Survey finds majority of SMBs using outdated expense management tools

On Wednesday, expense management solutions and services provider Concur released the findings of its ‘SMB Financial Decision Makers’ survey, which found that small and medium businesses’ expense management solutions relied heavily on manual methods that contradicted employee needs and policies, while also compromising overall profitability.

Concur polled more than 200 SMB financial decision-makers on questions related to expense, travel, and invoice and were able to identify employee needs such as greater flexibility, automation, and incentives for compliance. 

“SMBs face enough challenges as it is without having to worry about spend management capabilities,” said Jerame Thurik, chief marketing officer for Concur, according to a press release. “Upgrading their tools from outdated to automated is the best way to reduce costs, boost bottom-lines and help SMBs focus on what matters most – the success of their business.”

Seven out of 10 SMBs said that they do not currently utilize expense management software, with:

  • 38 percent rely on paper-based submissions
  • 26 percent use corporate cards
  • 23 percent use Excel

This is despite the fact that automating expenses decreases the cost of expense claim transactions by 75 percent or more, and reduces the time to process expenses by 35 percent, according to Concur.
The majority of SMBs surveyed (eight out of 10) also said they have corporate travel policies in place, but expressed the need for, in order of priority:

  • Flexibility in booking choices
  • Eligibility for upgrades and loyalty points
  • Incentives for complying with travel policy.

Concur reports that with travel management, a supplier-led approach can capture the 40-50 percent of hotel bookings and the 28 percent of air bookings that are considered blind spend, or “leak”, when employees choose to book outside of policy.
For more information on Concur, head to their blog here.

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