Employees who have handled an expense report understand that corporate travel does not always mean expensive restaurants or business class flights. Employers, travel managers and the finance department deal with various aspects to make sure your business trip costs stay within a certain budget and comply with travel policy as specified by the organization. Cloud-based travel and expense reporting solution makes expense reporting easier for all stakeholders.
Here is the list why organizations must leverage travel and expense solution to handle business expenses.
i) Travel managers/staff require searching for travel booking options which fall under the guidelines for the category.
ii) When the worker chooses a travel booking option, the person must get it approved by their managers.
iii) At the time of approval, the worker is set to go on the trip. The person has to meet the client and dine to close deals.
iv) Employees need to save expense receipts to avail reimbursements.
v) If the staff loses expense receipts or forgets reporting expenses within deadlines, the person would lose out the amount on corporate expenses.
Moreover, there are chances of non-compliance and deliberate expense reporting fraud in case.
- The expense policy doesn’t lay out the framework of proper reporting.
- There are changes in corporate trip itinerary.
This is where the travel and expense management platform can help.
Features of an Expense Solution and How They Help
Managing expenses is complex for staff, employers, and finance department. It includes hours of data entry and compilation of receipts and reports or traditional validation and approval of submitted expenses. An intuitive expense management tool aids in cutting down costs, saving time, and offering complete visibility into the data which can be used to optimize your company’s business travel management.
Previously, travelers save receipts to file them for travel reimbursement after the trip is over. Keeping these receipts safe, ensuring policy compliance and timely submission of expense reports is challenging.
A robust expense management software can help employees monitor, scan, and save corporate expense receipts from anywhere. Once the trip has ended, the workers can submit the reports with a single click. The ease which an expense report solution provides to the travelers saves their productive hours. Plus, the solution enables employees to integrate with daily applications, such as Outlook, G-suite, and much more.
The finance department is tasked with validating the receipts manually with claims, thus ensuring policy compliance, and processing reimbursements to employees. In case of non-compliance expenses, this report is sent back to the employee for verification and justification. The finance team also need to check and pull out-of-policy expenses, and fraudulent claims. The time-consuming activities results in delayed reimbursements that hurts employee morale and productivity.
Travel software ensures real-time policy compliance by raising the flags for non-compliant costs at the source of expense generation. It enables employees to verify the mistakes without the finance team members having to hunt them. It saves time and effort for stakeholders in the procedure. Plus, when it comes to travel booking, the solution automates the whole method of expense reporting while ensuring expense policy compliance and audit readiness.
Moreover, the expense application enables approvers to initiate various transactions to bank accounts from a centralized T&E management dashboard. The business travel reimbursement feature enables approvers/finance team to monitor transaction status straight from the dashboard. It enables for an overall view of corporate costs which aid the finance department gain visibility into employees spending.
Travel costs take place before the trip does. Hence, employees get cash advances for travel bookings. These bookings are usually done by the staff or the manager. The staff, approvers or managers should know the policy, preferred suppliers, and budget limitations. Plus, the booking preferences and confirmation all occur at the time of billing hours.
An expense reporting application automates the procedure and enables workers to raise trip requests directly and submit the list of preferred suppliers to the approvers. It can be later forwarded to the suppliers for booking purpose. Once the details are intact, the providers send the trip request to the employee to confirm. The bookings can be confirmed instantly on approval. A robust expense solution provides 360-degree trip reports which bring corporate expenses incurred for a specific corporate trip under one trip report.
Key Advantages of Leveraging T&E System
- Easy integration with existing apps like HR, ERP, and accounting system
- Seamless hotel/travel bookings for corporate trips
- Flagging out non-compliant expenses
- Minimized turnaround times for travel reimbursement
- Integration of business credit cards and automated reconciliation
- Mileage tracking
- Granular insight into trip statuses and expenses
- Industry-specific security practices and implementing privacy measures
Traditional expense reporting process is time-consuming, arduous, and may lead to unnecessary errors. So, a real-time expense reporting and analytics platform can aid you handles costs, offer quick reimbursements, receive granular insights, and generate data-backed strategies. In order to make the switch from manual bookkeeping to expense reporting, the business requires a good travel and expense tracking solution.