Why T&E Matters: Relieving Cost Pressures

Andy Hirst

Part 4 of the 5-part “T&E in the Cloud” series

The typical financial services organization spends an atypical amount of its budget on travel and expenses (T&E). There are simply more people in financial services spending more time in the air than there are in other industries. And when those numbers are amplified in this way, a few hundred dollars missed here or lost there add up very quickly.

Everyone wants to drive out these inefficiencies and excess costs, but in financial services, it’s absolutely critical. To get a better idea of how, we have to get a better look at what is happening to T&E.

The bad:

  • Rising corporate travel costs are driving expenses up.
  • Inefficient travel booking and expense processes decrease productivity and disappoint users.
  • With little control over cash flow, it’s difficult to support strategic projects.
  • Internal and external noncompliance challenges are on the rise.
  • With 2,351 global product taxability changes in one year alone (per Thomson Reuters, 2016 Q3), it’s hard to keep up.

And the good:

  • Cloud-based solutions connect all your data in near-real time.
  • Intelligent applications powered by machine learning help you make the best real-time decisions for your business.
  • Native integration with core enterprise software means that data and processes move smoothly from one system to another.
  • Mobile technologies reduce complexities and enhance the employee experience with intuitive user interfaces.
  • Modern cloud architectural patterns provide greater security, reliability, and scale.

Does the good outweigh the bad? That all depends on whether you’re putting the right tools to work.

Visibility into and control over spending

The best solutions automatically pull spending data directly from suppliers, credit card providers, and other sources, so you get a clear picture of what’s going out the door. And that means you get control.

Better visibility also allows you to:

  • Negotiate better rates with accurate insight into what was spent where and when.
  • Effectively control costs and analyze potential fraud with dashboards and alerts that deliver full visibility into spending.
  • Cut manual T&E steps with tools that automatically add and categorize charges, so expense reports essentially write themselves.

How much of a difference can the right tools make? Here’s a look at results from SAP data.

  • A 30% increase in overall policy compliance can lead to a 5%-10% reduction in airline, hotel, and rental car costs.
  • An average of 30%-60% FTE savings in accounts payable, an increase of 20%-50% in end-user and manager productivity hours, and up to 80% lower audit costs.
  • Stronger supplier negotiations and early payment discounts can cut costs another 1%-5%.
  • Fraud and error detection can reduce annual mileage spend by 20% and meals/entertainment by 5%-10%.
  • VAT recovery can go up 5%-10%, while telecom and meeting spend can go down 10%.

When you don’t simply run the numbers, but see the numbers, you’re better able to take control of your spending.

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Andy Hirst

About Andy Hirst

Andy Hirst is vice president of Banking Solutions, SAP Banking Industry Business Unit, at SAP. He is responsible for driving the success of the SAP go-to-market strategy in Line of Business Cloud Applications and Analytics in Financial Services. Previously, Andy was responsible for Capital Markets solutions for banking. Andy is an expert in Big Data and analytics use cases in financial services and has been involved in many digital banking initiatives for banks.