As remote working increases, many businesses have adopted non-traditional solutions to manage this transition. Those that were quick to pivot and adopt digital solutions saw the least disruption during the nationwide shutdown. However, with restrictions easing across Australia and New Zealand, businesses are learning to adapt to the ‘new normal’. This will likely see a rise in flexible work arrangements, with remote working considered part of the new normal, according to SAP Concur.
In the new business environment, digital solutions will increase in importance as businesses require the tools to work anywhere, anytime. Cloud-based automation systems have been the saviour for many small and medium businesses (SMBs) as they evolved to virtual operations. These systems have minimised the workload for finance teams, as well as provided essential visibility and control into outgoing spend.
Fabian Calle, general manager, small to medium business, ANZ, SAP Concur said, “Many SMBs who previously relied on manual processes are now recognising its gaps and barriers. Cloud-based automation solutions have provided businesses with greater flexibility, and have eliminated hours of admin processing and employee frustration.
“Finance teams have benefited particularly, as automation has provided an opportunity for better cash flow management. It offers a centralised place to manage spend, providing the visibility needed to see spend before it happens. More control is allowed via finance policies and a seamless invoice and expense approval process.”
SAP Concur has provided four key strategies to help SMBs manage their cash flow in the new business environment:
- Implement policy that supports a remote workforce to control outgoing spend
Develop a new employee expense policy that is clear and easy for employees to understand, while also being comprehensive enough to minimise spend risk.
2. Give employees the tools they need to work productively while remote
A productive and engaged workforce is essential right now. Working remotely has its challenges, so businesses should provide employees with everything they need to remain productive. Having the right tools is critical for employee morale, productivity and performance. Delayed adoption of digital systems can have an impact on the most important part of the business, cash flow.
3. Get better visibility into outgoing spend before it happens
Don’t fall behind on accounts payable; ensure steady cash flow and resilience against any business changes by increasing visibility into what is about to be spent.
4. Use technologies to eliminate manual processes
A cloud-based solution for spend allows finance team to access, approve and submit spend from anywhere, at any time. Organisations should find a solution that will provide a complete suite of tools for employees to manage their expenses and invoices, regardless of location or device.
Fabian Calle said, “As businesses return to the office, the analogue business world will have changed forever. Proactive business owners are recognising the limitations of their current processes and assessing how they can set themselves up for future success. The future of the workforce is trending towards sustained remote work, and the future of work is digital.
“To help SMBs navigate this change, SAP Concur has developed a webinar series to talk about issues relating to working towards a ‘new normal’. As businesses adapt to the new business environment, it can be comforting to recognise that we are all in this together and to gain advice from leaders in the field.”