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Firms in Asia ready to move beyond spreadsheet reporting for T&E management: Concur

Zafirah Salim | Oct. 16, 2015
In this interview, Barry Padgett, Chief Product Officer of Concur, shares some key findings of a regional study on travel and expenses (T&E) management systems, and talked about the benefits of full automation and how managers should go about deploying it.

"Companies need to obtain real time analytics and have access to data, making sure that it's meaningful and predictive, allowing them to make really good decisions that ultimately benefit the company," said Padgett. "Managers need to get the control and visibility into their management processes, while making sure that their employees feel empowered and trusted, enabling them to use the tools that they want to travel the way they want to."

Leveraging business benefits of full automation

Despite the high take-up rate of traditional T&E management systems, Padgett said that is still encouraging to note that more than half of respondents have expressed interest in implementing full automation in the future.

More than half (79 percent) of the respondents using fully-automated systems indicated significantly higher satisfaction levels among users given the ability of such systems in enabling comprehensive and timely reporting while on the go, providing business intelligence and real-time control as well as compliance.

The study revealed that companies with fully-automated T&E systems reported reductions in cost of processing and savings on T&E spend items. 72 percent of respondents with fully automated T&E systems quantified processing cost reductions of up to 30 percent, while 67 percent of them reaped savings of up to 30 percent from the strategic management of spend that automated systems enable due to visibility of data and control actions based on data analytics.

When asked to impart some tips for managers on deploying automation, he advised, "You don't have to go and implement everything. You don't have to get every single report and analyse every piece of data in order to show some value to your company or employees. You can just do little things yet make a big difference."

"Start small by just automating the claiming process. Get them to take a photo of the receipt instead of making them carry it around, and risk losing it. It is so much more efficient that way. And instead of having them wait weeks for their claim to be reimbursed, you can have the expense automatically transferred to their bank account without having to wait for payday. Automation does not have to be complex, or overly expensive. There's real value in doing small things right now," he concluded.


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