In today’s tough economy, the pressure is on to increase productivity while keeping operating costs down. Executives at midmarket companies are relying on technology investments to achieve this balance, according to an article in Business Finance. Many organizations can automate time-intensive manual processes like travel expense management as a way to increase efficiency and reduce staffing needs.

The Business Finance article draws on a survey by Deloitte of 696 top executives at midmarket companies for a report called “Mid-Market Perspectives: America’s Economic Engine — Competing in Uncertain Times.” According to the report, 45 percent of respondents say the need for increased productivity is restricting their ability to hire new employees, and 49 percent report that controlling labor costs is a priority.

It’s no wonder that 70 percent of companies surveyed are looking to increase productivity mainly through new technology and automating business processes, according to Business Finance.

One way many organizations can increase efficiency and savings is by automating travel expense management via products like Chrome River EXPENSE. These expenditures are significant: Travel, entertainment and other employee-reimbursable expenses account for 8 to 12 percent of the average organization’s annual budget, according to a 2012 Aberdeen Group report. At many businesses, T&E spending represents the largest controllable cost after employee compensation.

Adopting an automated travel expense management software offers several benefits, not least of which is the significant cost savings. Processing expense accounts manually costs an average of $21.41 per report, according to PayStream Advisors, while a fully automated system costs less than half that amount: $8.50 per report.

As organizations attempt to increase productivity while limiting operating costs, technology offers a variety of solutions. Automating time-intensive manual processes with modern expense report software is a great way to increase efficiency without the need for additional staff.

We’d love to hear your ideas and suggestions. What are some additional ways organizations can use technology to increase productivity without adding more staff?

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Our choice of Chrome River EXPENSE was made in part due to the very user-friendly interface, easy configurability, and the clear commitment to impactful customer service – all aspects in which Chrome River was the clear winner. While Chrome River is not as large as some of the other vendors we considered, we found that to be a benefit and our due diligence showed that it could support us as well as any large players in the space, along with a personalized level of customer care. Sally Abella, Director of Corporate Travel Harman International
We are excited to be able to enforce much more stringent compliance to our expense guidelines and significantly enhance our expense reporting and analytics. By automating these processes, we will be able to free up AP time formerly spent on manual administrative tasks, and enhance the role by being much more strategic. Ben Zastrow Zelle
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