Why user-friendly design is the core of great expenses management

Why user-friendly design is the core of great expenses management

It’s not unusual to hear grumbles about expenses but it’s slightly more unusual to see them being turned into the subject of a hard hitting newspaper column.

The hassle of making an expenses claim proved to be the inspiration for a recent article by Lucy Kellaway, the business management correspondent for the Financial Times.

Rather than a simple grumble, she provides a detailed insight into some of the real-world frustrations she experiences when using the expenses system provided by her newspaper.

She provides details of the various problems faced when trying to claim back £92.29, an agonising process which she says took nearly two hours and left her ‘close to tears’.

The two main criticisms she makes are with the system’s clunky lack of user-friendliness and the convoluted paper-based process required to make a claim.

She states:

“Every time I tried to fill in its baffling boxes, it replied ‘invalid value’. There are four pages to be completed; whenever I tried to move to the next page it informed me I had not done the last one correctly.

“When you finally submit the form, you still aren’t done. You have to print out the report, photocopy all receipts, then work out how to scan them all together and email them to some poor person who is paid to process them.”

She describes how some Financial Times employees even pay more tech-savvy colleagues to help complete their expenses forms.

Her experiences help to highlight the fundamental importance of user-friendly design when it comes to creating an effective expenses management system.

It’s the reason that webexpenses places such an emphasis on constantly improving and refining the user experience - to make sure the system’s able to be used by all employees, irrespective of their technical expertise.

The other issue highlighted by Lucy Kellaway is a problem which really no longer needs to exist - the reliance on slow and clumsy paper-based processes.

By making employees print out completed forms, photocopy receipts and scan in documents, it’s a system which removes all of the advantages of using a digital system.

With a new generation system such as webexpenses, the need for paper documents is virtually removed. Expenses can be instantly converted into a digital form using the smartphone app.

And once any details are entered into the system, there’s no need for any manual processes - no print outs required, no scanning or emailing - everything is seamlessly integrated into the system.

It means that an employee can put together an expenses claim in seconds or minutes rather than hours; meaning claims can be made as and when the expenses are incurred.

Find out for yourself how the user-friendly design of webexpenses can help your organisation to remove the hassle of expenses management by taking a system demo here