What return on investment can SMBs expect from spend automation? (Sponsored)

May 08, 2019

A decision maker looking at automating expense or invoice processes needs cold, hard evidence on the return on investment (ROI). Well, independent research recently found that one 45-employee firm estimates saving over £81k per year with SAP Concur.

This isn’t an isolated success statistic, either. Across the board, the research reports that companies using automation solutions are seeing significant ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ returns on investment.

The research was conducted by global firm, AMI Partners. It surveyed key financial decision-makers in 420 small- and medium-sized businesses (SMB) with employing between one and 999 people across five countries to gain insights into their spend management practices. The respondents included current users and non-users of a range of automated expense, travel, and/or invoice solutions. The survey was supplemented with in-depth interviews of firms using SAP Concur.

Here’s what the research found. It makes for compelling reading if you’re looking for reassurance around the return on investment on automation.

Automation has a direct effect on your bottom line

Businesses using travel and expense solutions say their accounts teams are seeing an average time saving of 15%. They save an average of £22,000 a year by using the tools. Per head, that’s an average of £440 per employee using the application.

For businesses using an invoice solution, the average accounts team is seeing time savings of 16%. This translates to about 40 hours each week for a team of five people. The average annual saving is £25,000 or about £800 for every 100 invoices processed.

(Interestingly, for companies using SAP Concur solutions, these averages go up. The average annual saving for a Concur Expense user is around £29,000, and it’s the same for an Concur Invoice user.)

Financial ROI is just the beginning

Aside from the financial returns, there are lots of harder-to-measure benefits:

  • Better visibility of the data;
  • Improved compliance;
  • Scalability; and
  • Team productivity.

The research shows that there are clear benefits to implementing automation solutions for expense and invoice functions. In fact, the savings are so significant you could argue that if you aren’t taking steps to harness what they have to offer, you could struggle to compete with those that are.

Automation for SMBs

For further information about how SMBs are using automated solutions to make better decisions on their spending to maximise revenue, join one of our two live webinars where customers and solution experts will demonstrate the real world benefits of automation, give implementation tips and tricks and tell the stories of ROI successes. You can register here.

From 3 -7 June 2019, SAP Concur will be celebrating small businesses, sharing expertise from SAP Concur and our customers to help finance leaders drive growth strategies. Visit concur.co.uk/small-business-growth to find out how you can take advantage of this promotional initiative.    

(This article is sponsored by SAP Concur)