Happay unveiled a CFO Benchmark report titled ‘State of Indian Enterprise Travel & Expense Management 2018’. An independent study among 200+ Enterprise CFOs and finance heads across verticals has contributed to the findings of the report.
This exhaustive research was undertaken by CFO India magazine; on behalf of Happay, to understand the current state of Travel and Entertainment (T&E) expense management across companies in India and the degree of automation in it.
In today’s digital era; where automation has become a necessity, the study revealed that most organizations function on an old and archaic system of expense filing. The report also highlights that 82% of companies are either partially or entirely lacking in making the whole T&E process automated despite it being the second-largest operational expense after payroll. About 50 % of the CFOs have understood this urgent need and taken digitisation upon themselves, to switch to an automated expense management system in the next 6 months.
According to Varun Rathi, Co-Founder & COO, Happay, “Some of the insights which came through this benchmark report are startling. Most CFOs are tired of half-baked automation, which is impacting the company’s bottom line. CFOs are now more focused upon the outcomes of their digital journey and getting the necessary technology integrations done, to make the automation process smoother”.
Companies lose significant amount of money to fraudulent claims:
Expense fraud is one of the most overlooked types of fraud and entails a staggering cost for companies. Still, 48% of companies do not have a system to detect frauds as T&E expenses are mapped manually. According to Happay’s report, nearly 55 % of the companies stated their inability to retrieve past expense data as a key bottleneck in auditing and managing T&E expenses.
Rathi goes on to add “In our experience, CFOs are the real change agents or visionaries. Despite the resistance from internal teams, they are taking hard decisions to get real-time visibility into T&E spending by moving into an era of system-driven policy compliance in order to stop fraudulent claims.”
CFO speak: Manual data entry and lack of analytics are the biggest challenges faced by CFOs
The report highlighted that 21% CFOs cited manual data entry of expenses and attaching of receipts as their biggest challenge. Another factor that makes the work of a CFO more difficult & time-consuming is lack of travel spend analytics (15%) around T&E expenses. This increases the workload of a Finance department furthermore.
Three-fourth of respondents in the study said, expense claims still had to be filed manually by attaching bills to paper vouchers. Quite surprisingly, despite the huge penetration of Mobile devices and desktops just 12% and 27% of companies allow employees to use these devices for recording travel claims.
Significant number of corporates have not realized the importance of automation in respect to GST:
What is more surprising is that 33% of the companies do not have GST compliant T&E solution and are unable to use any digital means to perform the calculations. Even though 67% of the companies have some GST compliant software, they still need the employees to submit tour bills and enter vouchers manually to claim input credit. The bigger issue is that wherever the company is using software to manage T&E it is assumed to be integrated with other systems, however, in reality, the data entry into the accounting system or ERP is being done manually by 59% of organisations.
“There are enough data points to prove that fully automated T&E has resulted into paperwork reduction by 96% and plugging leakages by 90%. Digital CFOs are more confident and are showing the urgency to adopt the new age, mobile-based solutions”, added Rathi.
Pain points of employee:
According to Happay ‘State of Indian Enterprise Travel & Expense Management 2018’, more than 65% of companies record employee expenses manually. Nearly 54% of companies are unable to provide their employees visibility about the approval status. Hence, employees and back-office teams keep spending a significant amount of time and effort in follow-up & claiming reimbursements.
Anshul Rai, Co-Founder & CEO, Happay said, “With Happay’s AI capabilities, employees can create and submit expenses without any manual data entry any source – like transaction SMSs, from the invoices they receive in their email inbox, from travel vendors & aggregators, auto-receipt scans, in addition to Happay Card transactions, etc. Employees can use the Mobile application to submit their expense reports, track where their report is in the approval process.”
Tata Tele business service hosts a Successful discussion with CXOs for resilience & business growth in Post COVID world
Tata Tele Business Services (TTBS), hosted CXO Round Table Discussion with industry leaders on building a new mindset for business resilience and growth. The discussion centered around Respond, Reboot and Reinvent as key imperatives; with large Enterprises reinventing their business models as they continue to respond effectively to the aftershocks of the crisis.
While the potential requirement for many organizations is to build digital competency, the larger goal is to be data-driven and leveraging the cloud capabilities. Moreover, witnessing variable cost structures, agile operations, and automation which could create stronger capabilities with digital presence and security.
According to an IDC report, ‘By 2022, 70% of all organizations will have accelerated use of digital technologies, transforming existing business processes to drive customer engagement, employee productivity, and business resiliency.’
Industry representatives such asUpkar Singh, Director IT, Fidelity Information Services India Ltd., Raj Neravathi – Head of Technology, Titan, Yogesh Kothari – Sr. Vice President, Quatrro Business Support Solutions shared their expertise upon business agility, examples from their professional career and how they are successfully driving the digital transformation journey for their organization.
Addressing the session, Mr. Shibhu Davies, Sales Head – North and East, Tata Communications Ltd. said, “There is a plethora of technology available in the market, understanding the most suitable one for a particular business is the key factor. To thrive in the next normal, companies must be data driven to make critical and timely decisions. While there is an uptick in the businesses investing in data and nimble technologies like cloud and AI, many are still struggling to maintain momentum. Businesses need to get out of cultural obstacles, address data privacy and governance challenges to enhance their degree of business transformation.”
Elaborating further on increasing adoption of Cloud communication, Mr. Shibhu Davies explained, “Cloud Communication suite like Smartflo being offered by Tata Teleservices are inherently designed for a digital or hybrid environment and is well-equipped to deal with the growing overlap between digital technology and enterprise operations. Besides enhanced efficiency and operational flexibility, it offers more robust security to your business with a pre-configured unified threat management system.”
Mr. Upkar Singh, Director IT, Fidelity Information Services India Ltd said “Covid has created an unprecedented impact across all regions – organizations that are flexible both from technology and operational perspective have been able to RESPOND in time, REBOOT their functions and are now REINVENTING result oriented approach”
Mr. Raj Neravathi – Head of Technology, Titan said, “During times of catastrophes, leadership plays a very important role in adoption to change. Composure, calmness, honoring and supporting every internal and external stakeholder through thick and thin helps revive business and defines leadership by example.”
Mr. Yogesh Kothari – Sr Vice President, Quatrro Business Support Solutions said, “Challenges that enterprises are facing in the current times is resistance to change. There is a lack of vision for creating a digital journey for the customer and technology know how for their business”
Highlights of discussion:
Challenges in Technology Adoption
The key challenges faced by enterprises for adopting new technologies extend both towards the changing customer experience along with employee pushback. Merely purchasing and implementing a solution in response to a localized issue does not equate to technology adoption and agility. Organizations are considering two key points, recognizing and responding to the shifting trends in consumer behavior and avoiding the initiatives that target specific issues.
The post-covid world has led to unexpectedly increased customer readiness towards trying new channels for interacting with businesses.
Organizations adopting to technology, lead to driving changes strategically through an ongoing process where being receptive to changing consumer trends helps in the formulation of effective roadmaps. These roadmaps can then be used to build better value propositions by leveraging the right technological advancements, leading to business growth and benefits.
Role of Leadership In Bringing Organizational Change
Leadership plays a very critical role while dealing with catastrophes. From healthcare solutions to virtual classrooms, from facilitating remote work and learning, from re-imagining online business models and digital revenue lines, to stepping up the cyber security, organizations are working on new challenges.
The pandemic has accelerated transformation multifariously for businesses in India. Organizations are re-imagining their business models, relooking at talent management strategies, and fast-tracking digitalization efforts to be more resilient to disruption.
Organizations are simplifying and enhancing their IT landscape, architecting systems for integration, balancing operational and capital expenses using the cloud. Investments are being made towards intelligent systems that provide incremental learning abilities.
Technology Investments for a Digital Future
Over the last couple of months, it has become increasingly evident that digital adoption is not negotiable. Having the right technology to power up digital strategies is fundamental in today’s business world. It is a business requirement without which organizations are not able to grow in a rapidly evolving market landscape.
A good business continuity solution that delivers digital workspaces to access critical applications, have accelerated the performance of organizational applications on remote connections. With right platform and solutions clubbed with excessive trainings, organizations have managed to continue with their operations without major loss in productivity or efficiency.
Digital technologies have caused a shift in customer expectations, resulting in a new kind of modern buyer. Today’s consumers are constantly connected and aware of what they can do with technology. Bringing the employees up to speed to cater to the new age customers has been one of the key form of investments for various organizations.
Respond, Reboot and Reinvent – The New Mindset for Growth
Organizations have taken immediate actions focused on keeping people safe and essential business functions operating. This has been relatively marked with high effort and possibly chaotic activity.
Organizations are adopting to the wholistic approach, recognizing evolving customer demand, channels of information consumption, building continued incremental intelligence including technology that provides agility. Agile decision making and strategy setting by enterprises have outsized performance and established a lead over the competition that sustains long after the initial disruption. By reinventing themselves, organizations have learnt to conduct operational processes and workflows in new, repeatable, and scalable ways.
- Gaining New perspectives, relooking at business models and embracing new models of harnessing technology have become business priorities.
- Reinvent on an ongoing basis to build an agile, adaptive & resilient enterprise for a sustainable future.
- Uninterrupted connectivity between all stakeholders, internally within employees and externally with customers and vendors across platforms and touch points is of critical importance.
Bharti Airtel Announces 5G Ready Network
In a major landmark, Bharti Airtel (“Airtel”) announced that it has become the country’s first telco to successfully demonstrate & orchestrate LIVE 5G service over a commercial network in Hyderabad city.
Airtel did this over its existing liberalised spectrum in the 1800 MHz band through the NSA (Non Stand Alone) network technology. Using a first of its kind, dynamic spectrum sharing, Airtel seamlessly operated 5G and 4G concurrently within the same spectrum block. This demonstration has emphatically validated the 5G readiness of Airtel’s network across all domains – Radio, Core and Transport.
Airtel 5G is capable of delivering 10x speeds, 10x latency and 100x concurrency when compared to existing technologies. Specifically, in Hyderabad, users were able to download a full length movie in a matter of seconds on a 5G phone. This demonstration has underlined the company’s technology capabilities. The full impact of the 5G experience, however, will be available to our customers, when adequate spectrum is available and government approvals received.
Gopal Vittal, MD & CEO, Bharti Airtel said: “I am very proud of our engineers who have worked tirelessly to showcase this incredible capability in Tech City, Hyderabad today. Every one of our investments is future proofed as this game changing test in Hyderabad proves. With Airtel being the first operator to demonstrate this capability, we have shown again that we have always been the first in India to pioneer new technologies in our quest for empowering Indians everywhere.”
“We believe India has the potential to become a global hub for 5G innovation. To make that happen we need the eco system to come together – applications, devices and network innovation. We are more than ready to do our bit.” added Gopal Vittal.
Airtel Xstream Fiber Rolls Out Gigabit Wi-Fi Experience
Bharti Airtel (“Airtel”) has kicked off the New Year with some exciting news for customers with the launch of hyper-fast Wi-Fi experience.
Airtel Xstream Fiber customers can now enjoy 1 Gbps data speeds over Wi-Fi and no longer have to be constrained by a dedicated LAN cable. The Airtel Xstream Fiber Rs 3999 plan now comes with a complimentary 1 Gbps Wi-Fi router to go with unlimited data quota and massive bundled content.
The highly advanced 4×4 Wi-Fi router, will enable seamless 1 Gbps Wi-Fi coverage across Homes and Small Offices. This will unlock a great experience for online gaming and animation and for work or study from home with large number of concurrently connected devices. Small Offices will be able to deploy multiple high speed connections for applications such as stock trading and online collaboration that requires reliable high speed connectivity with zero downtime.
Says Vir Inder Nath, CEO – Homes, Bharti Airtel: “Reliable high speed connectivity is a lifeline in today’s digital first world and Airtel is proud to be at the forefront of India’s broadband revolution. A key ask from our customers was liberation from the LAN cable to enjoy the 1Gbps experience and we are delighted to make that happen.”
Airtel Xstream Fiber’s 1 Gbps broadband plan at Rs 3999 also comes with a complimentary Airtel Xstream Box that offers 550 TV channels and OTT content from the Airtel Xstream app library that includes over 10,000 movies & shows aggregated across 7 OTT apps and 5 studios. It offers subscription to premier video streaming apps such as Amazon Prime Video and ZEE5, all accessible through the Airtel Xstream Box.
Airtel is India’s largest private sector broadband service provider with presence in over 150 cities.
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