To firmly understand what your company's current expense management processes are costing, for the first step, you must assess how expenses are submitted and approved today. This will allow you to get a better grasp of costs, areas that impact productivity, and potential risks of fraud or overspending budgets. It is important to determine how manual your expense processes are today. Think through some of the risks and procedures identified below.
Once you have determined the steps you’re using and how they impact productivity, tangible costs, compliance risk, and even management’s ability to assess trends, the next step is to review the areas below and identify which ones negatively impact your profitability. Generally, the more manual, the more costly these are to your company.
How much is lost productivity costing your team?
Time to assemble and submit an expense report
Approvers review the reports
Accountants review and ask questions about reports
Expense reconciliation and tracking
Reimbursement processing and accounting updates
Time required for reimbursement (Keep in mind that if employees are checking their accounts because they can’t pay a bill, it means they are not as productive.)
What are your “out-of-pocket” expenses for processing reports?
Office supplies needed for expense reports and management, such as paper, printer ink, envelopes, etc.
Postage or overnight shipping costs
Storage space for archived expense reports
Are expense reports thoroughly inspected to identify policy breaches?
Employees will make honest mistakes with data entry issues causing undetected errors or faulty data
Duplicate expenses might be filed by accident
Employee fraud occurs more often than expected
Travelers may be unaware of travel or expense policies
Does management have a good handle on the expense management process or are they often surprised?
Monthly or quarterly travel or other expense budgets are exceeded, without departmental or executive manager awareness
Management doesn’t have insight into how many trips are taken by a particular department or for a specific client
Employees complain that they are not reimbursed in a timely manner
There is a backlog in administrative tasks for expense processing
Following the review of your company’s current expense processes and challenges, create a list of requirements that a digitized expense management solution for your company should contain. These might include:
Mobile capabilities for receipt capture, submission, approval, and accounting administration
Automation of expense report creation
Ability to embed a flexible digital expense policy within the system that flags non-compliant submissions and notifies submitters and approvers
Integration with back office software systems
Intuitive user interfaces for both submitters using the system and administrative team members so no or minimal training is required
Real-time management reports on spending trends and budget impacts
Multiple currency and language functionalities
If you need help understanding your current expense processes, determining the value of automating your expense processes, or building a business case allows you to move forward with mobile expense management, download the complementary 3-Step Guide below.