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Manual Expense Reporting Process & the Best Way to Tackle

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Corporate travel reimbursements can be frustrating for all involved. Around 38% of employees use their funds for work-related activities, facing financial problems when waiting for payments.

Expense reporting has moved from having employees file expenses through the spreadsheet, but automation would eliminate the delays that parties face during the process.

The software that businesses rely on expense management requires employees to scan and enter receipts manually. The finance department must then review the scanned receipts before disbursing funds.

This means employees must hold the receipts if their expense report solution does not allow for receipt submission during the travel. Manual scanning and reviewing processes will increase costs if automated solutions have not been implemented.

Also, manual reporting could result in expenses slipping through the cracks, which means employees have missing funds. Employees who use their funds for work-related expenses have experienced cash-flow problems due to delays in the spend management process.

These delays can weaken employees’ financial security and affect productivity. Enterprises must understand how reimbursement frustrations impact their employees before they upgrade the systems.

Revenue Loss

Employees have to wait for weeks to get reimbursements typically. It is essential to understand that even minor delays in reimbursements can have lasting consequences for employees and their operations. Waiting for reimbursements is one of the biggest problems in expense management.

This can cause real problems for employees, which makes them less likely to take on business opportunities. Around 40% of employees feel that they stop making business expenses if the reimbursement period is long and would stop traveling for work thereafter.

Lack of travel would result in a lack of business, thus affecting revenue for the overall business.

Businesses must implement spend management software that can help avoid friction throughout the entire process – including the scenarios when employees file their receipts, and when they receive funds. Several challenges in manual expense management should be addressed before employees file expenses.

Many forget to send receipts when traveling; keeping all the receipts handy is problematic. Automated expense reporting solutions could alleviate the problems as it allows users to snap photos of receipts for expenses without sifting through piles of paper.

Such solutions can use automation to instantly categorize spending, preventing employees from waiting until they fill up reimbursement forms.

These tools can connect data from other departments within companies, eliminating lengthy communication processes saving both time and money. SMEs lack the finance and compliance departments, frustrating employees with many questions related to the process.

Educating employees

Lack of understanding reimbursement processes contributes to delays that increase costs and financial burden on both employers and employees. Many of the employees are not versed in expense management, meaning they are contacted for the missed information when handling receipts or requests.

They may also need information about expenses like which purchases qualify for business expenses or what all expenses will be considered for reimbursement.

Expense report software would eliminate the problem by automating the entire request to the reimbursement process, preventing employees from dealing with paper and spreadsheets.

Also, corporate cards can be linked to expense report systems, which can help import transactions automatically into the system. Employers can see spending in real-time, which can help manage overspending.

Automation will come with multiple benefits such as a mobile app, business rules, fraud detection, direct payment gateways, and automatic alerts and notifications.

The mobile app allows you to report, capture easily, and process expense reports for payments wherever they are, without having to be in office.

The intuitive mobile app is easy-to-use and allows users to open camera to capture receipts simply, and approvers can review and approve reports directly from the mobile app.

Organizations can save time and money significantly using the intuitive mobile app that allows you to get your job done with ease.  

Built-in policies do not allow employees to submit out-of-policy expenses and notifies managers when an out-of-policy expense is submitted. Artificial intelligence can help read patterns and spot anomalies that would result in expense fraud.

Analyzing patterns will also help you understand why the overspending is happening and if the allowed limits are as per the marketing standards. Any corrections required can be made as per the marketing standards to the expense policy. 

Direct deposits such as ACH payment gateway and card integrations allow enterprises to credit reimbursements directly into an employee’s bank account in a click. This way, reimbursement can be done faster without having to wait for days/weeks.

Also, automatic alerts and notifications trigger emails to managers or approvers, so there won’t be any missed approvals or payments.

Automation can help with all these by making things easy and straightforward, without having you to manually follow-up for every request. The solution enables businesses to get things done faster, so the masters can focus on improving ROI.

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