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Why every business needs an expense management system

From our Australia office

Over the years, ERP systems have been beneficial in helping businesses manage the purchasing and handling of materials and revenue throughout the entire supply chain - from raw materials all the way to shipping and revenues. ERP systems have been so valuable for supply chain purchasing that the people who develop ERP’s have tried to mimic their success with expense management modules, from office supplies to travel expenses.

However, when it comes to expense management, using an ERP’s module for expense management doesn’t mean it’s the best answer to your business needs. A lot of times these ERP vendors will talk about the added benefit of additional modules that all sit under the one ERP system. The benefit of using an all-in-one, according to the vendors, is that they provide all of your business needs under one roof. What they don’t mention is a lot of these so-called modules cannot meet the complex needs of organisations and you end of losing time and money on both the back-end and front-end.

For example, say you have an employee who is constantly on the road and racks up numerous business-related expenses from entertainment expenses to hotel accommodation. Having a solution that offers mobile expense management at their fingertips makes this process easy and convenient. It also helps the team back in the home office, approvers can approve expenses with one click and using the expense solution with their current reporting policies. No training or cumbersome business processes needed when the system is specifically built for the tasks at hand.

Why settle for 'one-size fits all,' when you can use a specialised expense management solution that brings more benefits to your organisation? Every time you use an ERP’s attempt at an expenses management module, the chances are you are not maximising your efficiency. Specialised tools have evolved over many cycles of development and have taken many years to perfect. Is it reasonable for an ‘all-in-one’ to match the same level of functionality? Major changes and configurations need to take place. In other words, it’s a timely process and updates don’t occur often. A specialised system, on the other hand, can keep up-to-date with the growth of consumer technology.

Because of the complex nature of ERP systems, a trained or superuser is normally required for its operations. When using a specialised expense management system every member of your organisation can not only participate in its management but have access to your reports.

Additionally, you have the opportunity to optimise your business processes by creating intuitive and accessible systems that meet every need of your business.

Here are 12 reasons why a highly configurable but easy to implement an expense management system that directly plugs into your ERP can be a benefit:

  • ROI: When you customise your expense management system, you create the highest ROI for your business possible.
  • Credit card integration and reconciliation: Some expense management systems allow users to integrate their business credit card right into the system, allowing the cardholder to match their receipt and code directly from their smartphone.
  • Transparency: Is increased with a centralised data system that all departments can access.
  • Decision-making: With improved transparency, you also improve the decision-making process in more ways than one. For example, now everyone in the meeting has already seen the same information and is therefore on the same page.
  • App for all users: Many expense management software systems include a mobile app that is compatible on all smartphone and tablet devices, thereby ensuring that you and your team can access your system from anywhere.
  • Support: Webexpenses, for example, offers 24hr global support for all users.
  • Compliance: Build your policies right into the system for improved compliance.
  • Growth: You are able to design a system that grows with your company. For example, if your web-based orders increase, be able to keep track of receipts and have assistance with forecasting future expenses.
  • UX design: A specialised expense management system provides impressive user experience at all levels.
  • Auto-matching of credit card receipts: Spend less time performing manual tasks when using a specialised expense management system that auto-matches receipts.
  • Hierarchies: You can create approved hierarchies by setting different spending limits for different users, including spend limits for approvers.
  • Automatic character recognition (ACR): ACR makes receipt data capture more intelligent and accurate by using Google Vision that utilizes contextual analysis and adaptive machine learning.

The ability to perform easy integrations these days allows businesses to be smarter with the technology they use and can choose to implement over a one-size fit all approach. In the long run, you will discover numerous efficiencies that reduce expenses by going with an expense management solution. So, while ERPs are great, customising your existing ERP with built modules is not in the best interest of your business in the long term.

Why settle for less? Give Webexpenses four weeks to configure your perfect expenses management solution that will help your business move forward in new and efficient ways.