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Managing cash flow amid uncertainties: Tips for SMBs

SAP Concur
20 May 2020 3 minute readShare

Promoted by SAP Concur

Traditional business solutions are being cast off as millions of Australians have transitioned their businesses to work from home. When we resume working from our premises or offices post COVID-19, what are the chances we will return to analogue ways?

Working remotely has become more prevalent than ever in our workforce. As such, gaining visibility into outgoing spend is top of mind for many SMBs and uncertainty in relation to things going back to ‘normal’ is very much a topical discussion. 

Current circumstances have not only made us think about future proofing our business but have required us to think about adapting to the now, the ‘new normal’, full of Zoom meetings in track pants. Businesses that were quick to pivot and adopt digital solutions are seeing the least disruption due to the shutdowns of COVID-19.

Automation tools that allow you to work anytime, anywhere have been the saviour for many small businesses as they evolve to a remote workforce and a finance team that is now operating virtually. Automation tools have made this shift to remote work simpler for many. They have lessened the workload on finance teams and enabled control and visibility into spend to continue, which is critical for maintaining cash flow.

With an automated, cloud-based solution for your outgoing spend, your business will be able to;

  • see spend before it happens.
  • approve expenses and invoices at anytime, anywhere.
  • put policy in place to control what is being spent.
  • have all your outgoing spend in the one platform. 
  • automate some of the more tedious tasks like data entry.
  • future proof your business so you can focus on what matters

For SMBs who have relied on manual processes and managing the business’s greatest sources of spend (invoices and employee expenses) by spreadsheets and on paper, doing business right now is tough. Digital solutions are designed to provide businesses with greater flexibility, allowing them to work anywhere, anytime. You would have to now be asking: why go back to the way things were?

Many SMBs are now recognising the gaps and the barriers and are starting to plan for post-COVID-19. By ditching manual, paper-based processes and spreadsheets, for example, business owners can eliminate hours of frustration. They can have their employees working anywhere and cut processing time right down.

Specifically, automation is opening up opportunities around cash flow and how to manage it, how to see spend before it happens, how to approve invoices and employee expenses from home as an approval manager, and, of course, how to access all of this in one centralised place to better manage outgoing spend.

We have put together a few tips and tricks which often resonate with the small and medium businesses that we are speaking to lately, that might be helpful for you too: 

  • Implement policy that supports a remote workforce to control outgoing spend. Is your expense policy set up to cover remote employees? Creating a new employee expense policy that is clear and easy for employees to understand and comprehensive enough to minimise risk in spend is essential right now. We have a template to help you get started. 
  • Give your employees the tools they need to work productively while remote. A productive and happy workforce is essential right now. Working remotely has somedifficulties, so be sure that your employees have everything they need to remain productive. Having the right tools is critical for employee morale, productivity and business. Not acting can have an impact on the most important part of your company,cash flow. SAP Concur provides SMBs with a single connected process for managing business spend.
  • Get better visibility into your outgoing spend, before it happens. Don’t fall behind on your accounts payable; ensure steady cashflow and resilience against any business changes by increasing visibility into what you are about to spend.
  • Use technologies to eliminate manual processes. A cloud-based solution for spend allows your finance team to access, approve and submit spend from anywhere at any time. No more late payment fees! SAP Concur is a cloud-based service that updates and upgrades automatically. It’s available on the web, on a smartphone, or on a tablet, no matter where your workforce is based. SAP Concur provides a complete suite of tools for you and your employees to manage expenses and invoices, as easy as logging on from the home office.

When we return to the office post-COVID-19, our world will likely have changed forever, so why shouldn’t the way we work and the tech we use evolve too? Smart business owners are now recognising the limitations of their current processes and asking, ”How can we get to a position that when we start back to our ‘new normal’ we are already set up for future success?” The future of the workforce is trending towards sustained remote work, and the future of work is digital. 

To get you started, we have put together a guide with tips on weathering unexpected business change to take control of your company spend. 

Managing cash flow amid uncertainties: Tips for SMBs
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SAP Concur

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