What’s on the minds of finance professionals today? What are they struggling with, and are there any commonalities between the obstacles they’re facing? TripActions put those questions to 946 finance leaders this spring, almost 75% of whom were VPs of finance, C-Suiters, or controllers. Their responses offer important insights into the challenges they’re facing, as well as the solutions they’re considering.
Where are finance leaders finding their biggest challenges? When it comes to difficult categories of spend to manage, the No. 1 answer, for more than 26% of the respondents, was travel and entertainment. It even beat out the complex category of payroll and benefits.
It’s a challenging category because of the questions it has to answer and the unique workflows it creates. For example, how can teams create policies that empower employees to spend what they need without derailing their budgets, and how do those expenses get approved without bogging down the finance team?
And right now, finance teams are struggling the most with process. While controlling budgets in a turbulent economy is important, it ranked only second on a list of current challenges. The No. 1 challenge finance teams are facing is reducing process and workflow inefficiencies to improve the time needed to close the books.
Why are finance teams struggling to streamline workflows, especially when it comes to basic tasks? The TripActions survey uncovered the answer by asking respondents which processes their companies automate.
In other words, companies that haven’t automated are leaving precious time and money on the table.
Here’s the good news: The survey also asked about finance teams’ top priorities for the year, and a majority (35%) said their No. 1 key initiative is automating accounting tasks and manual workflows. No. 2 is focusing on real-time reporting and data analytics.
Finance leaders know what they need to do—and what they want to do. The survey also asked what they would do if they could double their technology budget in 2022. Their top three answers: integrating systems, upgrading systems, and getting better data and analytics.
This, of course, is where TripActions can help—with an end-to-end travel, corporate card, and expense management solution that takes the busywork out of the T&E process and streamlines processes for thousands of companies. With features like automatic approvals for in-policy expenses and no manual expense reports, TripActions has turned today’s biggest T&E challenges into afterthoughts so that finance teams can direct their attention to strategy, the future, and other bigger-picture tasks.