Why T&E Matters: Digitalization

Andy Hirst

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

It could be said that the financial services industry is built on paperwork – and if you’ve been part of it for long, you’ll no doubt agree. We’re talking, of course, about the paper processes, manual expense reports, and other legacy T&E systems many companies still have in place. We’re talking about those tedious workplace requirements that slow your business down, frustrate employees, and make it harder to find and keep the best workers. And we’re talking about the very real and hard costs of sticking with the status quo.

How much do your people like paperwork and process?

A team of your advisers has just traveled from Cleveland to Houston to Miami to London, and they’re now getting home and gearing up for another week. The last thing they want to do is fill out an expense report.

So they don’t. They play with their kids instead. And the numbers you need (like what and where they spent) get delayed, so you don’t get an accurate or timely view of your budget.

And as they get ready for another trip out of town, they book their trips their way – on the apps they like to use – so you’re not effectively capturing this spend, either. (Not to mention you don’t know where they’re headed or when they’ll be back.)

By automating and digitalizing your T&E processes, the top solutions can collect and connect spending and other data, so you know exactly what – and who – is going out the door.

How much do you like saving time and money?

You can’t control what you can’t see, but when you capture all your T&E spending, you get clear visibility and firm control. And because the processes are automated, things move faster.

Here’s what makes it work:

  • Mobile experience – Employees can work with native apps that manage everything from booking and itineraries to submitting and approving expenses.
  • Less hassle, more accuracy – You can cut paper from the process and eliminate the hours and errors of expense reporting.
    • Electronic receipts from airlines, hotels, and car rental companies automatically populate itemized charges into expense reports.
    • Smartphone pictures of receipts can be attached to expense reports to automatically create, itemize, and categorize expense entries.
  • Brand choice – Connect employees to the apps they love – like Uber and, Airbnb – so they can use the tools they want, and receipts flow automatically into their expense reports.

By digitalizing and taking unnecessary steps out of the T&E process, you’re improving travel for the people who take your business on the road. You’re helping them stay focused on their job and on their clients, not on their receipts. And, by making work a little less work, you’re making it easier to recruit and retain top talent in a highly competitive industry.

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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.