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How much visibility does your finance team have of employee expenses?

How easy is it for your finance team to pull together detailed facts and figures on employee expenses?

It could be data showing the average time it’s taking to process each reimbursement or a breakdown of costs based on different job titles and departments.

For the majority of businesses, collating this kind of information is a daunting task – time-consuming and complex. It involves manually transferring info from multiple sources, across documents and spreadsheets.

As a consequence, financial managers have had very limited visibility of expense operations. They’re liable to have access to only the most basic data and much of this is often weeks or months old.

This lack of visibility is a consequence of the methods most companies still use to manage out-of-office costs. A 2017 global survey, commissioned by Webexpenses, found that just 33% of businesses are using digital expense management systems.

Limited expense visibility

For most companies, therefore, costs are still administered using manual methods – typically a combination of forms, documents and spreadsheets. It means that reports have to be collated by hand.

This is a barrier which has been removed by a new generation of digital systems such as Webexpenses. By moving from paper-based to digital processes, it provides finance teams with 20/20 vision of employee expense costs.

The system automatically tracks and stores data on every aspect of employee expenses – ranging from basic spending costs to detailed compliance logs of each and every check and approval.

With the data handled via the cloud, all of this information is instantly accessible to a central finance team, irrespective of the scale or complexity of a company’s structure.

Integrated expense reporting tools

To make the best use of this wealth of accurate data, Webexpenses features integrated reporting tools which provide quick and easy access to all of the information stored within the system.

Reporting tasks that would take hours or days using traditional methods can be completed in a matter of minutes. The system provides a wide range of reporting templates with custom versions easily created.

This kind of access to data is invaluable when it comes to meeting tight compliance reporting deadlines and supplying external authorities with accurate and detailed financial information.

But more than this, improved visibility fundamentally changes the way that finance professionals are able to manage expenses. So many problems relating to expenses are rooted in the inability of finance managers to see what they’re managing.

Shielding against expense fraud

The most dramatic consequence of this has been reimbursement fraud. It’s a problem which is contributing to the $2.9 trillion that’s lost each year by businesses to workplace fraud.

A lack of effective monitoring has allowed employees to routinely falsify and exaggerate their expense costs with finance teams not having the information required to properly identify or tackle fraud.

With better reporting tools and a reduced administrative workload, finance professionals can start to properly monitor and enforce company expense policies.

Webexpenses provides a smarter way to manage and monitor employee costs. Find out how your finance team can gain 20/20 vision by requesting a demo.