Creating expense reports may appear deceptively simple, but in reality, it’s far from straightforward. In fact, if your organization is still dependent on labor-intensive manual procedures, it can be a source of considerable frustration for all parties involved. Not only does this approach waste valuable employee time, but it also opens the door to errors, redundancies, and diminished productivity, which can negatively impact your business. It’s high time to consider implementing expense management automation systems to liberate your company from the hassles associated with manual expense requests and approvals.
What is expense management automation?
Expense management automation involves empowering employees within an organization to effortlessly file their business expenses through automated expense software solutions that demand minimal to no manual intervention and entail reduced data entry. Streamlined workflows are established to facilitate line managers and financial teams in promptly handling and reimbursing these claims.
The process of manually drafting vs. automated expense reports often feels overwhelming for a considerable number of individuals. Those who’ve had to undertake this task can attest to the dread associated with managing and processing these reports towards the end of the month, a period commonly known as “month-end closing.” In reality, these days can become quite arduous, characterized by laborious data entry and a heightened risk of errors.
However, the implementation of automated tools offers a transformative solution that not only alleviates the manual burden but also empowers organizations to make astute spending decisions. Furthermore, this automation promotes a heightened sense of accountability by enabling precise and accurate expense management.
Why use expense management automation?
Embracing expense management automation offers significant time savings for employees, line managers, and organizational leaders, liberating them from the burdens of traditional expense claim administration. Simultaneously, it delivers heightened control and efficiency to finance teams, resulting in a substantial reduction in errors during the expense handling process. Moreover, it bolsters the organization’s capabilities in identifying and preventing fraudulent activities.
Additionally, expense management automation plays a pivotal role in ensuring employee adherence to expense policies by proactively identifying errors or areas of concern and bringing them to attention.
Features of expense management automation
Expense automation should include several or all of the following features:
Automated expense creation
When an employee arranges business travel, covering aspects like flights, accommodations, train reservations, and car rentals within an integrated travel and expense management system, the system should automatically generate corresponding expenses. All essential details are pre-populated within the expense claim, simplifying the process significantly. The employee’s role in this scenario primarily involves verifying and then submitting the claim for reimbursement, making it a streamlined and hassle-free procedure.
Integration with finance systems
In an ideal expense management automation scenario, the integration of your expense management system with your accounting systems enables a seamless process. Once expense claims receive approval, they can be automatically processed for reimbursement. Customized workflows can be established to automate the payment of smaller claims while implementing additional scrutiny and checks for larger amounts, ensuring a more efficient and secure expense management process.
Accessible wherever you are
The optimal performance of expense management automation is achieved when it prioritizes a mobile-first approach and incorporates a dedicated mobile application. This application empowers employees to conveniently submit expenses while on the move. Instead of accumulating a pile of receipts to be attached to a report at the end of the month, employees can expedite the process by capturing and uploading receipts immediately after incurring the expense. This not only accelerates the reimbursement process for employees but also prevents finance teams from being confronted with substantial and often unexpected expense bills at the end of the month or quarter.
When you automate expenses, it enables the effortless submission of e-receipts, encompassing various formats such as PDFs and photos of paper receipts. To streamline the process, this technology harnesses the power of OCR (optical character recognition), which serves the purpose of automatically populating crucial details within the expense line item. These details typically include cost, VAT information, vendor details, and the date of the expense, simplifying the overall expense management process.
How to choose the right automated expense software
Selecting the appropriate solution should be guided by your specific needs and the scale of your organization. Several key considerations come into play when in search of automated expense management software.
Managing expenses across various levels can pose a significant security concern for your company’s financial resources. Therefore, it is imperative to opt for an automated expense management solution that provides comprehensive and real-time security measures to safeguard your expense management processes effectively.
Integration is yet another imperative aspect to mull over when in the process of selecting an automated solution. It’s paramount that the chosen software seamlessly integrates with your current system to facilitate a seamless and hassle-free transition.
It’s essential to seek out a tool that offers a degree of flexibility. This tool should be amenable to adaptation and customization. It ensures alignment with the unique demands and specific requirements of your company. Some solutions even provide the capability to design and personalize your own cards while establishing predefined boundaries, adding to their versatility.
Real-time look over
Conducting real-time checks within the expense management system empowers the company to monitor expenditures in accordance with their budgetary constraints, while simultaneously enabling the swift detection of fraudulent claims.
Automate expenses with the right software solution
Experience the transformative benefits of expense management automation. Say goodbye to the hassles of manual expense management, wasted time, errors, and diminished productivity. Streamline your expense reporting with automated solutions. These should offer real-time security, effortless integration, and flexibility tailored to your company’s unique needs. Make the switch to automation today and take control of your expenses, enhance efficiency, and bolster accountability.