What is Expense Management?
As businesses continue to keep up with ever-changing external factors and the restrictions are steadily eased on home working, it’s more important than ever to get a grip on employee expenses within your organisation.
The past 18 months have tested all our internal business processes, and whilst muddling through may have worked to a point, now is the time to reassess your entire expense function in order to remain flexible and meet any challenges head on. And a good place to start is to get your expense management solutions in order.
But how can technology lead the way and what exactly is expense management?
Simply put, an expense management solution is a cloud-based system that intelligently utilises automation to provide your business with the means to process, pay and audit expenses incurred by your employees.
The not-so golden olden days
Manual finance processes using paper receipts are arduous and take up valuable time. Time better spent doing more important and impactful tasks.
While paper-based processes may get the job done, often they’re clunky, time-consuming, error prone and don’t provide the visibility into spend required to make cost savings. Gone are the days where expenses were managed on spreadsheets and receipts were stapled and posted. These processes can lead to problems submitting and approving expenses, resulting in delayed payments, employee dissatisfaction and failing to be compliant with company policy.
With each finance team member in a small and medium sized business saving 10 hours weekly after automating travel and expense management, a great solution gives time back to employees, allowing them to focus on the bigger picture and meet your business goals.
Aside from saving businesses time, simplifying your expense management through automation gives a better employee experience as well as gaining visibility over spend that allows you to clamp down on non-compliance practises.
So, when it comes to enhancing your expense management, it’s essential to invest in a solution that is robust and flexible and can adapt along with your business.
If you're ready to take the next step, here's what to look out for
Once you’ve kicked your manual processes to the curb, the next step is to decide which expense management software to invest in that will meet all your requirements.
Automation of your expense management processes is designed to save time, improve compliance and enhance employee experience. Here are a few features that make a great expense management solution to look out for:
- Tracks expense data securely and provides detailed reporting
- Automatically populates expense reports using electronic receipts – where pictures are taken of a receipt and data points are manually captured
- Integrates with existing enterprise resource planning (ERP) system
- Reconciles all expenses to give one holistic view of business spend
- Offers cloud-based tools such as a mobile app for claims on-the-go
- Alerts you to out of policy spend
- Simple and easy-to-use functionality for employees and finance teams
Plan for the future with confidence
Before implementing any new expense management solution, review your current expense policy and make sure it’s still relevant, up to date and includes any new regulatory or compliance changes. A good, solid policy should be clear, concise, and easy to follow. And when it’s built into your expense management solution, following policy becomes part of the process, giving you confidence that all expense claims submitted remain compliant.
The combination of a great expense management solution, alongside a strong expense policy will not only simplify your processes, it will also save your business money and help you reach your long term business goals.
Automation benefits all corners of your business. From the CFO and business leaders, who need full visibility of spend in order to make strategic business decisions to finance teams, who are always looking to save money and simplify processes. Investing in a great solution will help things run smoothly and align the finance department with the IT team, who can work together to ensure greater employee satisfaction and compliance.
And finally, to the end users. By providing employees with cloud-based tools that take away the pain and tedium of filling out expense claims, you can improve the overall employee experience; keep them happy, help them stay productive and leave time for value-added activities to drive the company towards success.
Automated expense management can have a positive impact on every part of your business. Not just in pounds and pennies, but through productivity, compliance, fraud prevention, employee satisfaction, and so much more.
To find out how Concur Expense can help you achieve all this and more see SAP Concur solutions in action.