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Pitfalls of Using Manual Expense Reporting

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Today, many organizations are still stuck using a manual expense reporting system. Does your organization still follow the paper-based, tedious, or a homegrown solution with Excel spreadsheets and email routing rules? Such outdated and manual systems are prone to errors and can cost you high in terms of productivity and money.

Here, we present the ways in which manual expense reporting can affect your business.

  1. Unable to Submit Expenses on the Move

Traditional expense reporting solutions need travelers to maintain expense receipts and log them in when they are back in their workplace. Hence, organizing all these receipts at the end of the trip is quite daunting for business travelers. A mobile expense management solution allows them to boost efficiency and save time while entering expenses and copies of their receipts from any smart device while they are traveling.

2. Poor Visibility into Reimbursements

With manual expense systems, users never get to know exactly where their export report is in the approval process or the reason behind reimbursement being delayed. Expense reporting solutions provide users with real-time email notifications if the report needs further clarification. Also, they allow users to log on to the system to view where their expense report is in the approval process any time.

3. Chances of Human Error

Errors are another major problem when expense reports are drafted with Excel spreadsheets. When all the tasks are performed manually and are based on paperwork, it is obvious that business travelers reporting expenses will make involuntary mistakes such as number entered inappropriately, duplicate expenses, and more. OCR technology eliminates the chances of human errors by relying on imported data and scanned images.

4. Difficult to Prevent Fraudulent Activities

Fraudulent activities in the U.S. have reached $2.9 billion every year, with 70 percent of the cases committed by employees who submit their expense receipts manually. Outdated expense reports lack safeguards like policy compliance monitoring, booking tool integration, flagging of any suspicious-looking expense claims, and more. The modern expense management solution involves expense report audit abilities that offer a secondary review process to catch mistakes or errors and thwart fraudulent activities.

5. Higher Costs, Lower Processing Speed, and Approvals

When you start adding up the total time spent by multiple employees to process expense reports manually, you will find that each report costs you $26.65 on an average. Switching to expense reporting solution will provide you real-time expense automation and will increase efficiency and speed to bring the expenses down to nearly $6.50 per expense report.

6. Ineffective Processes

Entering expense data into spreadsheets is challenging to stay on top of the incoming costs, especially when you have several employees sending their expense information. This problem turns worse if you handle paper receipts as they may be difficult to read or offer an incomplete record into the expenses.

Hence, you require an overhaul of travel expense management process in order to overcome such roadblocks. Throw away your Excel spreadsheets and get an automated expense management system in place to eliminate data entry. Streamline how employees will enter their expenses, so there is no need to view any other paper receipt again.

The Bottom Line

Efficient travel expense management is a tricky process, especially when you have an outdated and inefficient system lying underneath. By identifying the problemed areas and putting the right solution in place, you can enhance the way your company addresses travel expenses.

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