Are you still entering receipts by hand and chasing managers for approvals? Suppose you are managing the expense reporting process manually. In that case, you are wasting time, missing out-of-policy claims, and not to mention the potential of fraud in the expense reporting process.
Millennials don’t have the patience to enter the data and upload each receipt manually. With automated solutions around the world, employees expect expense reporting solutions to reduce frustration involved in expense filing, approval, and payment process across the departments.
Recent studies revealed around 46% of businesses don’t track the processing costs of expense reports, and 43% manage the expense reporting process manually. The survey covers insights from finance managers, controllers, and accountants. The report shines a light on how businesses spend on travel and expense reporting and the cost involved in managing expenses:
Finance professionals find the best value with mobile apps and ACH direct deposits. This makes the process easy by avoiding chasing missing documentation and delayed payment processing.
Most businesses don’t have systems that flag out-of-policy expenses, which mean accounting is reviewing reports or policy violations, but it would result in cash drain when slipped in.
Manual expense management is time-consuming and comes with much inefficiency for employees and finance departments. Expense software makes it easy to process reimbursement claims and continuously checks for fraud and errors.
Besides increasing costs, inefficiency would frustrate employees, and with automation, the process becomes much more accessible.
Automated software would help in increasing productivity, cut down the manual entry, and enables employees to submit expense reports quickly, and managers can spend less time approving reports. Automation of t&E processes such as submitting requests, approval process, and integration with ERP and CRM systems will improve the ROI of the entire process. Mobility is another critical factor in automating the reporting and approval process.
Expense management trends
Employees want to use mobile devices to create reports track and submit expenses. Mobile app and external integrations are the critical elements in selecting expense solutions. Mobile apps should allow employees to track expenses, capture receipts and upload them into the system. And, the OCR can read receipts and auto-fill information without manual entry.
This trend will continue until professionals report expenses at home, over lunch from a hotel room, or on the flight. This not only saves time for employees but can accelerate back-office billing and reconciliation.
In addition to this, mobility enabled expense management solutions should comprise:
- Integration with the travel-booking application.
- GPS capabilities to auto-fill expense details
- Mobile currency conversion
Businesses want to reimage corporate travel during the pandemic time. With an automated expense solution, the finance department can monitor compliance to ensure employees are not misusing the expense management system. Alerts and reminders could help managers control excessive spending and cut miscellaneous costs.
An expense management system integrated with a travel solution will flag out-of-policy and non-compliant expenses. Employees may submit the same expense twice, which has to be flagged, and an expense solution can red flag such expenses and enable managers to double-check before approving. Without rule-based approval workflows, travel expense violations can be challenging to detect. The same holds true for work-from-home policies, and a recent report revealed a sudden rise in fraud and misuse of expense systems. Smart expense solutions can help finance teams create and update submissions at ease.
Integration with external applications such as ERP and accounting systems benefits employees and finance departments. Integration with other applications can help import data quickly between multiple systems. Accounting system integration can help process employee reimbursements easily directly into the bank accounts. Integrated expense management systems drive the friction out of the cumbersome expense reporting process.
Choosing an expense solution with built-in integrations can help retrieve details easily and enables users to report granular insights into t & E spending complied with regulations.
AI and machine learning
Machine learning analyzes data patterns and detects anomalies that indicate fraud or errors. Organizations can quickly spot potential issues using machine learning techniques. On the other side, AI-based solutions can enforce policy violations into the system and flag all the suspicious expenses for approver review. This way you can prevent miscellaneous spending and identify expense categories that violate expense policies.
CFOs must understand insight types and spot anomalies that indicate error and fraud. The process is time-consuming and tedious and cloud-based solutions are better as they can maintain large data sets.
Automation can reduce manual intervention and monitoring. The finance department can push expense reports from creation to payment in a click. The trends mentioned above can make your expense reporting process easy and hassle-free.