Conferma has issued exclusive new research revealing that the cost of expenses management for the financial services industry in Australia, including banks, credit card companies, accountancy firms and other companies responsible for managing money, averages over $1m. Research for the leading Virtual Card provider, carried out by Opinion Matters, is able to expose figures that paint a worrying picture of poor management and processes.

Simon Barker, CEO of Conferma,
said: “The financial services industry should be leading the way for expenses efficiency. They are more aware than any other industry of the financial cost, the time lost to manual data entry and risks such as employee expenses fraud and inconsistencies in company records. As such, it doesn’t come as a surprise that so many leaders in financial services would be concerned about inefficient processes, but it is surprising that many are still using outdated and unproductive systems to manage their corporate expenses.”

The research found that 97% of businesses in financial services admit concerns over their current expenses management systems. With heavy regulation from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority (APRA) among others, and a focus on mitigating financial risk for their clients as well as their own business, it’s understandable that so many businesses in this sector may have apprehensions about unproductive expenses processes.

Among their concerns are the cost of inefficiencies, the time consuming process of manual reconciliation, and that they believe they may be vulnerable to employee expenses fraud using archaic expenses management systems.

The research revealed that 60% of Australian big businesses are looking to mobile payments as a possible solution to current problems. 22% of financial services companies use virtual cards to combat this, which automatically reconcile expenses data against payment transaction records and can be sent to employees’ mobile devices.

Simon Barker: “Virtual cards are revolutionising the way every business pays its expenses. Rather than issue company cards or cash advances, companies are using this highly secure, highly accountable form of payment as a far more cost-effective alternative. Conferma’s solution has been widely used by businesses based in the UK, USA and Europe, and Conferma are ready to lend their expertise to the Australian and Asia Pacific market to help solve these problems.

“Expenses management can be automated and rationalised making it less costly in terms of both time and money. In financial services, and for any business processing corporate expenses, the need for Conferma’s solution is absolutely vital.”

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