The Evolution of State & Local Employee Initiated Spend Management

This blog post is an excerpt from our recent research brief done with Concur, Modernizing the Tracking of State & Local Employee Initiated Spend. To read the full report, head here.

Knowing the challenges that state and local agencies currently face with their existing solutions for tracking and reimbursement, what would make government employees and managers happier in terms of managing employee initiated spend? And will that path forward be easy, or are there challenges along the way?

In terms of desired features in a solution, we asked survey respondents to prioritize the following technology features desired from a new spend management solution by order of importance, with 1 being the most important feature and 6 being the least important feature. By a large majority, automated features such as expense report build and real-time reporting and analytics were the most desired features, with mobile features such as receipt capture, report creation and approval close behind (See Figure 8).

This clear preference reinforces that deploying automation to make employees’ lives easier and get their reimbursement faster, as well as having a platform accessible from everywhere, are important priorities in state and local governments when it comes to employee initiated spend. We also asked what efficiencies agencies hoped to gain by implementing a better spend management solution. Less time spent creating expense reports and invoice approvals was the largest priority, with increased employee productivity and satisfaction and faster reimbursements rounding out the top three (See Figure 9).

Again, efficiencies and employee engagement were critical to the GovLoop survey respondents. And today that matters more than ever for government, because engaging and retaining highly skilled talent means that newer employees entering the workforce want to use the systems and interfaces they are most accustomed to in their personal experiences. Innovation and leading-edge technology is an attraction for them. Additionally, today’s government workforce is constantly on the go – changing the boundaries of old workforce patterns and the technology to support them.

This translates into increased employee productivity and satisfaction, and higher employee retention – but only if that environment ensures that mobile employees get the resources they need, regardless of their location, and they have the assurances of reliability and safety as they carry out the mission of the government agency.

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