UK companies miss out on cost savings of up to £9.8m per year
According to a study recently released by American Express Commercial Card, nearly half of all companies questioned (47%), still operate a manual or mostly manual expense management process, costing the economy 843,682 in wasted man hours or the equivalent of over £9.8 million a year in potential cost savings.
The study uncovers that, at a time when every penny counts, there's potentially more than 1.2 million businesses with the opportunity to unlock real cost savings which are just not doing so. Currently, only nine percent of UK businesses are benefitting from a wholly automated expense management system.
What's more, the £9,871,082 equivalent of UK man hours wasted on unnecessary paperwork, is just the tip of the iceberg. This figure does not account for expensive mistakes that can often be made in manual applications nor the fact that when completing time consuming manual expense forms, employees are being taken away from their core area of business.
Mimi Kung, Vice President and General Manager at American Express Commercial Card explained: "Whilst many business decision makers appreciate that the manual handling of purchasing and expenses is expensive and time consuming, our research indicates that many companies are just not aware of the alternatives."
A third (33%) of UK senior business decision makers admit they do not know what benefits, if any, a corporate card and expense management system can bring and only 15% identified cost savings as a key benefit.
Mimi Kung continued: "It is a concern that at a time when business decision makers are seeking additional ways to control costs and conserve cash, many may be unaware of the solutions available. We have seen a growing number of UK businesses empowering employees through the use of corporate cards. While many realise the benefits in terms of creating flexibility and simplifying their payment and accounting processes, it is also fundamental that companies use their cards to drive all possible savings to the bottom line, through rigorous supplier negotiations.
"Manual travel and expense management processes are a tremendous source of wasted time, lost productivity and frustration for the average business traveler," said William Browning III, Research Analyst with The Aberdeen Group. "Our research shows that automating T&E expense management not only streamlines the expense claim process for the individual employee, but also enables the organization to meaningfully drive down processing costs, enhance visibility and establish more rigorous controls over this area of significant corporate spend."
In addition to being a payment method, the American Express Corporate Card is a comprehensive Expense Management Programme that drives savings and puts decision makers in control of expenditure.