The current pandemic has bought an unprecedented paradigm shift in working conditions. With many of their workforce going remote, companies are seeing a new type of business expenses: work-from-home-related expenses.
Since corporate travel has come to a standstill, most employees’ expenses are WFH-related like Wi-Fi bills, home-office setups, cell phone bills, etc. Along with the new type of business expenses, finance teams also have to reimburse each employee while ensuring they’re well within their budget.
Most companies also realize that the traditional manual expense reporting method, tracking, and managing are not workable with the current scenario. Finance teams are also challenged with the task of finding a tool that can offer contactless expense reporting, visibility into employee spends and reduced operational costs.
If your business still uses traditional means of expense reporting, it’s time you made that shift. Here are 5 reasons why!
Why adopt an expense reporting software?
According to a PayStream Advisors survey,
“The top benefits achieved by expense management software adopters are quicker employee reimbursement, improved visibility into spend, increased ability to enforce policies, and reduced processing costs.”
Seamless reimbursement, spending visibility, policy enforcement, and a decrease in processing cost are features that every finance team needs right now. The good news is, they can easily achieve that by simply automating their expense management system.
Here are our top 5 reasons why moving to an expense reporting software makes perfect sense:
- Employees can report their business expenses online
In the traditional expense management process, employees most likely have to courier expense reports with supporting documents to the finance team or tag them on email threads. Not only is this laborious for the employees, but it can be easy for finance teams to lose track of reported expenses as well.
With expense reporting software, employees can report all their expenses online in multiple ways.
- For physical receipts
Employees can use a receipt scanning feature to click, scan, and upload their paper receipts and invoices. The receipt scanning feature in the software extracts all crucial information from the receipt automatically. The extracted information is then uploaded and sent to the finance team through the software.
- For e-receipts
Nowadays, employees receive invoices and bills in their inbox after making a purchase. They can submit reports by simply forwarding the receipts to a unique mail id given by the provider. On sending the receipts to the unique email id, the software automatically generates an expense report.
Some expense management softwares, such as Fyle, also comes with an email add-on. By clicking on the email plugin, employees can create expense reports with just a click of a button. The employees can then review and simply submit the expense report. Employees can also submit their business expenses through text message, or Slack.
An expense management software automates the entire expense reporting process for an employee. It eliminates manual reporting effort, thus saving time and reducing human-prone errors.
- Finance teams can seamlessly collaborate with all stakeholders
In a conventional expense management process, the finance team has to wait for employees to report their expenses. To keep up with the stringent deadline, it usually ends up with the finance team chasing employees for submission, review, approval, or corrections. Not only does the task get tiresome, but unreported expenses can easily occur as well.
An automated expense software comes with a unified cloud storage. This helps store all the employees’ expense reports in a centralized storage space. This ensures that whichever method an employee chooses to report their expenses, it all ends up in one place.
Additionally, the unified storage space makes it extremely easy for finance teams to access and review employee expenses. The expense management software eliminates the need for the finance team to run after employees for pending tasks. They can simply view all reported and unreported expense reports under one dashboard. For unreported expenses, the finance team can also send automated reminders to employees or approvers to submit or approve reports on time.
- Streamline your process with an automated approval workflow
In remote working conditions, it can be easy for miscommunication and confusion to occur. Especially if businesses didn’t have a preset remote approval workflow in place, it could cause frustration and delays.
With an expense software, finance teams can simplify remote approval workflows as well. All they have to do is set up the process according to their company hierarchy in the software. After doing so, the entire expense approval process is automated by the software.
In an automated expense approval workflow:
- The employee submits their expense report along with receipts
- The employee’s approver receives the report along with the requirements
- The approver reviews and approves the expense reports
- After approval, the finance team receives the expense reports for reimbursement
An expense management software streamlines the entire workflow right from reporting to reimbursement. The software makes it extremely easy for employees to submit their expense reports, view their report’s status, and claim reimbursements.
- Curb policy violations and increase employee compliance
With employees working remotely, finance teams can find it extremely challenging to ensure compliance with a traditional process. It can also be tedious and time-consuming. For example, after Finance teams receive the expense reports from employees, they have to manually go through each expense and ensure there is no violation.
In an expense management software, the finance team can enforce their latest company expense policies with ease. With the help of the software, they can ensure employee compliance. They can do so by configuring their company policies into the expense management software. The software then enforces the policies into action. In the case of policy violations, the software flags and notifies the error. The employee can then go on to take care of the violation before forwarding it for approval.
Having a robust policy engine reduces the chances of policy violations. An expense report software ensures the finance teams receive reports that follow company regulations. This also reduces the time spent on expense report approvals and verifications.
- Reimburse employees and close books on time
According to the IRS, an employee must submit their expense report no later than 60 days after incurring the expense for the employee to receive reimbursement.
Both employees and finance teams can find it challenging to meet deadlines if stuck with a traditional expense management process. Employees can lose out on reimbursements, and the finance team can miss out on tax deductibles.
When businesses opt to use a modern expense management software, everybody can be a winner. With easy online expense reporting, even a pandemic cannot stop employees from receiving their reimbursements. They can also submit expense reports or resolve any issues online.
With employees reporting their expenses on-time, the finance team no longer has to overwork and overstress themselves to meet the stringent deadlines. An expense management software automates and streamlines the entire process to close books and reimburse employees on-time.
The bottom line
Pre-pandemic, the entire expense management process may have been manageable, but the same cannot be said anymore. It is next to impossible for employees to report expenses and for the finance team to reimburse employees without an expense software while working remotely. Using a traditional system will not only take up precious time but can also reduce employee efficiency and morale.
An expense management software like Fyle ensures productivity and support for the remote workforce. Fyle comes with all the above features and more. It can automate and streamline your expense reimbursement process to reduce costs and save processing time.
Therefore, if businesses want to regain stability and control during these uncertain times, they should think about adopting an expense management software.