Construction businesses are under pressure from all sides as costs spiral and the squeeze on supply chains and staffing continue to tighten, and the cumulative effect is driving sector insolvency up to record levels.
The search is on for ways to streamline business process, cut costs and drive efficiency, and in 89% of firms – where finance departments say their payments and expenses processes are problematic – how you pay is a great place to start.
Technology has revolutionised much of the way we do business in 2022, with instant access to information, communication, and paperless processing making it easier than ever to make savings.
Business analysts Gartner estimates that firms spend up to 3% of their revenue on paper, but a huge number of construction firms are yet to fully embrace the benefits of digitisation, ditch the mountains of receipts, and eliminate the cost (and risks) of traditional manual processing.
Outdated pay-and-reclaim expenses processes, with lost receipts the biggest headache, are swamping busy finance teams. Diligence is paramount, with 14% of all occupational fraud attributed to expense reimbursements, but with each claim taking upwards of 20 minutes to process, finance teams are stretched to the limit.
And this pressure has a cost. Research published in 2008 found that when people enter simple data containing few formulas manually, their risk of error is between 18% and 40%. However, in a complex data entry scenario like a multi-page spreadsheet with formulas, that risk climbed to 100%. People make mistakes, and traditional manual processes make those mistakes almost inevitable.
This negative feedback loop create a knock-on effect across the entire business, slowing things down and creating problems elsewhere. Managers on site - who should be focussing on getting the job done - find themselves dealing with queries from disgruntled workers chasing up out-of-pocket expenses or fielding complaints from contractors demanding payment.
And with everybody facing financial pressure, patience is limited.
Many construction firms feel stuck in a rut when it comes to manual processes, unable to let go of the machine long enough to research alternatives. And the perceived cost and disruption of digital transformation prevents leaders seeking modernisation.
But elaborate software implementations aren’t necessary. UK Construction firms are increasingly taking advantage of the automation platforms that come part and parcel with all-in-one business credit cards like Allstar.
Allstar’s management and analytics platform Allstar Online enables construction firms to process paperless expenses and payments in real time at the click of a button through an online dashboard. On the job expenses can be controlled, paid and tracked instantly, without the needs for paper receipts, freeing up significant time and resource.
*ExpenseIn is a separate product that can be added to support your Allstar Plus or Expense account.
Research conducted by Allstar Business Solutions 2021.