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4 Reasons Why Businesses Need Expense Management Automation

40% of businesses have described their general workplace technology as “outdated” and 38% still use manual expense processes.

What does this mean? Businesses continue to spend time and money on unnecessary administrative tasks which in hand, leads to unsatisfied employees.

Here’s how expense management automation can change that:

Why businesses should automate expense processes:

  1. Provides a clear expense policy
  2. Employees can claim expenses fairly and accurately
  3. Improves spend visibility
  4. Allows your business to adapt to growth

1. Provides a clear expense policy

If a business doesn’t have an expense policy, it’s likely that their employees won't understand what they can and can’t expense. An expense policy typically covers expense categories like travel, accommodation, food, and entertainment. It helps employees to understand their limits and work easily within them. To create an effective expense policy, there are many guidelines available for businesses to get started.

2. Employees can claim expenses fairly and accurately

A manual process often leads to out of pocket employee expenses. Not only is it unfair on the employee, but it leaves finance teams having to rummage through receipts with little control over spend visibility. Here’s how employees can keep track of what they’re expensing:

Manage all claims within one mobile app: Manage the entire expense process on a mobile app. Employees can build, submit, and approve expense claims in any location. Using OCR technology, claimants can snap a picture of their receipt, attach it to a claim, and submit it for approval. Capturing receipt data ensures the expense cost is accurate with minimal chance of reimbursing an invalid claim.

An approver can keep track and approve claims in real-time; an important factor when gaining visibility of expenses submitted.

Business mileage tracking: Without a mileage calculation feature, businesses may end up reimbursing more money than necessary. Using an interactive map, a mileage tracker allows employees to calculate car, rail, and air journeys from a point-to-point destination. This ensures accurate mileage is submitted and finance teams can reimburse correctly.

Corporate card: A corporate credit card allows employees to separate personal and business spending. Separating the two spend categories, allows businesses to keep track and report on regular spending whilst limiting the risk of overpaying.

With Intelligent Receipt Matching, users can snap a picture of their receipt and automatically match it with the credit card payment.

3. Improves spend visibility

Typically, a manual expense process can cause back and forth conversations between team members, with multiple emails being sent. This makes it difficult to see who manages different expense categories and which employee they are coming from.

However, an automated process ensures all employee claims are set up with a dedicated approver with a clear understanding of the category type:

Set up approvers: Without dedicated approvers, expense claims can be delayed. A digital approach allows businesses to set up an approval process for each employee. Many expense management providers also offer a multiple-approver feature. For example, a small business may set one approver which goes straight to their finance team. Whereas a larger corporation may need approval from a manager, the head of a department, and the finance team.

Set up expense categories: As a business continues to grow, the need for different expense categories will grow.

Typical expense categories include hotel/accommodation, train/plane journeys, and mileage reimbursement. Once expenses like this are categorised, this helps finance teams to report on business spend - with the ability to spot trends and inaccuracies.

4. Allows your business to adapt to growth

It’s better to start automating expense processes sooner rather than later.

Implementing expense management software will allow employees to understand what’s required of them and guide businesses to success with stronger control over their business spend.

It can help speed up employee training, offer a clear structure to how expenses are managed and allow businesses to save money in the long run.

Get started with Webexpenses’ expense management brochure:

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