Ease-of-use and saving money are the top benefits pushed when promoting online expense management software like SutiExpense.
But, other less obvious benefits often end up driving an organization’s decision to bite the bullet and invest in moving expense reporting from paper to SaaS-based software.
Let’s take the example of the over-worked accounting department of a thriving management consultancy. Such consultants must track expenses for a matrix of accounting needs:
- Expenses per employee, to stay on top of what each employee spends when wooing business or when on assignment.
- Expenses by department, if an employee moves between functional area
- Expenses by country (notably Canada, with its HST recovery challenges)
- Expenses and time by client and/or project
This last category, allocating expenses and time by client, is critical for professional services firms.
- They bill clients by the hour for the time each employee spends on that piece of the business.
- They bill each employee’s time at varying rates (think Senior Partner vs. Associate).
They must allocate employee expenses to client projects and have the ability to split expenses for employees who combine clients into one trip, say, or work a trade show and entertain multiple clients there.
The online software offers functionality that can automate the capture of all these varying codes, and give administrators the ability to update the system and extract billing information quickly, without the involvement of the IT department.
The biggest step to accomplishing this is to set up the software upfront with all the GL code data fields needed to allow an employee to use simple-to-understand drop-down lists to:
- Identify each expense by GL category and client code
- Split expenses by item between client codes.
If a traveling consultant uses one hotel stay to work 9 hours at a client site, and then spend one hour that evening with another client or prospect, he or she can allocate 90% of the hotel expense to one client code, and the remaining 10% to the other client, or as business development.
When the accountant pulls a report using the client code, only 90% of the hotel bill will be included as billable to the client.
This, of course, puts the burden of correctly coding each expense on the traveling consultant, so we don?t expect our software to completely relieve the accountant of the need to audit the expense allocations, but reviewing those allocations takes a lot less time than manually working them out!
At SutiSoft, we are in the business of making the lives of corporate accountants easier, one properly allocated expense item at a time!
Are you a management consultant who now benefits from working with online expense report software? How great is it to have all your needed accounting codes right there on the entry screen for each expense item?