How can SMEs and Corporations Save Costs During the Pandemic?

The worldwide contingency for COVID-19 has led companies to quickly adapt to continue operating during the crisis and to conduct a detailed assessment of their resources to protect their future and that of their employees.

According to a report by the International Labor Organization, 4 out of 5 people – of the 3.3 billion who are part of the world’s workforce – have been affected by the quarantine and the closure of establishments and companies.

In Costa Rica, the unemployment rate for the February, March and April 2020 quarter increased compared to the same quarter of 2019. The national unemployment rate was 15.7%, compared to the same quarter of the previous year, it increased statistically at 4.4 pp.

Women have a higher unemployment rate than men (20.8% and 12.2% respectively) according to the National Institute of Statisticsand Censuses (INEC). Guatemala and Panama do not have updated records.

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In this context, proper management of business expenses is key for organizations to save costs during the crisis, much more so when various internal dynamics have changed due to the situation.

For example, in the absence of travel, business meetings and meetings with clients, organizations have had to reformulate their expense management to take on aspects that until now had not been taken into account. Thus, items such as home office tools, furniture and even public services have become part of what companies provide their employees so that they can carry out their work activities at home in the best way.

And it is not only about the inclusion of additional elements that were previously not taken into account. The general quarantines decreed in the world to prevent the spread of COVID-19 forced multiple companies to establish telework for all personnel. So companies went from legalizing expenses for just a few employees to meeting the challenge of managing those expenses for the entire organization. Each of these expenses represents a challenge, as companies must establish dynamics that allow them to manage appropriately and that their organization is not in chaos.

According to Javier Pollitzer, Director of SAP Concur for the North and South Region of Latin America, the situation described is shown as the ideal scenario for companies to understand the contribution that technology can make in their business processes.

Specialized technology solutions, such as SAP Concur, give organizations the ability to centrally manage the management of their expenses. This allows them to be more efficient, streamline processes and save money, “says Pollitzer.

Among the benefits for companies of an expense management solution are the following: Reduction of the time necessary to enter expenses.

Reduced audit and processing time for finance teams.

Reduction of time spent by administrators to review and approve expenses.

67% reduction in lost receipts Travel and Expense Detection and Prevention (T&E) that are out of politics.

Adequate controls to ensure compliance with policies and expenses, as well like identifying misconduct.

Hence, technological solutions are today the ideal tool to centrally manage resources and avoid as much as possible the loss of money and time in processes that are not fully regulated by companies.

Undoubtedly, the crisis has confronted entrepreneurs, allowing them to know the opportunities that exist in the automation of processes and the digitization of the company.

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