A business expense management system probably wasn’t your company’s first investment. Far too often, new businesses hyper-focus on sales, only considering accounting software several years after everything gets established. This leaves the incoming controller with a pile of paperwork to sort through and years of taxes and expense reporting to reconcile.
It’s easy to get comfortable with the current way of doing things, and introducing change is a hard sell. This is especially true of new software platforms and apps.
Expense reporting is an important part of any business, and a good smart receipts app that also functions as a mobile expense app can completely transform it. The best app for tracking expenses and receipts brings efficiency, accuracy, and automation to traditionally manual processes.
It’s not always obvious when these solutions are needed, so we have put together a list of warning signs to be aware of. If your business is experiencing any of these telltale signs, it’s time to upgrade to expense management software.
1. You’re buried in paper
Manual expense management processes involve a lot of paperwork. Employees need to save paper receipts for every expense incurred while on the road. These receipts are then attached to reimbursement forms and submitted to accounts payable.
You’d think it would stop there, but the accounting department then has its own paper forms that get printed out. All of this paper must then be saved for seven years in case the IRS ever audits the business. It quickly adds up, and the next thing you know, you’re spending capital on storage space just to house all of these expensive printers, ink, paper, folders, and boxes.
Instead of wasting time, money, and other resources on a manual process, business expense tracking software stores everything in the cloud. It’s all organized, submitted, approved, and backed up digitally, so it’s much easier to work on it now or even audit later. And it saves money in the long run.
2. Accounting gets too many complaints
When employees don’t get reimbursed for their travel expenses, they will complain to the accounting department. This pulls your trained professional accountants away from the work they should be doing and turns them into an internal employee relations department.
According to the Project Management Institute, $122 million of every $1 billion invested in a project is wasted due to poor performance.
Instead of wasting time and money addressing employee complaints, accounting could be focusing on cost-saving initiatives. The best app for tracking expenses and receipts provides analytics that gives insight into where every penny is going. By running these reports, your business can cut off any non-essential spending and save a lot of money in the long run.
3. Employees don’t understand the T&E policy
Every business has a lot of processes and procedures that need to be followed. It quickly gets overwhelming, and it’s no wonder things are often missed. Businesses lose nearly $3 billion a year to expense fraud, and that doesn’t account for people unintentionally making mistakes because they don’t understand the process.
Your T&E policy can be programmed into a smart receipts app to ensure that no mistakes are made and there’s no room for fraud. The platform will automatically accept or reject submissions that follow the rules, and accounting only needs to review the small percentage of exceptions manually. With this system of checks and balances in place, your business will stop losing money to these costly mistakes.
4. Accounts payable is always playing catch-up
Because manual processes take so long, it can be overwhelming for accounts payable to process everything in time. They’ll constantly be fighting to catch up on expense reporting and never have time to work on other projects.
For small businesses, it may be tempting to hire more employees — but that’s putting a bandaid on a broken arm. What’s needed is automation. The best app for tracking expenses and receipts has AI algorithms that empower your staff to complete 10x the work they used to for a fraction of the price of hiring 10x more people.
5. Employees don’t look forward to business travel
Traveling out of the office is one of the most exciting parts of being in business. You get a chance to see the world, meet new people, and breathe fresh air instead of being stuck in a stuffy office.
If your staff isn’t excited about business travel, it’s probably because they don’t want the headaches of tracking expenses and waiting for reimbursement. Webexpenses offers a mobile expense app that uses ACR technology to scan and submit them on the fly, eliminating those unwanted headaches and freeing up more time for the accounts payable department. This removes the pain points of business travel so employees can enjoy the work they do again.
6. You spend too much time fixing mistakes
When an error is made in business, it doesn’t just go away. Someone has to go behind everyone and redo the work so it’s done right. This means every mistake takes twice the work, while also pulling people away from completing other tasks. As mistakes continue piling up, the workload increases exponentially, and the business never actually gets ahead.
Automating expense reporting makes mistakes far less likely to occur. Automated business expense tracking tools free up valuable resources that can be focused on more important things like generating a profit and implementing cost-saving measures. If your business is spending too much time fixing mistakes, it’s time to start automating manual processes.
7. You’re still in business
The signs mentioned above are all reactive measures, but there’s no reason to wait until your business is in trouble to make changes. Even if you don’t think you need an expense management solution, it’s only a matter of time before you realize you do. If you’re in business right now, it’s better to take a proactive approach to stop problems before they even start.
An expense management platform seamlessly integrates with other business software and the earlier you start, the sooner you’ll reap the benefits.
Don’t wait until your business falls apart from manual processes. Get started with business expense tracking software today.