Survey: Public Sector Needs Expense Management Automation

Expense Management Automation Survey

Government organizations are losing 3,000 hours due to manual processing of expense reports and invoices.

SAP Concur and Kelton Global, a consumer insights and strategy consulting firm, conducted a survey among 300 financial decision-makers in the public sector and higher education to examine its spend management process. In the survey, it showed a glaring need for an expense management automation that goes beyond saving thousands of hours in manually processing expense reports and invoices.

Manual Expense Management by the Numbers

• Public Sector Organizations lose 3,000 hours per month processing expense reports and invoices manually

• Higher education institutions lose about 2,500 hours in doing manual expense processes

• In spending that amount of valuable time, 15-18 full-time employees could have been doing more critical tasks or, the polar opposite of it, 15-18 employees’ productivity are at an all-time low

• 382 expense reports and 320 invoices are processed each month, which mean spending an additional 5 hours per expense report and another 2 hours per invoice on average

• About 2/3 of respondents are still using at least partially manual systems to manage both invoices and expense reports

• 1/3 of the decision makers also said that there was an increase in the number of inaccurate expense reports and invoices that have been submitted over the past year

• About 1/4 of respondents said they’ve unintentionally reported incorrect budget data due to inaccuracies in expense reports or invoices

What do the numbers tell?

Both the public sector organizations and the higher education institutions are constantly under the tumultuous pressure of future-proofing its workforce and crunch numbers while strictly practicing transparency and efficiency.

The government organizations are funded by tax dollars, making transparency and accountability at the top of their priorities. Add to the equation the stretched budget. An error or two in a single expense report can ripple effect on the whole productivity and credibility of one organization, city, state, or county.

Just like in any progressive corporations, employees in the government and higher education sectors are expected to deliver results and the manual systems hinder that potential. Manual systems do not only delay delivery of tasks but, more importantly, also expose them to the risk of inaccuracies, even fraud. That means a waste of time, energy, and consequently, budget.

Kelton Global surveyed 162 financial decision-makers working in the public sector and found that government organizations are struggling to be compliant despite their efforts to minimize mistakes and fraud. These organizations mentioned that error-prone, disconnected systems, outdated technology, and manual processes have contributed to that concern.

On the other hand, organizations that have integrated fully automated solutions have already benefited from the technology resulting in improved efficiency, better spending, and compliance.

Expense Management Automation Up for Grabs

It is an exciting time for any organization to be in the age of digital technology where complex tasks can be done with a click of a button.

Automating the manual processes can be done like how Derrek Blair, Accounts Payable Supervisor of Rochester City School District (RCDS), embraced the power of technology by automating AP workflows. Now, RCDS has eliminated 60% of T&E errors, improved efficiencies, accuracy, and compliance.

Thousands of corporations have integrated automation to their spend management processes. SAP Concur serves around 48,000 customers in over 150 countries including over 75% of Fortune 100 and 500 companies. The company has helped businesses worldwide with their top travel, expense and invoicing challenges.

For public sectors, SAP Concur has also developed innovative solutions to their unique requirements and processes. It aims to deliver a proven, connected solution that securely provides transparency and efficiency across government spend, from request to payment.

The SAP Concur partners with public sector organizations to transform government spend management, allowing them to focus on serving constituents, communities, students, and contractors. It offers tailor-fit solutions and products that are secure, innovative, compliant, and ready to be integrated into any private or public sector environment.

The numbers in the survey can’t be ignored and there’s no better time for the public sector and higher education to adapt and take advantage of the expense management automation but now. With the right system and tools, it can be done.

Read more on the Kelton survey from David Ballard, senior VP of Public Sector at SAP Concur.

Leave a Reply