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Working from home has become more popular in the UK than anywhere else in Europe, accelerating the use of digital tools in businesses. As enterprises become accustomed to the new ‘hybrid’ working world, more businesses are shifting to using cloud infrastructure.

The move to cloud infrastructure allows the workforce to connect on one network and collaborate on multiple documents. For the travel industry, using the cloud is easier and faster as businesses become more data-driven and efficient, allowing businesses travellers to make bookings anywhere and at any time.

However, switching to the cloud is still a step into an unknown world for many businesses, especially those who lack specialist IT teams and are unsure about the benefits of this technology. To adapt to the hybrid workforce, struggling businesses will need to adapt and leave on-premises solutions behind. Here are five reasons why businesses should become more streamlined and improve business travel management by switching to cloud-based solutions:

  1. Saying goodbye to paper receipts

Perhaps the most obvious advantage to cloud technology is eliminating paper receipts. Paper receipts have been at the heart of the claim process since expenses began. During their reign, however, they’ve had a habit of getting lost, being forgotten, and becoming damaged, making the overall process a lot more difficult for finance and employees alike.

Thanks to cloud technology, organisations have found a new and efficient way to process receipts, expenses and invoices. Employers can use cloud-powered apps on their mobile phones, taking photos of financial claims immediately and uploading onto the expense claim platform. Adopting a paperless system is more reliable, and as the receipts are less likely to get lost, it ensures better security.

  1. Improved data capture

And it’s not just faster processing time that cloud technology can help with. Cloud technology can also streamline the end-to-end process, following the user’s expense journey and encouraging actions such as reviews and manager approvals.

As businesses will be able to access data quickly and efficiently, it will increase employee productivity – giving them the time to focus on other tasks and projects. Thus, making the overall experience from data capture to claim processing and reporting less complicated and allowing businesses to work smarter, not harder.

  1. Better visibility into employee spend

For small to medium-sized businesses, having visibility of cash flow is important to ensure that they are doing well month to month. In SAP Concur’s latest survey, “The Hidden Cost of Expense Fraud” it was revealed that only 19% of respondents are using AI for internal fraud detection, causing a challenge in visibility and in assessing potential expense fraud. 

Especially now that most companies have transitioned to a hybrid workforce, being able to view expenses through a digital platform ensures that the finance team have a full picture of the expenses incurred each month. Cloud technology has a great impact on budgeting and reporting processes for employees, as it automatically connects to other finance systems like credit card and ERP information, giving detailed insights of spend and budget. Departments will have better visibility into employee expenses, taking away the time it would take for manual reporting.

  1. Connecting to third-party apps

There always new solutions being dreamed up each day to help businesses work smarter and with digital acceleration, you never know where the next innovation will come from and when. The advantage of having a cloud-based expense solution is that it enables businesses to connect to a host of third-party apps, which help to better extend the value of their platform.

Take partners like EY for example, which can help to understand and mitigate the risks that are associated with domestic and international business travel like corporate tax risk, immigration risk, social security risk or regulatory compliance risk. Connecting this to the company cloud-based system will allow the finance department to work in a cost-effective manner, while also retrieving and utilising important information.

  1. Updated and protected hosting

Cloud hosting works on a connected virtual network, meaning that maintenance and updates can be regular and significant without employees manually making changes. Finding a secure cloud subscription will help to reduce all types of maintenance problems, as it will help to install regular updates and protection to the programme. This flexible and stress-free solution means that businesses will be able to concentrate on day-to-day tasks at hand. 

Make the move

The pandemic highlighted a technological gap, causing companies worldwide to push towards digital and to rely on technology. Traditional means are no longer enough, lacking user-friendliness, flexibility and options.

In order to tackle challenges in the future, it’s time for businesses to stop using outdated systems and work to streamline processes for the hybrid working world and so that they can work more effectively as a unit. By implementing cloud technology, organisations will have increased visibility and efficiencies whilst also improving staff experiences and productivity.