Automating AP and expense processes: The secret to controlling stress
Running a business is an investment – you need to spend money to make money. But when it comes to managing your spend, there’s no room for error if you’re going to accurately forecast, budget, and invest.
That means every expense report needs to be submitted on time and every vendor invoice receipt must be accounted for.
But this is easier said than done. Many small-business owners and employees have a lot on their plates, which can lead to process inefficiencies creeping in.
These inefficiencies not only hurt your business operations, but they can affect your and your employees’ personal lives, too. And the problem is more widespread than you may think.
To put it in perspective: nearly half of all accountants put in more than 13 extra days per year. That’s 13 fewer days they have to spend enjoying their lives outside of work.
Maximizing company profitability shouldn’t come at the cost of you and your employees’ precious personal time. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to.
Automation can simplify your life
As the corporate accountant for Stevens Engineering & Constructors, Mary Ann Andrews struggled to get away from her desk as she worked to manage and approve expense reports. And considering that the company employs over 250 people, that’s no surprise.
To make matters worse, expense reports were frequently submitted late, costing the company potential profits.
“We used to have issues with expense reports not being filed until after projects were complete, so costs couldn’t be recovered,” said Andrews.
After switching to an automated expense solution, it’s now easier than ever for the staff at Stevens to submit and track expenses in a timely fashion. Which means there are fewer sunk costs for the company – and Mary Ann has more time away from her desk.
AP and expense software is more than just a cost management tool
The primary benefit of automation is the real-time visibility into spend it can provide. A clear picture of all your business’s expenses allows you to better control operating costs and make more informed, data-driven decisions in the future.
You’ll have the insight needed to identify new business opportunities and take calculated risks. Plus, a better understanding of purchasing patterns makes it easier to negotiate and strengthen your relationships with vendors – which can save you a lot of money.
Additionally, the improved visibility you gain will improve communication across the organization and give employees a sense of ownership of their work, which can increase motivation and satisfaction.
And what about all the time your employees will save? Is keeping work and personal life in proportion really that big of a deal?
As it turns out, it is.
Balance is the key to happiness – and business success
Studies show that workers who find balance between their jobs and personal lives are twice as happy, more productive, and show greater loyalty to their employers.
In fact, employees who have a good work–life balance are 10% more likely to stay at their companies than those who don’t. And every little bit counts as a business leader – especially when you consider that the cost of losing an employee can be up to twice the employee’s annual salary.
In other words, the benefits of expense automation are twofold. Not only does the data and insight it provides help boost your bottom line, but the time it saves you and your employees is the key to improved well-being.
That’s a win-win.
For more information about the benefits of automation visit our small business hub and register to watch ‘Maximising Revenue: Account Payable Automation Tips & Tricks’ webinar, on-demand.