When it comes to expense reports, it is the business traveler who will clutter with several receipts. In contrast, snapping an image from a mobile phone and then writing an expense report within a few clicks can determine how expense management software streamlines the lives of business travelers.
Automating the expense report process and allowing for mobile submissions can save time for business travelers and can have a great impact on the finance function. Besides streamlining the approval process, automating expense report process will ensure policy and regulatory compliance; ultimately driving greater insight into spend analysis.
Here are some of the biggest impacts that expense automation has in the finance department:
Makes Expense Reporting Error-free
Reducing paperwork eliminates the need for data to be manually entered into the ERP system. This will not only cut time but also eliminates the possibility of human errors. Once approved, expenses can be automatically reimbursed and client-billable expenses can be added to invoices without re-keying the data into GL system.
Compliance with Corporate Policies
Enduring meal costs, hotel categories, and taxi fares are within the expense policy is difficult. With expense report software, all these policies can be automatically set in the expense system during the implementation phase and employees cannot submit line items that are outside the parameters set. Approvers will not need to double-check items for policy compliance.
For organizations with various tiers of allowable expense policies that differ across geographies, expense solutions allow you to configure business rules even at individual user level. There would be no more confusion for the employees or the finance team about why a particular expense line item has been declined.
Automating business policy enforcement can prevent users from trying to submit expenses that are out-of-policy. Integrating expense management software with corporate card program can help combat fraud. Mandating corporate card usage and making sure that amounts submitted for reimbursement match with those of credit cards can also help you get rid of expense fraud.
Insights into Spend
The biggest impact that expense report software can have on the bottom line is that the ability to analyze thousands of expense data points, spot trends, and identify areas of inefficiency. Extensive analytics provides real-time insight into the expenses from flights and hotel transactions to out-of-pocket purchases. The expense report system will present this data into visual dashboards; allowing finance departments to make informed decisions on the organization spend. The data can be used to help cut down costs.
Data shows how much a business is spending on flights or accommodation through simple data visualizations, which can be used to negotiate hotel chains or airlines to get better deals. In addition, if flight purchase data shows that a particular department is consistently purchasing tickets close to their travel date, you can prevent this from happening in the future.
Reconciling Credit Cards
Using corporate cards for business purpose offers major financial benefits such as cash back on the purchases made. Importing credit card statements in the expense report allows granularity in the transactions and each transaction can be assigned directly to the receipt submitted by the cardholder. Finance teams will not need to manually cross-refer card statements, allowing faster approvals and reimbursements.
Third Party Integrations
Expense management solutions can be used with several other external solutions such as online booking tools, HR, and ERP applications. Integrating these platforms allows data to flow seamlessly between each system. Not only this eliminates the data to be manually exported and imported between internal applications, but also ensures that you get the most accurate and up-to-date information for all transactions. This would improve processing times, eliminates potential errors and makes reporting hassle-free.
While employees appreciate the ease of use that expense report system offers, the finance team also gets the real benefits behind the scenes.
Guest article written by: James Maron is an author at SutiSoft, Inc. He shares his views on SaaS and Cloud-based business management solutions.