How to boost your expense management setup for a new financial year

The reach of efficient employee expense management is still not at the stage it should be, leaving more than just businesses out of pocket.

Painstaking paperwork and lost receipts are causing UK employees to lose out on their business expenses.

A report by Barclaycard found that 59% of employees are failing to claim for out-of-office costs they’re owed - amounting to around £962 million each year. The main reason given was the chore of submitting expense claims, with the majority of companies still using a traditional paper-based approach for employee expense management. Claims are typically submitted at the end of each month, with employees having to fill a form or Excel spreadsheet - with bundles of paper receipts supplied as evidence of costs.

More than a third of respondents (37%) considered the process ‘too much hassle’ for small reimbursement costs, and 33% said they didn’t reclaim their business expenses because of lost paper receipts. As well as the financial losses that are being felt by employees, there’s also the frustration of having to wait long periods before approved expense claims are reimbursed.

Switch to smarter employee expense management

To tackle these kinds of inefficiencies, companies are moving to cloud-based expense management software, which streamlines the entire process both online or on your mobile. For example, the use of a smartphone expenses app allows claimants to instantly convert any paper receipt they receive into a digital format through automation.

The Barclays research found the average time taken to submit a claim was 25 minutes. With Webexpenses, claims can be created within 20 seconds. This means that costs can be submitted as and when they’re incurred, rather than employees having to face a monthly chore with weeks worth of business expenses having to be collated.

The improved efficiency helps to significantly reduce the time it takes for costs to be reimbursed. The switch from paper to a cloud-based software will typically reduce processing times of employee expenses by 25%.

Streamlined expense processes - improved policing

While employees can easily claim for any legitimate costs - no matter how small, automated systems provide finance teams with the benefits of much-improved tools to monitor and enforce policies.

Webexpenses allows submitted expense claims to be automatically checked, with alerts triggered if costs breach any limits that have been set by the finance team. Along with improved monitoring, a fast, efficient and fair system helps to remove the general workplace feelings of frustration and resentment that can fuel expense fraud.

Employees commonly use the ‘unfairness’ of a system as a justification for falsifying and exaggerating business expenses. It can turn the field of expenses into a dangerously combative area for any finance department if left unclaimed. By ensuring that employees are fairly reimbursed and company policies are properly policed, it allows an organisation to remove much of the toxicity that can build up around company expenses.

Webexpenses provides a smarter and safer way to manage employee expenses. Find out how it can help your business by requesting a demo.