Today, thanks to smartphones and receipt scanners, people have basically eliminated paper and physical storage space required for expenses. One no longer needs filing cabinets with binders filled with papers that have been categorized annually or by type of expense. Another bonus is that nobody has to spend hours sifting through it all to access information in order to create reports.
Without an electronic expense reporting system in place within your organization, your employees will end up wasting more time, and money. And your managers are not equipped with the tools they need to approve expense reports, purchase requests and invoices. They can’t easily see if spending is in policy or how the request to spend money will impact their own departmental budgets. Then when it comes time to reimburse employees for expenses, without an electronic approval system in place, the accounting staff wastes time questioning and categorizing transactions, or worse, chasing down employees and/or managers for approvals.
Clearly if you want to be doing the fastest and most accurate expense reports, then you must utilize an electronic expense report system, since the old fashioned paper-based expense reports simply don’t compare.
Here are just a few of the ways that electronic expense reporting can simplify how your employees get reimbursed for their expenses, and how you and your management teams will be able to get the most accurate records that are available anytime and anywhere.
More Accurate: An online expense system gives you the tools to ensure expenses are categorized and all of the information you need to support IRS or other regulatory requirements are included.
Receipts: Instead of worrying about paper receipts, you and your employees can take a photo of the receipt via your smartphone or a camera-enabled tablet. Once added to the system, it is easily added to expense reports.
No Misplaced Receipts: Since all of your digital receipts and invoices are stored online, you won’t have to worry about misplacing them. Everything you need is accessible online whenever you want it.
Easy User Management: Many great features in an electronic expense reporting system include personal and corporate credit cards and travel booking integration, being able to create custom expense categories, and set up flexible approval chains. You can set approvals by named users, dollar amount, category or by business unit. For instance, a simple office supply expense under $25 may not require an approval, but that trip to London for the trade show would! Many department managers like being able to see budget information in “Budget vs. Actual” spending reports. Other reports can provide audit trails on approvals, spending reports by user and vendor, and more.
Online Expense Reporting Thwarts Fraud: Employees will be more honest when the expense reporting process is online; the system sets the right tone to foster more ethical behavior and doing away with the temptation for “fudging” expenses. You can establish clear expense policies for all employees to view online with visual policy queues for expense submitters so that they know if they are “out of policy.” There are also “Policy Flags” for the approvers, alerting them when a report they are in the process of approving is out of sync with company policy.
Real Time Access: One of the big benefits of an automated system is that you can see what is happening in real time or before the spending occurs. By using the spend management reports, instead of waiting for post transaction reporting on what occurred (e.g. accounting reports), it helps keep budgets on track throughout the year.
Easy approvals for reimbursements: An online expense system enables the company’s bookkeeper or accounting staff to efficiently facilitate expense report reimbursements. Accounting can review to make any final changes and can see the full report, with attachments and prior approvals. Reimbursements can be set up via ACH, Payroll or by company check.
Other Tools for the Accounting Team: With an online expense system, your accounting team has access to tools to make their job easier, such as full credit card statement reconciliation and integration of expense information between the accounting or ERP System, and other payment providers.
Helps Cut Spending: With an electronic expense management system, you can zero in on areas where you need to cut your spending and more easily identifying areas where you could make improvements. There’s configurable policy enforcement such as limits, tolerance levels, and red flags for going over budgets.
Finally, you can flexibly configure and manage expense reports to suit the needs of your own business, such as adding multi-currencies for international travelers, or adding expense lists that support laws like the Sunshine Act or other requirements.
If you are interested in learning more about the benefits an online expense management system can provide your company, fill in the form to the right and one of our experts will reach out to you.
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