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How expense reporting is transforming the way businesses control costs

Effective expense reporting helps to save money

One of the barriers of effective employee expense reporting has always been a lack of accurate information.

This is a problem that’s inherent with the traditional methods that are used to manage reimbursement costs – paperwork, Excel spreadsheets and manual processing.

It creates a slow and inefficient system in which the more information that’s collected, the longer it takes to manage. It means that finance teams are liable to record only the most basic of expense details.

The reliance on manual processing also creates a considerable lag between the time a cost is incurred and when that expenditure reaches the finance team – this can be weeks or even months.

It’s this inability to access detailed, accurate and up-to-date information about employee expenses that make it such a notoriously difficult area of company finances to control.

It’s by tackling this information deficit that digital systems and data reporting tools are transforming the way that businesses are able to handle out-of-office expenses.

The switch to an expense management software such as Webexpenses doesn’t just deliver much greater speed and efficiency, it provides access to a wealth of data covering every aspect of an expense operation.

One of the powerful features of Webexpenses is its integrated expense reporting suite which allows all of the information that’s automatically tracked and stored by the system to be easily accessed and manipulated.

It provides the kind of management visibility that has previously not been possible, with detailed reports able to be collated in a matter of minutes – a task that could take hours or days using manual processes.

The benefits include:

Better protection against expense fraud

One of the most powerful uses of expense software is to help fight against workplace fraud. The falsification and exaggeration of reimbursement costs have become such a problem because it has been so hard for finance teams to detect.

With accurate data, a light can be shone on those areas of expenses which have previously remained unseen. Spending ‘hotspots’ within an organization can be identified and abnormal costs highlighted.

Creating compliance reports

Expense reporting tools are invaluable when it comes to providing external authorities with the accurate data they need to know that all compliance rules and regulations have been met.

Trying to collate this information is a daunting task for finance teams when they’re having to put reports together by hand. Any inaccurate or missing data in a compliance report is liable to set alarm bells ringing for external authorities.

Making the most of data analytics

With access to accurate data, you’re able to identify those datasets that are most effective for tracking the performance of your expense management. It could be anything from the length of time it takes to reimburse claims to the number of costs outside policy limits.

It’s by identifying these performance indicators that processes can be refined and improved over time. It also allows quantifiable goals to be set for finance teams.

Identifying future patterns and trends

While expense reports provide detailed information on past and present T&E spend, they can also be used to project into the future. Trends and patterns can be identified which allow informed predictions to made on the challenges ahead.

It allows a more proactive approach to expense management with issues being identified and tackled before they’re allowed to become costly problems.

So the combination of digital systems, automatically generated data and flexible reporting tools allow expense costs to be viewed in new ways. It’s removing the information deficit that has stifled our ability to properly control reimbursement costs for too long.

Webexpenses provides a faster, smarter and simpler way to manage and monitor employee costs. Find out how your business can save time and money by requesting a free demo.