation and sticking to their manual processes primarily because they believe that they are too small for such systems. In fact, nearly 30% are still using Excel spreadsheets for their expenses.
Despite many options and opportunities to automate, many companies are still slow to adopt and there are still some that would rather continue with their handwritten expense reports and spreadsheets—simply because they are used to it! These companies must take a cue from the best-in-class organizations who are moving towards mobile, cloud-based, and integrated systems that make T&E reporting a breeze. Here is a metric to think about: if you have over 30 expense reports to process monthly, the ROI is there, and it would be more economical to switch to automated expense reporting. You can test this by using our free Expense Reporting Automation Savings calculator.
Gorilla Expense offer an innovate spend management solution for companies of all sizes. The three main components of this solution are T&E Expense Reporting, Timesheets, and P-card Reconciliation. While the solution is typically deployed as SaaS, Gorilla Expense also supports On-Premise deployments. If you would like to see a live demo or have any questions, please contact us at [email protected].