The average amount of time it takes for an employee to submit their expenses is 41 minutes each month. This was one of the findings of the 2017 global survey, commissioned by Webexpenses.
Accumulated over a year and multiplied by the number of employees, it represents a remarkable chunk of lost productivity. This is time devoted to the menial task of collating the information required for expenses to be reimbursed - deciphering paper receipts, filling forms and estimating journey distances.
But the survey results highlight a strong correlation between the time this takes and the expense management tools used. Regions with the highest uptake of digital management systems had the fastest processing times.
Global expense trends
In Australia and New Zealand, where the use of digital management is highest, the average monthly time spent was, respectively, 37 minutes and 31 minutes. Where digital uptake is lowest, in the UK and US, the average times were 46 minutes and 50 minutes.
Typically, switching to a digital system such as Webexpenses will reduce processing times by 25%. It does this by providing employees with a smartphone app which allows costs to be updated on the go.
The smartphone app allows any paper receipt they receive to be instantly converted in a digital form. This virtually removes the need for any paperwork tasks and allows the whole management process to be automated.
It means that expense accounts can be updated as and when the costs are incurred. This allows expense management to be integrated into the everyday workflow, rather than being a dreaded and time-consuming monthly chore.
Efficient expense savings
It doesn’t just reduce processing time for claimants, the benefits are felt throughout a company - particularly for finance teams. They are able to monitor costs in real-time with all information collated and instantly accessible.
With automated processes and policy checks, it minimizes the amount of time required for menial admin tasks and frees up finance professionals to stay focused on properly managing costs. In doing so, digital systems don’t just provide time savings, they significantly cut losses to expense errors and fraud.
The 2017 survey revealed that around 47% of workers admit to having falsified or exaggerated their expenses with mileage fraud being the most commonplace cause. It’s a problem which contributes to the $2.9 trillion lost each year to fraud - representing 5% of a company’s annual revenue.
Webexpenses provides a smarter way to manage and monitor employee costs. Find out how your business can save time and money by requesting a free demo.