Business travel can be exciting and is effective for closing sales deals, connecting with clients or opening new offices. However, for travelers, the process of submitting expenses manually takes a lot of time!
By some reports, less than 20% of small or mid-sized businesses have fully automated expense management processes. Aberdeen Group in an April 2017 study found that
“49% of respondents identified the need to eliminate manual and
paper-based processing as their top T&E management pressure.”
This means the vast majority of these businesses are still assembling, routing, and processing their expense reports, manually.
In most organizations, the process of reporting and receiving reimbursement is poorly defined: collecting paper receipts, perhaps entering the data into a spreadsheet, or attaching them to a paper report and scanning or mailing them in. After submission, a certain amount of shepherding takes place to get expenses approved and ensure they’re paid by the time the credit card bill is due.
On the management side, the process isn’t any easier. According to Forrester Research, “T&E spending ranks as the second most difficult operating category to control.” No one can see where the expense categories or budgets stand until the end of the month or even the quarter. In the same study mentioned above, the Aberdeen Group found that a lack of visibility into spending is the top T&E area for improvement for 51% of all companies.
In addition, unless each individual expense item is inspected, it is nearly impossible to ensure every expense complies with policy. Another study found that fraud and misuse are the two biggest problems facing T&E processors today. Up to 20% of expenses are out of compliance, whether by employee error or intent.
There’s no doubt that today’s mobile technology can help businesses simplify the expense reporting process and automate submission. We all use our mobile phones throughout the day. By using the same phone to submit, collect and manage expenses, organizations can easily increase productivity, improve compliance, and manage spend more proactively.
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.