What will be the key success factors for finance departments in 2022? What are the biggest trends within Expense Management? Keep reading to see what industry leaders think about the upcoming year.
"A successful finance and payroll department in 2022 must be able to handle the challenges with flexible working methods and workplaces. The shift we saw in 2020/2021 with work at a distance is here to stay and it means a bigger focus on digital processes and reliable and secure IT solutions. If you want to succeed, this must be in place and the processes must be constantly developed so that the available resources can be used in the most optimal way.
I believe that today’s finance and payroll department must continue to work proactively and not as often reactively. Today’s leaders need more, faster, and more reliable data to be able to make the right decision. The resources that are available must be relieved in the daily work by the processes being streamlined and digitized or that you choose to outsource all or parts of the processes to a professional actor. All in order to have time to focus on what today’s business leaders need to be able to make successful decisions." - Magnus Hedlund, Senior Advisor, ECIT
"I believe it will be the norm to use Artificial Intelligence to interpret and handle receipts and travel invoices in the future. And that the standard will be to get receipts straight from the place of purchase into your expense management solution. The technology already exists, but the regulations are behind and need updating according to today’s reality. The accounting and payroll work will also rely more on robots and AI to keep the quality up in the repetitive tasks. This, together with the fact that personal contact and advice will become increasingly important." - Magnus Högvall, CEO, Accountor
"User-friendliness continues to be increasingly important, even in traditional industries such as finance and accounting. We have been good at helping our customers get everything right and reported correctly. However, in the past, there has not been much focus on the employees, who are the ones that do the reporting of expenses. They are not familiar with economic processes but have high expectations of intuitive and easy to use tools. We have taken a digital leap in recent years and, I believe, above all, that the demand for seamless solutions will drive the market forward.
In 2022, we will see innovations where different processes connect in solutions that simplify for end-users and let the finance function focus on controlling that everything is correct. For example, the employee’s private bank card can be connected to an expense management tool that has automated flows for payments." - Stian Brandvold, Sales and Marketing Director Nordics, VIEW Ledger
"The pandemic may not have accelerated digital development to such an extent – that power was already there –, but on the other hand – and not least – it has accelerated acceptance among users of digital solutions.
We see a continued trend where the acceptance of digital solutions for the finance department is increasing. Digital meetings, for example, have exploded during the pandemic. The physical meeting between people is still important, but people realize the value of being able to take many meetings in digital channels instead and have generally become more comfortable using the technology. That will be a driver for efficiency in general.
Furthermore, the interest in efficient solutions for expense management will increase and a shift to digital flow all the way from purchase to bookkeeping without unnecessary paper-based receipts will be even more demanded.
When it comes to the processes for a financial department a shift to more real-time booking will be important and the focus for the department will be more forward-looking and more time spent on forward-looking activities like forecasts as an example." - Peter Cervin, Partner Manager, Accountec Byråportal
Usage data from our expense management solution show that expense claims increased 106% between October 2020 and October 2021, indicating a return to pre-pandemic levels of business activity. Not forgetting that we’re in the middle of a global pandemic, we can still feel hopeful about businesses starting to get back on track.
In 2022, I believe that organisations will increase the demands on the functionality of their technology solutions. People are used to finding and combining services to fulfil their different needs, and this will become true also for businesses. I believe organisations will choose the technological solutions that have the features and functions that their specific organisation wants. For example; the expense management solution shouldn’t force you to change banks, instead, it should support all the cards you want.
With more and more countries opening up during the fall of 2021, only to tighten the restrictions again after a few months, the future surely still is uncertain. Even with the new normal in place, businesses are ready to start meeting up in person again; let’s hope we will be able to during 2022!
What do you believe 2022 will be like? Share your thoughts with us!