If you had to describe your expense reporting process, would you say it involves wrangling bundles of crumpled receipts, reconciling data between various paper and electronic spreadsheets, and chasing down employees to make sure you’ve got all of the information you need to get the job done?
Rest assured, it doesn’t need to be this way. Thanks to cloud-based technology, you can automate every step of your expense reporting process. Receipts and other paperwork are digitized, approvals and payments are taken to an online platform, and data is synced between systems. This makes life easier for administrators and employees alike—not to mention improving the quality and efficiency of your internal operations. Let’s take a closer look what automation can do:
1. Streamline Work for Administrators
Automating your expense reporting process will make a big impact on workflow. Instead of spending an inordinate amount of time wading through sticky manual tasks, administrators can leave the heavy-lifting in the hands of technology and use their time and energy-savings to focus on more strategic work—like analyzing business spending and optimizing policies and procedures.
Automation enables your team to customize an end-to-end web-based process that works for your company’s specific needs. Administrators can receive expense report submission alerts and manage approvals and payouts, with just a few clicks of the mouse. And with expense integrations, getting data into your accounting or ERP system becomes hassle-free. Plus, by nature, automation results in more accuracy and each process becomes faster, so expenses get submitted and paid sooner.
2. Ensure Compliance with Corporate Policies
Your existing process might leave you vulnerable to paying for expenses that don’t fall into your guidelines. Without the controls in place to efficiently or consistently “check” for corporate expense policy compliance, it’s difficult to enforce rules you’ve put in place—and that includes submission and payment timeframes that make a difference to your cash flow.
An automated expense reporting system has built-in controls designed within your company’s specific parameters. If certain expenses and reports get flagged, administrators can take a look for gaps and investigate discrepancies and make the necessary changes to the policy or its employee communication plan. What’s more, fine-tuned automation gives you the flexibility and bandwidth to devise more effective pre-approval and/or multi-step approval processes that makes your policy even more fail-safe and user-friendly.
3. Provide Better Internal Customer Service
When your employees have an easy way to manage their expenses, they’re simply more willing to create and submit reports on time. And an intuitive interface—powered by web or mobile-based automation—can go along way in engaging them in the process. Automation makes it possible for employees to build expense reports from anywhere and on any device, fitting into their on-the-go lifestyles: they’re able to record and edit a range of transactions, insert receipts straight from their smartphone or webcam, and submit reports for processing. And the best part? They get reimbursed more quickly.
Automation: The Way Ahead
Today, an employee might drop a stack of receipts and paperwork on your desk or send a lengthy fax with data you’ll have to key-in to your accounting system. But by automating your expense reporting processes using up-to-date cloud-based technology, you’ll be able to forget the stacks of paper and skip the manual labor. You’ll streamline your administration and enjoy greater operational efficiency, sure-fire corporate expense compliance, and ultimately, better customer service.