How to accelerate T&E processes with Smart Solutions?

How to accelerate T&E processes with Smart Solutions?

By CFO Tech Outlook | Monday, September 23, 2019

Traveling for business means hectic schedules, hotel room bookings, and travel arrangements. When the reporting of every expense is necessary to generate a report, the employees need help, and companies need to optimize the budget. 

FREMONT, CA: Professionals travel quite a lot in recent times; companies spend trillions on travel, $1.33 trillion during 2017 to be exact. The survey results, according to the Global Business Travel Association also predict a hike in the value to $1.7 trillion by 2022.

Companies have a deficit in optimally managing travel practices and expenses. The need also extends to travelers who require help for submitting expenses and availing efficient reimbursements. 

To bridge the gap, intelligent technologies, applications, processes, and a digital platform are employed to assist. For example, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Robotic Process Automation can re-imagine the expense processes on the equilibrium to benefit both the companies and travelers. 

From where the benefits are identified? 

To identify the areas that require the most improvement, SAP conducted a poll. The results of the survey showcased a majority of the opinions cited regarded the process and production efficiencies. Several other issues that were debated included user experience, identified cost savings, and requirements for greater transparency in risk compliance. 

Most of the estimates swivel towards the higher side in terms of the organization’s controllable spends. Several CFOs find it challenging to attain complete visibility into the spending of the employee.

Intelligent technologies can bring information closer to each decision point and support a faster, better-informed decision-making process. Many solutions that interlink the departmental travel budgets to corporate budgets can assist managers. Managers acquire the power to oversee the number of trips approved and the remaining budget to form new guidelines for generating savings. 

By utilizing ML, corporations can identify the expense information in the initial stages of the reporting process. Instead of collecting receipts from travels and submitting them after the trip, a photograph can be taken and uploaded into the application from any mobile device. ML extracts the data and shares it among corporate systems, giving the finance department instant visibility of the expenses and decreasing the driver’s manual effort in reporting the same. By interlinking travel booking systems, data processes, and control over the protection of individuals who might subject to practice that are a risk of noncompliance. 

How can both the company and employees reap benefits?

The norms and regulations around tax compliance and international borders have never in history been so complicated. Technologies that can handle the pattern-matching, automated labor-intensive processes, and perform checks against transforming national rules to shield the people and assets of the company. Protection of the employees and assisting companies meet their duty-of-care requirements is vital. 

Why need a user interface?

An improvement in the traveler’s experience is essential for the employees who are looking forward to a fruitful business trip, expedite reporting, and get reimbursed quicker. But the available traditional software often consumes more time and manual expense capture along with the reconciliation process. 

Applications can incorporate AI(Artificial intelligence) and ML(Machine Learning) to assist streamlining of the reporting process while also providing the necessary data for finance to negotiate the contracts, accruing expenses, and minimize costs. By utilizing the available travel data such as digitized receipts, some applications can provide guided workflows. This process is simplified while enabling the employees to concentrate on priority work. 

An approximate estimate showcases that mobile travel and expense management apps can save up to four hours per month on completion of expense receipts. The utilization of a base rate on an hourly basis, an organization can save up to a few hundred dollars per month per employee. The saved amount multiplied by 1000 employees changes the value of the figure of productivity gains per month alone. 

The newer intelligent technologies have provided impressive savings and have created new visibility that rewards companies and helps to prioritize the traveler’s needs. Using them to modernize the process of travel is a great way to initiate a year of travel.

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