Spend management is a matter of concern to every business, large or small. Therefore, it is puzzling that there is a misconception that spend management solutions are meant only for large companies. The benefits of a spend management solution are as tangible and significant for SMBs. Spend management is important to companies, irrespective of size, since it provides a level of transparency and control over spend that can be used to reduce risk, drive growth, increase profits, and introduce operational efficiencies across the board.

Organizations across the globe are undertaking digital transformation (DX) journeys to maximize employee productivity, reduce operating expenses, and improve business performance. One of the primary steps taken by organizations on this DX journey is making investments in cloud enterprise applications to automate their business processes. In particular, expense, travel, and invoice management applications are an obvious investment choice to quickly transform business processes by increasing compliance and bringing a large amount of organization spend under management.

Small and mid-sized firms with 1-999 employees (SMBs) rely heavily on their finance and accounting teams to accurately track cash flow, pay invoices, and reimburse employees in a timely fashion. Managing company spend is critical to SMBs as even small budgetary oversights can have a major impact on a firm’s operations. Changes in the business landscape are making it progressively more challenging for accounting/finance teams to manage company spend. More employees are traveling and working remotely, and tax and legal requirements are becoming increasingly complex. In this environment, manual methods of managing company spend are less reliable than ever.

According to IDC, Travel and expense applications are evolving rapidly as vendors invest research and development dollars into bolstering, augmenting and, in some cases, redesigning their applications. It is extremely important for end users to understand how vendors and their solutions are positioned currently as well as how those vendors and their solutions may be positioned in the next three to five years.

The role of the corporate travel manager is changing, with new supplier content, changing fee structures, and evolving traveller booking behaviours adding new complexity and considerations to the role. Moreover, with trends such as NDC, supplier marketing efforts, and the rise of sharing-economy suppliers, business travellers have more options and more encouragement than ever to book outside of their company’s approved booking channels.

This study explores how travel managers are responding to the changing landscape, and how they see the future of corporate travel content.

Business leaders are under a lot of pressure in today’s increasingly complex world. Leaders have to weigh travel & employee-driven as well as external workforce driven spending on growth against controlling spend as they respond to the demands of a fast-moving digital and global economy.

Read more on how SAP Concur – by bringing partner networks and ecosystems together – will eliminate silos, enable customers to manage their external workforce easily and effectively, and result in Finance employees saving at average 500 hours a year from Concur as their integrated expense, travel, and invoice solution.

Whether the plan is to add new products, broaden the customer base, or break into new markets, growth is the goal of every business. And leading-edge spending tools can help companies get to the next growth level. This is because cash flow visibility and the ability to track revenue and spending easily and efficiently are essential to setting a company on a path to successful expansion.

Digital technologies are transforming the world – for consumers and businesses – and SAP is constantly adapting and innovating to stay ahead of the game. Take a peek at this whitepaper and see how priorities in spend management have been shifting to how to spend better and with purpose across the following pillars :

  • Contribute strategic value to the business
  • Live and collaborate within the cloud (SAP Ariba, SAP Concur, and SAP Fieldglass)
  • Increase customer satisfaction
  • Reduce operational and shift to tactical and strategic workload through automation
  • Accelerate learning
  • Measure and recognize success

According to a recent Gartner study, growth is the top priority for CEOs. Apart from on mergers and acquisitions, today’s companies now focus on IT-driven digital transformation initiatives, and workforce capability improvements to achieve their growth goals. As a result, today’s company leaders are looking to:

  • Their Finance teams to drive the bottom line by providing real-time, data-enabled decision support necessary for everyone else in the company to plan and manage growth.
  • Their IT Teams to lead digital business initiatives and IT innovation projects that will increasingly account for company growth and scale.

SAP Concur help finance and IT leaders support growth by intelligently automating travel, expense, and invoice management and integrating directly with their ERP and finance systems.

As per Wakefield research, globally, business travellers whose company has a formal travel policy are most likely to prioritize safety above all else while they are on the road, but nowhere is it as high a priority as it is in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. This means that business travellers from Greater China need as much information as they can get at the beginning of the trip, when they are booking their travel.

Given their enthusiasm for online solutions, their employers should provide as much support as they can by investing in tools that give their employees all the information on-the-go which they need to feel safe and alleviate the stress of booking.

Future proof your business

While having control over costs, cash flow, and compliance is important for businesses during typical times, it’s even more critical when trying to maintain business continuity during challenging periods. But is the idea of “typical” times, in fact, outdated? In today’s global business world, challenges abound and circumstances can change quickly.

Control Company Spend + Improve Compliance = Increased Stability

As the old adage goes, the only constant is change. That change can be initiated by careful planning and thoughtful action, or it can appear unexpectedly as the result of forces beyond our control. When the unexpected happens, earlier investments in strategic preparations can help your organization mitigate its impacts and stay resilient in times of challenge.