Just because employees are traveling less and working from home more doesn’t mean that they aren’t submitting expense reports as frequently. Once the initial flow of expenses for canceled flights and hotel accommodations subsided, travel expenses went down significantly due to travel restrictions and the predominance of virtual meetings. However, companies had to write new policies that included work-at-home expenses like N95 masks for those who were meeting customers in-person, desks, office chairs, printer ink cartridges, headphones and upgraded broadband internet connections.
If your company is still using spreadsheets to keep track of expenses, you're losing out on the opportunity to track and monitor employee spending to identify potential cost savings. You can’t rein in expenses if you don’t have an overview of how money is being spent and how much each expense category is costing your company by department and individual.
An emphasis on reducing spending is a part of the new normal that’s here to stay. According to How is Covid-19 affecting employee expense trends?, a report issued by the Economist Intelligence Unit, in 2021 many companies “will need to decide if the company’s remote-working strategy is likely to be short-term or permanent (or a hybrid of the two). This will give a better base from which to work out which costs are no longer as relevant for employees.” Automating expense reporting will save time and money and provide your company with the insight to make informed decisions about employee expenses.
The business benefits of automating expense report processingWith the centralized database, powerful search, automated workflow and integration options offered by document management:
Your employees can:
- Use an app like PaperScan, a free scan app for Apple and Android smartphones, to capture receipts from anywhere whether at home or on the road
- Eliminate the hassle of saving and keeping paper receipts
- Reduce the time it takes to upload receipts, create expense reports and submit them for approval
- Benefit from faster expense reimbursement
Your approving managers can:
- Stop relying on memory because automated workflow alerts them when new expense reports are ready to be reviewed and reminds them of monthly deadlines
- More easily check to determine whether an expense is business-related
- Approve expenses from anywhere at any time to speed up the reimbursement process
Your accounting department can:
- Reduce errors associated with manual processes like mistyping or hunting down missing data, so they can focus on more business-critical work.
- Prevent duplicate reimbursements and identify approved reimbursements that are not legitimately business-related
- Easily enforce policies regarding missing receipts, late submissions, mileage overstatements and credit card misuse
- More efficiently keep track of what has been approved and paid
- Limit the possibility of fraud with visibility into:
- Which employees exceeded spending limits
- Whether employees in the same position have differing expenses
- Comparisons of an employee’s previous spending habits to current ones
Your finance and executive teams can:
- Turn expense reporting information into searchable data to use for analysis and setting cost-saving guidelines
- Monitor spending through monthly departmental reports so managers or an audit department can review exceptions to company policy
- Respond efficiently to the increasing number of regulatory requirements regarding reimbursing expenses
Many expense report solutions are expensive and difficult to use and require a company to radically change its processes. With DocuWare, workflow design changes are up to you! You can fine-tune your processes when you’re defining automated workflows or stick with what you already have in place. When questions arise about an expense report, Smart Connect enables your accounting team to access supporting documentation directly from your accounting software whether that be SAGE, QuickBooks, or any other system. DocuWare also enables data exchange with your accounting or ERP system. We make automation simple and intuitive so that everyone can learn to use the system quickly without taking extensive time away from their daily tasks.