How and why you should automate expense reporting

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Expense management software to ensure efficiency

How do your employees request an expense reimbursement? Typically, it’s a slow and painstaking process which requires completing a paper report form and attaching any supporting receipts or documents.

Some businesses have a slightly quicker process with the details being entered directly into an Excel-based expense report template. But whichever method is used, they both require information to be manually handled.

They require finance teams to manually process information from multiple sources. It creates a slow and inefficient way of working which stifles the ability to properly manage reimbursement costs.

It’s the inherent problems associated with manual expense reporting which leave businesses dangerously exposed to the risk of losses through errors and workplace fraud.

Expense Fraud Threat

A 2016 Survey Monkey study estimated that US businesses are losing around $2.8 billion each year to falsified and exaggerated reimbursements. It’s a problem with the power to stifle the growth of a business.

Alongside these financial losses, there’s also the increased risk of compliance problems caused by failing to provide the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) with accurate information about tax related costs.

It’s to protect against these risks that businesses are switching to digital systems that automate the handling of expense reimbursement. By removing manual paperwork, a system such as webexpenses increases processing speed by 25 percent and cuts T&E spend by 10 percent.

A smartphone app enables employees to submit expense information while they’re out on the road. Any paper bill or receipt they receive can be instantly converted into a digital form and uploaded to the user’s account.

Cloud Convenience

With information stored via the cloud, all of the data within a system is kept in sync and able to be centrally managed and monitored by the finance team. It gives them accurate information on every aspect of employee reimbursement.

This becomes a particularly powerful tool when it comes to meeting reporting deadlines and supplying tax authorities with the kind of detailed and accurate information that helps to avoid triggering an IRS audit.

Automation also enables real-time alerts to be created which alert a finance team whenever a reimbursement request falls outside a predefined limit. It allows any issues to be identified immediately and dealt with appropriately.

The systems also allow expense policy reminders to be delivered to employees via on-screen notifications. These can relate to the specific type of costs being claimed - whether it’s a business meal or a mileage expense.

Make the Move

So the benefits of switching from manual to automated expense reporting go far beyond a faster way to work. It provides a fundamentally new way for businesses to better manage reimbursements - simple, efficient and secure.

The flexible and scalable nature of automated systems also means they’re designed to grow alongside a company. They’re equally effective at handling the simple needs of a startup or the more sizable challenges of a multinational corporation.

Find out how webexpenses can bring the benefits of automated expense reimbursements to your business by requesting a demo here.