With so much time spent on manual tasks, like processing expense reports, it shouldn’t be surprising that today’s finance teams are stressed. Instead of feeling productive, they often are faced with endless “busy work,” made more painful due to leveraging outdated tech and tools. But just how bad is it?
Teampay set out to find out. In conjunction with Kelton Global, A Material Company, we surveyed over 500 finance professionals to find out what keeps them up at night – and what they think would solve it. Here are a few key themes that emerged.
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Manual, repetitive work is holding finance back
Month-end close again? You’re not the only one with deja vu. According to the research, finance professionals contend that they spend 55 hours each month doing the same, identical tasks over and over, largely due to inefficient tools and lack of automated solutions. This means they can’t focus on other priorities, like long-term strategic planning or business development and growth.
Month-end close alone consumes on average 40.2 hours each month – with nearly 1 in 10 finance pros claiming the process takes over 100 hours! No wonder 94% said creating more efficiencies within the finance department is a top priority for the next fiscal year.
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Finance teams are not confident in their data
The pandemic has made it clear how critical it is for companies to be agile. In order to support this agility, finance needs access to up-to-date data to accurately forecast, run scenario planning, and support leaders across the business who need to move swiftly. But 49% say they would not be able to easily report on month-to-date spend at a moment’s notice. And even when the books are closed, 36% of finance professionals are not “very confident” that their month-end close numbers are 100% accurate.
One contributing factor to this may be reactive expense processing and the resulting lack of real-time visibility into spend. Many finance teams rely on employees to submit expenses accurately and in a timely manner, but nearly a quarter of expense reports are sent back to employees to address errors and issues. And companies are paying out an average of $32,210/month for purchases made on employees’ personal credit cards – an amount that finance has no transparency into until the reimbursement requests are submitted.
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Technology tops the finance wishlist
Finance professionals know what would help them do their jobs more efficiently. In order to improve the way they operate, finance teams seek modern technology to automate processes and better support employees. In fact, 90% want to support employees with a robust software-backed program that reduces the torment of manual processes. And 86% want to automate existing spend management processes for better visibility and control over all non- payroll spend.
It’s clear that by investing in finance automation, finance can reduce manual work, gain visibility and confidence in data, and better support employees.
Download the full report here.