The benefits of expense management software


08 November 2021

Well-run businesses succeed by managing their costs closely. The key costs, such as people, premises and stock are easy to see, and easier to keep in mind. But the invisible costs can be equally important.

Wasted effort is a major drain in most enterprises. Colleagues generally want to spend their time productively, and for those tasks which are regarded as wasted effort, two things can happen. 

It’s difficult to get motivated to start the task, and it often takes longer than it should, especially if it’s characterised by clunky or tedious stages. 

Perhaps this describes the expense claims management process that you’re familiar with? Of course, expense management is a necessary process - how else do you reconcile and reimburse key costs without it? But a ‘necessary’ process does not have to be an inefficient one. 

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In many businesses, the expense management process is a multi-layered affair, requiring the employee to juggle paper receipts, data entry and expense category management. So, it’s no surprise that the process is one of the least-enjoyable routines, and subject to high rates of error and repeat effort. 

Given the ease with which we welcome technology into every aspect of our business and personal lives, it’s curious how the traditional expense management process continues to prevail.

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So, what are the key benefits of expense management software?

Cloud-based access.

Expense management software allows employees to file and manage their expenses entries from wherever they are, whenever they prefer. 

With the help of an app, this means that expenses can be managed in real time, on the move, via a smart phone. Good habits tend to produce good behaviours, and with the ease of app-access, employees find collating and recording expenses a simple routine rather than a tedious month-end chore.

Finance teams also enjoy cloud access because it helps to create a real time view of expenses, and manage them accordingly, rather than be faced with a month end crush of activity.

Save time, save costs.

Photographs of receipts, push button selection of expense categories, and online submission are just some of the time-saving elements of expense management software. 

And given that one of the key costs in many businesses is ‘opportunity cost’ (the chance to be doing something more worthwhile for the business), the software can free people up to focus on their core role.

Reduced processing time.

Digital verification of expenses means reduced finance team contact with individual claims. It also speeds up the management of receipts, reconciliations of reimbursements and payments to employees.

Ease of reporting.

Finance reporting is only as effective as the data inputs. Digital expense management can help to reduce data errors and can speed up the reconciliation and reporting cycle.

Auditable actions.

Technological ease and speed does not mean lack of managerial control. Expense management software allows all claimants’ actions to be fully visible and auditable. And with pre-defined claims categories and limits, it’s easy to simplify claims management and approvals, whilst improving the security of the claims process.

So, if the mention of expense claims produces the response of barely suppressed sighs and glazed eyeballs, it’s probably time to consider closely the benefits of expense management software.

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