Why is Automating Employee Expenses Important?
Why do employees often submit a late expense claim?
It typically falls down to one reason: a manual process isn’t working anymore.
Employees need a solution that will free up their time, simplify the process, and change the narrative of avoiding the end of monthly expense reports.
Here’s why delayed manual expense reports are common:
- Employees don’t have a clear understanding of what they can and can’t expense
- Employees are not aware of expense cut off dates and submission times
- The expense management process is still manual and time-consuming
Expense management software can help employees tackle these challenges by allowing the entire business to manage employee expenses digitally.
Employees can build and submit expenses through a mobile app; whether they’re at home, in the office, or on business travel and finance teams can manage claims in real-time with access to bespoke reporting for complete spend visibility.
Here's why it's important:
Ditch manual processes and use a mobile app
Employees who compile paper receipts on a daily basis are often not thinking about the best place to keep them. This makes it easy for receipts to get lost.
For example, if an employee is travelling to a work event and they have expense receipts for their train journey, lunch, and a coffee or two, do they fold and store the paper receipts neatly in their wallet, or are they focused on turning up to the event on time?
It’s typically the latter. Trying to manage business expenses on the go without expense management software often leads to misplaced or forgotten receipts.
This is where a mobile app can help. A mobile app allows employees to expense on the go by capturing receipt data and submitting it within seconds.
With a mobile app, employee expenses can be submitted more accurately, by:
- Allowing employees to build and submit claims in real-time
- Keeping track of what and how much employees are expensing
- Alerting employees if a claim is out of policy
Make it clear: what can employees expense for?
It’s common for employees using a manual process to not understand what expenses they can claim for. This often leads to delayed reimbursements.
The best way of combating this is to create an effective expenses policy.
An expense policy makes it clear to employees what can and can’t be expensed. A policy covers expense categories including overnight accommodation, food and drink, business and staff entertainment, and business travel.
Within each category, the policy will include spend limits and set costs. For example, for business travel, a business may set a cost of £20 allowance per meal for breakfast and lunch, but £35 for an evening meal. These distinct costs can help to diminish employees overspending.
How does this help employees submit expenses on time?
- No more second-guessing what they should be expensing
- Less confusion between the employee and finance team
- A clearer understanding of their spend limit
Set up regular notifications
Every employee has their own tasks to manage and managing expenses are typically the last thing on their mind.
Setting up regular notifications reminds employees to submit their claims for approval. Expense management software allows admins to set up a notification and specify a set date e.g. 1 day before a claim is due. Reminders can be scheduled as often as required, depending on the timeframe and urgency.
Also, creating a customised notice will be seen by employees every time they log in to their expense management system; via desktop and mobile. This acts as a regular reminder to employees and offers an additional way of communicating important expense updates.
Put the focus back into employee productivity
If your employees are struggling to keep on top of their expenses and are finding it a longwinded process, it’s likely that there will be a lack of motivation when it comes to submitting expense reports.
By updating your expense management process with automated software, employees can feel more encouraged to complete expense reports in a timely manner. It gives employees more time to focus on other important tasks and reduces the chance of working longer hours.
In the long run, employees will be rewarded with digital technology that can help them improve workload efficiency, and help businesses to save time and money.
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