Regardless of your company size - whether you are a startup, small and medium-sized business or enterprise, business expense management is a fundamental process that all companies cannot ignore.
Be it for business travel or other work-related purposes, the manual process of submitting business expenses is slow, inefficient and expensive. Such manual reporting processes can take up to 2 hours to complete and most employees perform these tasks during their work hours!
So how can you optimise your expense management process within your company? Here’s a quick checklist for you to analyse your current expense management process and find out what is missing from it!
Expense Management Checklist for Businesses
Does the company have the essential expense management features?
- Receipt submission and claims approval
Receipt submission feature enables employees to upload their expenses information or tap onto any imaging and OCR features within the expense management platform to automatically enter expenses information.
Expense management platforms have also automated claims approval by allowing managers to approve expenses claims from employees in a quicker and easier manner with a simple press of a button.
- Receipt storage
Companies can digitalise their expense management process as they do not have to store physical receipts but onto the expenses management platform instead. This reduces any back-and-forth communication as finance teams can retrieve receipts and any other information directly from the expense management platform as well.
- Accounting integrations
Is my company’s current business expenses integrated with my accounting process? If it isn’t, you may want to consider using expense management platforms.
Not only does expense management platforms shorten the preaccounting process, as they can be integrated with accounting systems to import any expense information. It eliminates the process of double-entry and assists accounting and finance teams during audit and tax seasons.
- Expense reports
Be it via manual entry or digital tools, having the ability to generate expense reports is useful for the company as it can be used to reimburse expenses and file for tax-deductible expenses.
The structure and field of the expense report should also be standardised and indicate individual line expense items as well.
- Company policy setting
A company will definitely have a set of expense policies that employees should follow. However, it is difficult for employees to remember all the expense policies and regulations that are set by the company at all times. Understanding and ensuring policy compliance may take up a lot of the employees time while they manage expenses.
Is your current expense management process able to automatically identify out-of-policy expenses and notify and alert employees on certain policy restrictions?
- Multi-currency support
Expenses can be in different currencies when employees make purchases online or travel overseas. How should employees convert their expenses to the company’s base currency and which exchange rates should they use?
Having multi-currency support within your expense management process can ensure that employees can get reimbursed accurately and all expenses are standardised across the organisation.
Analyzing your current expense management process
Apart from having certain features that can improve your organisation’s expense management process, understanding what your current process can do is important for you to figure out how you can optimise the process.
Here are some questions that you can ask yourself to see whether your current process is useful and efficient for your company.
Does my current expense management process...
- Automate the expense management process?
Automation removes the need for paper work and allows employees to manage their expenses anywhere at any time! If you are still using manual submission and consolidation work for your expense management, it’s time to consider using automation instead.
- Generate time and cost savings for the company?
How much time and money does it take to manage my business expenses? What other alternatives are there that increase savings for my company? Figure out what parts of the process can be made more efficient and seamless for your employees!
- Improve employee productivity?
Today, over 85% of employees are not engaged at work, and the economic consequences of that directly lead to over $7 trillion in lost productivity. It is found that employees usually work consistently for the required time but are always drowned by repetitive and mundane work.
If your current expense management process involves such repetitive and mundane tasks, automation can free up the time of employees that they can use to focus on more business-critical work.
- Reduce preaccounting and precompliance work?
Before the hectic auditing and tax season hits, you will want all the preaccounting and precompliance work to be done smoothly and accurately, with minimum frustration and errors to avoid problems arising later on.
If your current process does not do so, you can consider using organised digital solutions so that you do not need to cater additional mindshare to worry about these preaccounting and precompliance tasks.
- Scale with the growth of the company?
Will you need to change your process or tools as the company grows with time? Having a solution that is flexible and can scale with your company’s growing needs is a key consideration while planning your expense management process.
- Easy to use for employee adoption and use?
Having mobility in expense management is useful for employees to key in expenses on the go. Being mobile-responsive and device-friendly should be factored into decision making when choosing an expense management solution for your company.
Now that you have analysed the features and process of your business expense management, take the necessary steps to increase the efficiency of your expense management process!
Navisteps is also actively on the lookout for recommendations to improve our platform to create a robust, comprehensive expense management system for all. So if you do have any suggestions, feel free to drop an email and let us know!