A company can save big money on payment automation. But there are even more benefits - employees can become happier and more motivated. Mads Krumhardt Enggren at Eurocard has something to share about the benefits of efficient processes.
You talk about the payment automation leap. What does that mean?
”This means that all companies have the potential to improve. No matter how digitalized you are today, and how automated your cost management is, there are ways to improve efficiency. This step, however big or small, often leads to results so amazing that companies can hardly believe it. It is a step that will be revolutionary for many companies.”
What are the key benefits of a more automated cost management?
”It is basically a matter of efficiency. When taking care of an invoice manually, a lot of time is wasted on handling paper before you even get to the actual reporting. A manual system is also very vulnerable to human error, which in turn creates unnecessary friction between people in the organization. The more automated you become, the faster and more reliable a system you get. And data entering the system becomes more complete – thus more useful for strategic decisions.”
What can companies do to become more automated?
”In the research we did in collaboration with the Royal Institute of Technology last year, we noted that 100 percent of companies surveyed, used credit cards as their main payment method. This didn't come as a surprise. We also saw that a clear majority of companies surveyed where using some type of expense management software. But here is where the differences started to become evident: only 27 percent of companies used smartphones with apps that allow their employees to manage their expenses on the fly. And this creates a huge bottleneck, because if you don't use apps, you can't start implementing things like digital receipts, which is the big thing right now.”
Can you tell us a bit more about digital receipts?
”It is really just what it sounds like: a receipt in digital form rather than a piece of paper that you put in your wallet and then forget about. When you start managing your receipts in digital form, you can do all kinds of smart things with them. You can organize them faster and better, and of course transfer them to your expense management system in a much quicker, safer and more efficient way. But as said earlier, this all depends on how good the app you use is.”
Are there more benefits?
”Yes, and they are very important. I have talked about how to make expense reporting structurally more efficient and this is of course the basis for better business. But when you start automating, you also get all sorts of positive "side effects" that add value to the company. Like the fact that it will be easier to comply with company policies and processes, and that this in turn it will strengthen the company's brand at a stakeholder level in a way that we would not normally associate with cost management. Digital receipts and the trend towards expense management "on the fly”, will also enable even more savings for the company when employees add more information at the time of payment. A necessity to reach the next level of savings. Ultimately, employees will begin to fully appreciate the benefits thus making them feel better. It will actually serve as an advantage when it comes to the image as an employer too!
Three conclusions on payment automation:
- No matter how automated your expense management is, there is always room for improvement.
- A smartphone with an app that lets employees manage their expenses on the fly is a crucial factor for success.
- Automation has several positive “side effects”, such as improved compliance with policies and processes - which help to strengthen the company brand.