What's next for employee expenses: Paperless, predictive and even more connected!

What's next for employee expenses: Paperless, predictive and even more connected!

By Neil Everatt
23 April 2018

The rapidly changing employee expense landscape is on the brink of total digitalisation, powered by the drumbeat of disruption and technological advance. The expense management of today is set to drastically shift during the next few years; with many currently "new" features destined for obsolete as their limited perspective is fully realised. We take a look over the emerging themes to come: 

Paperless

For three decades we've proclaimed the arrival of the paperless office, however after monumental technology advances, we're not that much closer. However whilst each day one billion photocopies are made (Forrester Research) with legal, finance and HR termed the most resistant departments to the paperless initiate (Aimm paper wars report 2014), expense management is set to experience a 100% digitalisation over the coming years. 

Leveraging widespread technologies such as virtual payments and digital transactions will establish expense management as one of the first fully digital financial processes. 

The standardisation of e-receipts will bring with it a steady decline in receipt capture processing, inevitably rendering 'innovative' technologies such as OCR as antiquated and obsolete. 

Expense management will benefit from a fully integrated digital transfer, drawing data directly from digital transactions to virtual payment services. 

Beyond the obvious benefits of paper reduction, the 'virtual payments one time use' digital codes also represent an additional approach to tackling fraud; a critical step in controlling costs and reducing corporate risk. In addition to these protections, virtual payments also allow for enhanced data capture, audit trails, and data analytics. 

Predictive

The business world has been throwing around terms like AI and machine learning for years now and although digital prediction has already established itself into our daily lives, from smartphones remembering regular journeys on specific days to taxis computing optimal pickup locations, there's still so much more to come.

Predictive analytics will transform the expenses experience by anticipating regular expenses claims, drawing data directly from calendars to route plan and pre-populating mileage claims, and making recommendations on optimal places for subsistence based on expense policy limits.

Not only will claimants benefit from these, employing AI and ML automation advancements will also make it easier to spot data patterns giving organisations even more power to eliminate fraud. 

Connected

All of these emergences in expense management give rise to meet the demands for a fully connected and automated world where expenses claims are being automatically generated in the background, enabling people to focus their business needs elsewhere.

System integration is also no longer confined to applications that support expenses processes, whilst travel and accommodation integrations are a no brainer, by looking at other business functions such as instant messaging and chat bots we can harness existing communication channels to support the population of expenses claims.

At the heart of Selenity is a mission to make expenses fun, and whilst at the outset this may seem like a tall feat; by considering every aspect of the process - how to make it an easy, seamless and an enjoyable experience, what could be more fun than that!

 

Glossary (the myth behind the buzzwords)

Virtual Payments

Virtual payments are a secure alternative to traditional payment methods such as credit cards. Virtual cards are the digital version of a credit card with a card number, expiry date and CVC security code. 

The solution works by creating unique, single-use card numbers. You can set spend limits, and the generated number becomes obsolete after a set amount of uses. Virtual payments provides greater security and convenience than using a traditional credit card, solving the security issue of having one card number. 

Machine Learning

“Machine Learning is the science of getting computers to learn and act like humans do, and improve their learning over time in autonomous fashion, by feeding them data and information in the form of observations and real-world interactions.”

Daniel Faggella, Techemergence, 2017

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