Implementing a new expense management system in your company can be a challenging task. Most of the time, it’s welcomed with disagreement from employees, especially those who have been working with the old system for a long time.
Not all people are comfortable with wide changes like this since this will require extra effort from them to learn the new system. It can cause unproductivity if the training is not properly handled by the management.
So what should you do to make the implementation easier for everybody? Here are some useful tips you should remember in employing a new expense management solution in your organization:
1. Choose the right product
Aside from the cost, you have to check the features and ease of use of the expense management system you’re buying. No one wants a complicated platform that presents a lot of features but makes it hard for employees to understand how to use it.
Take your time in choosing which solution will cater to your needs and help you achieve your goals. It should also be easy to integrate with any existing system or process you’re using in the organization.
Remember that it’s an investment that would last for years of operation. Make sure it’s worth every penny you’ll be spending.
2. Try it out first
Many businesses make the mistake of implementing a new expense management software when they haven’t even fully grasped how to use it. Most of the time, they end up not using a lot of features they paid for because they didn’t pay much attention to how each part of the system works.
Expense management software isn’t a product that you can buy from a store and then immediately return the moment you don’t feel like using it. They cost a significant amount of money which is why the decision to procure one has to be carefully assessed.
Luckily, companies like PixMettle are open to providing demo services to interested clients. This can help a lot in gauging if the solution they’re offering is the right fit for your business. You can request for a demo by visiting their website and providing basic details about your organization.
Try every feature the software has to offer and see if they fit your expectations. If possible, look for loopholes, bugs, or errors that can affect your operations once you start using the platform.
3. Set up the required data
In implementing the TEM system, the developer will have to configure data fields that your business requires in processing reports. You may need to provide them with a spreadsheet containing employee details, mileage rates, discounts, ledger codes, and other related information that your organization uses in processing reimbursement claims.
Failure to submit this kind of information will result in input fields and data columns that are inappropriate to your business process. This can further lead to miscalculations and misinterpretations that will generate false assumptions about the company’s finances.
4. Master how to use the software
Before you teach your employees to use the system, make sure you or someone in your team has mastered all of the software features. You should have a clear understanding of the underlying process the system follows so you know how the software manages the data you’re feeding it.
You can’t teach a person how to use something you don’t know how to operate. This goes for expense management software or anything that requires a subject matter expert.
There’s a high chance that employees will ask you a lot of things about the software so make sure you know you have the answers to them, especially if they’re just simple troubleshooting actions. The company that sold you the software will definitely have a support team to assist you but it’ll save you a lot of time and effort if you know the answers to easy questions.
5. Explain why you’re shifting
If your existing system is terrible as it is, then there’s no need for much explanation on why you decided to implement a new TEM solution for the company.
However, if people have little knowledge as to why they have to learn a new system, it’s best to give a clear explanation regarding the decision. Whether it’s because of a loophole that employees continuously exploit or it’s a move to better manage the expense reports of your growing company, people would want to hear it. They will probably want to take part in this organization-wide decision and participate in the implementation process if you tell them the positive impact of the shift.
6. Reinforce company policies
Having an automated expense management software doesn’t mean you can get relaxed in implementing company policies for filing reimbursement claims. The system will only be as strong as its weakest link and in this case, it’s still the employees that file the claims. Errors may still occur like mistyped expenses and incomplete documentation.
Automated expense management systems like PixExpense allow you to take a snapshot of your receipt and extract vital information to help you file your claims faster. It can also flag fraudulent reports and notify employees of any missing document that needs to be included in the filed claim.
Despite all these amazing features, the system has its own limitations. Everyone should be reminded that misusing the platform will be dealt with appropriate disciplinary action by the management.
7. Take one step at a time
It’s a mistake to fully roll out a new software to the organization anytime you want to. This action requires careful planning and there’s not much room for error.
You’re implementing the new expense management solution to streamline processes and make the handling of expense reports easier. Without proper training and information dissemination, you’ll defeat the primary purpose of the system and create even more problems in the long run.
Have the patience to let the employees absorb the new system. It may take a few weeks before they finally get used to the new platform. You can’t gather people, teach them how to shoot a rifle, and then expect them to be expert marksmen in a day.
Don’t ditch the old system just yet if you’re transitioning to the new platform. You can still use the old system while slowly teaching employees the basics of using the new one. During the first few days, you can train them to create expense reports and then teach them how to submit the reports on the following week.
Little by little, teach them all the features the system has to offer until they become familiar with using the new TEM software. This will be the only time you can shut down the legacy systems you’re using and go full throttle with the new one.
8. Teach a bunch of people first
Avoid teaching a large group in which not one soul knows how to use the new TEM system you’re implementing. This will just create confusion and dissent among your employees because they were surprised by your announcement. You still have to tell your employees about the plan of the management to implement a new expense management process but don’t use that same moment to conduct knowledge training simultaneously.
What you’d want is to start with the managers and team leads or get a handful of people per team that will receive training in using the new TEM software. This way, you’ll have a number of people that can help you gradually disseminate the knowledge of using the system without creating unnecessary reactions.
9. Create KPIs
How will you determine the effectiveness of your new expense management system if you can’t measure its performance? You can’t just blindly believe in statistics saying that fully automated expense management systems can reduce processing cost by as much as two-thirds compared to manual systems. Besides, what worked for other companies may not work with yours.
Are employees maximizing the benefits of having a mobile expense management solution like PixExpense? How easy is it for them to submit reports now using the new platform compared to the old system they were using?
10. Take note of any issues that may arise
Don’t expect the system roll out to be flawless. There will definitely be hiccups that you weren’t able to spot when you were testing the system. You can bring this up with the retailer and have it resolved immediately.
Take a look at how your employees use the system. Are there any features they’re not fully utilizing? Have they encountered any issues while using it? It’s easier to correct any problem early in the implementation phase rather than have it resolved after it has grown exponentially.
Successful implementation doesn’t end the moment you’ve integrated the new expense management solution into your existing system. It will take time before employees get comfortable using the new system. Your task will only be considered done once everyone is utilizing the new expense management solution properly and the company is already reaping its benefits.
If you want to implement a new expense management solution in your organization, one of the easiest to apply is the software PixMettle has developed. You can contact us anytime to discuss how we can help your business handle its expense management better.