Even with the rapid adoption of cloud technology throughout the enterprise, many organizations are still using mostly manual, paper-based financial processes. For these organizations, the number of complications in submitting, approving and paying expenses and invoices is considerable, risking a complete breakdown of processes when teams are required to work virtually. Common pitfalls include delays in reimbursing employees for incurred expenses, invoices not being approved in a timely manner, and vendors not getting paid
There are also serious cash-flow considerations with manual processes which have been highlighted by the impact of COVID-19: physical checks slow down payments, and paper invoices take significantly longer to process, so they cannot be accounted for in financial projections in a timely manner. Multiplied by hundreds or thousands of checks and invoices, this results in an inability to effectively manage cash. Companies lose visibility into cash flow – they can’t see it, and therefore can’t manage, track, or prepare for it.
Learn more: Watch the webinar, Virtualizing Financial Operations
It’s clear that automation is the future of expense and invoice management. Manual processes are more error-prone, and a misplaced decimal can cause serious issues. Plus, with control built into the system through built-in policy enforcement, there’s much lower risk of out-of-policy or fraudulent expenses and invoices being approved.
Not only is automation good for business, it’s also good for employee engagement. With proper systems in place, employees gain valuable time back to focus on what matters most. Expense reports don’t have to be a negative consequence of a business trip if expenses can be submitted as soon as the transaction takes place. And it’s not just travelers that benefit – automation makes finance teams happier too. Rather than having to personally “police” expenses and enforce policies, they can spend their time on more enjoyable, high-value work, leaving regulation and tedious tasks to the system.
The business climate has changed, and cost-control is top-of-mind for most companies. Virtualized finance operations allow for significant cost-savings, so accounting systems can both scale for growth or run leaner – whichever makes the most sense for your company.
To learn more about best practices for operational success, and how you can virtualize your organization’s financial operations, download the executive white paper, Virtualizing Financial Processes to Thrive in a Post-Coronavirus Era and watch the webinar, Virtualizing Financial Operations.
About the Author
Katherine Edenbach, CFO, Emburse
As chief financial officer of Emburse, Katherine is responsible for financial strategy, accounting, treasury, financial reporting, planning and analysis. Katherine has more than 20 years of accounting and finance experience. She has deep experience in both private equity-backed and publicly-traded organizations. She earned her CPA at PwC and held a range of senior accounting and finance roles at Fairchild Semiconductor and WEX, Inc. In addition, she was VP of Finance at CashStar, a leading provider of prepaid commerce solutions, which was acquired by Blackhawk Network. Prior to the Chrome River and Certify, Inc. merger which formed Emburse, Katherine was CFO at Certify, Inc. Katherine holds a BS in Accounting from Boston College.