Today, many aspects of managing the workplace have been digitized.
In fact, 91% of businesses worldwide are engaged in some form of digital initiative. Digitalization can help keep the workplace neat and the employees more productive. It's because you don't need to keep everything in bulky folders, where every invoice or document has to be organized.
Automating receipt management might be especially important for SMBs (Small and Medium Businesses) because they are often understaffed. SMB employees also fill multiple roles simultaneously. Increasing productivity through reducing redundant tasks is a priority in such cases.
If you need help with tracking business records and expenses, it's time to invest in receipt management software. It helps businesses in the tedious expense management process by storing every receipt in one place. It also helps your employees focus on the tasks that are crucial to meeting team and, ultimately, business goals.
How Does Automated Receipt Management Work?
Automated Receipt Management is made possible by receipt scanning apps. These are applications that allow the capturing of images of receipts and expense tracking. They are often mobile apps. You can easily take a picture of the receipt, add it to the database, and categorize it.
Usually, the receipt scanner app automatically adds the data to your accounting software without requiring manual entry. You can also quickly search for these "smart receipts" in the app with keywords and filters.
5 Benefits of Automated Receipt Management for SMBs
The ease of use and a reduction in paperwork are just a few benefits of receipt management apps. Below, we go into more detail about the specific advantages of automated receipt management through receipt tracking software:
1. Improved Accuracy
Inaccurate data can reduce productivity in the workplace. Poor-quality data can cost U.S. companies $3 trillion every year.
But how do you get inaccurate data? People are prone to errors. When you give them more work than they can handle, the chances of them committing mistakes increase, too. So, when your accountants manually check hundreds of expense receipts, for example, the chances of generating inaccurate data are high.
Because the scanning app uses OCR (Optical Character Recognition), it can automatically extract meaningful information from the receipt. The result is that it can reduce the number of errors and workload of entering data by hand. You can upload a file or take a photo to add the expense to the app. The software usually has a drag-and-drop interface where you can upload your receipts in bulk.
Automated receipt management tools also make it easier to accurately estimate expenses and track the amounts spent by employees on behalf of the company.
For example, receipt scanners can make mileage tracking much more accurate. Employees can scan a receipt and add it to the app immediately when on the road. Some receipt management tools even have a built-in function for managing mileage tracking. Check out the example below:
Some tools can also automatically import receipts from services like Uber and Airbnb. Additionally, these tools can import expenses automatically from the employee’s company credit card. Since all these are automated processes, the chances of inaccurate data input are reduced.
2. Time Savings for Accounting and Management
Receipt scanners can create a foolproof digital filing system where every expense is tracked and documented. In addition, all receipts are centralized and securely stored. So, your accounting department can search for any receipt or expense based on employee parameters like amount, date of spend, level, department, and other filters.
In other words, automated receipt management can help your accounting department find precisely what they’re looking for in seconds. They don’t have to go through paper files.
By automating the receipt management process, the accounting department can also significantly reduce the time it takes to track expenses and maintain financial records. Receipt management software can help them do this through proper process automation. Receipt scanning apps can provide real-time data on expenses, allowing them to quickly and easily monitor the business’ financial status.
Some apps also allow for the customization of approval workflows or give the authority to approve the expenses on behalf of other employees. To use the app, employees just need to register and go through email verification by the admin. Then they can use the app to send images of the receipts anywhere. This can significantly speed up management approval of business expenses.
3. Better Financial Management for Businesses
One of the most significant benefits of receipt scanners is improved record-keeping. Receipt management automation ensures you can accurately record employee expenses, reducing the likelihood of errors that can lead to financial mismanagement.
Receipt management tools also provide businesses like yours with increased financial control. By tracking receipts and expenses in real-time, you can identify areas where there’s overspending and make necessary adjustments to the budget.
Some receipt applications can also give you tips for tax deductions, which can help your business increase profits and marginalize expenses. Ultimately, you can create a report detailing your action to improve your business finances. An outline generator can help you make the skeleton of your report. So, if you need to upload the full report on your website for transparency, it will be easily found because it’s SEO-optimized.
Furthermore, automated systems allow businesses to set spending limits such as per diem, providing greater control over company finances. The app can also help set alerts if there is overspending.
Receipt scanners can also lead to improved cash flow management. By providing real-time data on expenses, you can ensure the business has enough cash to cover costs and avoid unnecessary late fees or interest charges.
Additionally, by accurately tracking expenses, you can make more informed decisions regarding cash flow management, such as when to invest or take on additional debt.
4. Increased Productivity for Other Employees
Every business wants its employees to be time-efficient and focused on their most important tasks. Unfortunately, manually inputting data from receipts is a time-consuming process. It can often take up valuable time that could be used for other essential tasks.
With the app, employees (those who aren't part of management or your accounting department) can scan receipts and create expense reports automatically based on the captured information, such as invoice number, vendor details, GSTIN, etc. This is data the tool automatically adds to the accounting software.
Moreover, employees can save time filing expense claims. Some apps provide multiple templates to make it easier for employees to create these. These templates can be customized to fit the organization's specific needs, streamlining the reporting process. With the tool, employees don't need to collect and keep paper receipts. Also, they don't need to enter receipt data by hand.
In summary, receipt management apps increase employees' productivity by automating the receipt data entry process. This also helps reduce the risk of errors.
5. Increased Security
A receipt management software provides increased security for businesses. By digitizing receipts, companies can avoid the risk of lost or damaged paper receipts, which can be a severe security risk. Digital receipts are also encrypted and stored securely, ensuring that sensitive financial data remains confidential.
Moreover, automated systems provide greater control over who has access to financial records. This helps reduce the risk of data breaches and cyber-attacks.
Receipt management process automation can also provide improved data backup and disaster recovery capabilities. By storing digital receipts in the cloud, businesses can ensure that their financial records are backed up. This provides peace of mind and can reduce the costs of recovering lost financial data.
Additionally, automated receipt management can help businesses comply with regulatory requirements. By accurately tracking expenses and maintaining detailed financial records, companies can ensure that they comply with tax laws and other financial regulations.
In some apps, businesses can even set up policies for approving receipts. For example, they can configure complex business rules and check every receipt before it is even submitted for approval.
Using receipt software can help businesses avoid costly fines and penalties. It also helps provide greater transparency to stakeholders.
Automated receipt management is a valuable tool that can bring numerous benefits for businesses. By streamlining the receipt management process, companies can save valuable time, improve accuracy, increase productivity, and ultimately succeed.
These systems can provide businesses with real-time data on expenses, improving financial control and cash flow management. They also improve record-keeping, ensuring businesses stay compliant with regulatory requirements. They also protect against potential data privacy and security breaches.
Additionally, automated receipt management frees up time for employees to focus on other vital tasks. This helps increase their productivity.
It's clear that automated receipt management is a worthwhile investment for any business–whether small or big–-looking to improve its financial management practices.