The irony of company management is that money cannot be made without being spent. Every organization must thus cover these required expenditures, which might range from wages and interest payments to conferences and travel expenses.
However, you can be overspending on the expenditure approval procedure. The Global Business Travel Association estimates that it costs around $58 to file an expense report on average. About 19% of such reports contain inaccuracies and fixing them eventually costs $52 more each report. It is simple to understand how rapidly spending approvals may mount up.
You read about expense reports. But not all of us know what expense reports are. So let me explain what an expense report is. A document used to record company spending is an expense report. The form is typically filled out by workers to list the specific expenses they want reimbursed. If the relevant spending amounts are greater than a predetermined minimum level, receipts are normally included in the form.
But the thing is, that everyone dislikes it. An employee would simply hate it who must spend hours at the end of the month looking for receipts and reviewing credit card statements. Finance department as well, which must manually input hundreds of lines in a spreadsheet and follow up with the same employees for evidence of purchase. CFO would want the budget to be in order until suddenly thousands of pounds needed to be accounted for. And of course, the accountant, who simply wants things done correctly and is baffled by the disorganized state of the codes.
So, in short, it is a very important work, but it is a work that is abhorred.
So, what is the solution? It’s easy. Expense Report Automation! In fact, 57 percent of companies have already started doing Expense Report Automation because apart from the obvious limiting workload reason, there are some amazing advantages as well to using this system.
It’s normal to be concerned about the cost of change but continuing to use your antiquated expenditure management system can cost you more money. By switching to automatic expense reports, you may immediately start saving time, effort, money, and mistakes. It may pay you for users or subscription access, or it may be entirely free.
Visibility into spend
Expense management offers information for wise company decisions and goes well beyond budget accounting. Reporting on a variety of performance measures is made easier by centralizing spending information. Increased staff uptake and improved impression of where spending goes in real time are both influenced by ease of use.
Manage Risk and Fraud
Preventing expenditure fraud is one of the most important reasons to use cost management software. The cumbersome, error- and temptation-prone portion of the procedure is eliminated with automated expense reporting. Employees are not required to preserve receipts, and budget managers are not concerned about information being fabricated or interpreted incorrectly. Additionally, competent expenditure management software can tell you if your data has been stolen or if vendors are trying to overcharge you.
There are six basic steps to achieve automated expense reports which are listed below.
CHOOSE WHAT NEEDS TO BE AUTOMATED
Maybe you have a collection of spreadsheets on your computer to keep track of significant expenditures. Or maybe your staff still prints out expenditure reports to hand-deliver them. Think about how these procedures might run without paper or numerous digital copies before deciding how an automatic system may operate.
REVISIT YOUR POLICY
If you’re manually compiling reports, you’re probably adhering to a rather hazy, forgettable expenditure policy. Employees won’t lose time wondering if a cost will be accepted or denied if your policy is written in simple terms.
Your policy should be adaptable enough to provide exceptions for urgent situations and unique situations. The policy should specify the approval workflow’s processes and list the managers who have ultimate say in approvals. Make sure that all team members can quickly access the policy whenever necessary by defining recommended practices that are simple to recall.
REWORK YOUR WORKFLOW
Organize a meeting with your team to decide who should participate in the expenditure approval process and who should not. What approval responsibilities would be most appropriate for their tasks? Create a procedure that everyone can agree on using their replies as a guide. Workers’ approval duties may not alter significantly while working in a small team, but they will gain more time in the process.
CHOOSE YOUR TOOLS
Consider the tools and applications that will make your employees’ jobs simpler, such as a receipt digitizer, a mileage tracker, or a trip expenditure tracker. Choose the instruments that eliminate the most paper by asking them the ones they prefer.
One software application could have a mobile app that allows users to track their spending. Another option is a platform that doesn’t have an app but connects flawlessly with your current accounting software and generates reports on its own.
Many apps provide free trials so you may check out features before making a purchase. Keep in mind that the tool you select should be simple for your staff to use while offering comprehensive analytics features for you.
Find a program that links to your business checking and credit card accounts for maximum automation. Platforms based on the cloud are available and beneficial for businesses without strong IT assistance. You can investigate systems like Fyle, MobileXpense, SalesTrip, and Cflow.
CUSTOMIZE THE SOFTWARE
Spend as much time as you can becoming acquainted with the program once you’ve acquired it. Like any tool, you’ll get more use out of it if you put more effort into it. Utilize any training resources provided by the software provider and provide training sessions for your staff.
IMPROVE OVER TIME
Defy the urge to rely only on a brand-new technique to get by. As you may have heard, things that operate well often have room for improvement. Regularly seek methods to streamline the expenditure approval procedure. This is particularly important if your firm is expanding and you’re taking on more clients and expenditure.
This was all about the steps to take, but there are platforms helping them as well.
You don’t need to spend a fortune to boost your productivity; automation of expense reports doesn’t have to be difficult or time-consuming. You may design all the forms you want for an effective expenditure approval process using Jotform’s thousands of templates, including automated expense report forms, expense tracking forms, and daily expense reports.
Every business stands on the rule of spending and earning. It’s all about managing receipts and getting approvals. Your business may have different receipts such as employee’s salaries, travel receipts and much more. But it becomes difficult for the administration to gather and manage all the records.
Many businesses have transferred there records online but still many struggle to get online. It has many benefits such as cost efficiency, fair process, lesser risks of frauds and scams and much more. But you really need to differentiate the processes you want to automate. Some of the desirable and keep on updating what is desirable.