When it comes to travel and expense reporting, most accounting professionals are being asked to help their clients do more: Reduce time on tasks, drive greater cost savings, improve compliance, and contribute in ways that support broader business priorities.
Automated travel, expenses, and invoicing systems may help them work more efficiently and can be the first step toward working more efficiently and effectively, but it’s certainly not the last.
Here are three ways accountants can sharpen their pencils to maximize ROI with regard to travel and expense management:
- Empower employees with mobile. In today’s world, business happens everywhere and all the time. With mobile travel, expense and invoice applications, employees can more effectively manage tasks in real time. This leads to higher levels of productivity, less risk for human error and cost savings.
- Connect business systems and applications. When travel, expense and invoice processes are integrated with other business systems and third-party applications – think accounting systems, enterprise resource planning (ERP), human resources functions, credit card companies and suppliers like Uber and Airbnb – the ROI skyrockets. This creates an automated, connected platform that saves time associated with managing disparate systems and brings visibility into previously invisible areas of corporate spend. As a result, firms can help clients improve finance management, make smarter decisions and identify new cost savings. For example, by integrating travel, expense and invoice data with a solution like Taxback International that can automatically calculate and reclaim value added tax (VAT) refunds after international travel, accountants can directly add savings to their clients’ bottom-lines.
- Make data work harder. Progressive businesses are not only using travel, expense and invoice data to save money – they’re also using it to support broader business objectives. One example is locating and ensuring the safety of employees while traveling without additional infrastructure, resources or headcount. Another is tying expenses to CRM data, allowing improvements in revenue effectiveness. By thinking about how data can support broader business objectives, firms can establish more strategic relationships with c-level client execs.
About AG Lambert
AG Lambert is vice president of product management at Concur.