Time as a valuable resource has become one of our favourite clichés. But in the world of business, where time literally equals money, it’s a cliché with clout.
As a business owner, some uses of your time are better than others. Most worthwhile are the hours spent cultivating deeper customer relationships, finding ways to offer a better service, developing new offerings, and growing your business. These are the things that create real and lasting value. And yet, much of your time and that of your employees must be spent on the basics. Things that keep your business on a sound footing, but that don’t directly drive you forward.
That said, approaching the basics in the right way can have a direct effect on the trajectory of your business by freeing up valuable time.
The expense of managing expenses
Expense management is a typical case of burning time on an important but laborious task. Running a tight ship by rigorously tracking expenditure is vital, but it’s easy to waste more time than you need to on it.
The time you spend on an inefficient expense management process can quickly negate any potential financial savings. In a recent study1 conducted by American Express, we asked 1,000 SME business leaders across the U.K. what challenges they face most around their productivity.
One in five of the business leaders we spoke to said that they spend over five hours each week managing their expenses.
And with 35% of business leaders saying that they manage their expenses using an Excel spreadsheet, the process might not just be more time-consuming than it needs to be. It might also be less rigorous than it could be.
The challenges of a manual process
For many businesses, expense management is an entirely manual process, which can lead to some unfortunate side effects.
Keeping track of everything manually usually leads to mistakes and a lack of visibility around your true expense costs. Not only will this cause a misleading picture of what you’ve spent in the past, it could also result in faulty projections of what you’re likely to spend in the future.
Even if you keep track of every expense accurately, the cost of manual expense management is high. But what if you could replace that spreadsheet with a process that’s more accurate, gives you better visibility and takes less time to manage?
For more information and tips for how to better manage expenses and save your business time check out our how-to guide.
Better visibility means fewer mistakes and less time wasted. Find out how an American Express® Corporate Card could give you better visibility of your expenses with time to spare.
1. In July 2019, American Express, through YouGov, surveyed 1,000 SMEs, in the UK.