The Construction Industry is like no other. Be it the nature of the business or job-related expenses, or just the way it functions. While others sit in the comfort of their offices or homes, the Construction folks are out there, building those havens for us.
Thus, it should come by no surprise that the Construction Industry always needs to go the extra mile, to get things done. Leading construction companies and small business construction firms usually work with multiple clients and construction projects at once.
This means that while contractors and subcontractors are on the field, the finance team needs to coordinate with them from either an office or their homes. This brings us to the question - Is there a solution that Construction Firms can leverage to streamline their expense management? Let’s find out.
What’s new for the Construction Industry in 2020?
The year 2020 changed a lot of things for all of us.
While most industries seem to be struggling to keep things afloat, the Construction Industry has leveraged technology-driven innovation to keep things moving.
Be it effective cost control in construction project management or construction expense management; technology helps blur geographical boundaries. Technology knits the contractor and subcontractor working remotely with the Finance team nested in the office with no glitches.
But why is traditional construction expense management complicated?
Lousy internet connectivity and remote locations with no signal are the daily job-sites for Construction folks.
This causes discrepancies in communication and thereby also impacts work. Take, for instance, jobs that may require multiple visits to the hardware store. This comes with numerous receipts of job-related expenses - mileage, raw material receipts, possibly even lunch, or even a flat tire.
In these cases, it is extremely easy for them to lose out on receipts, thereby losing money. On the other hand, it is almost impossible for the Finance team to continually keep in touch with employees and close books on time.
Challenges with effectively managing job-related expenses
For instance, take an example where a particular Construction firm has its employees spread across a city. Let’s say the Finance team works out of a specific location that has good internet and phone connectivity. But, the same cannot be the case for all the field workers. While some of them may get lucky, others may have trouble with connectivity or signal.
In cases such as these, the field workers are to keep their receipts safely until they find a place with a decent network. This might result in them either losing out on receipts or missing deadlines.
On the other hand, most field workers may not get insight into their expense claim status until they find a good network area. This means any emails or calls regarding flagged expense claims may go unnoticed. This would further lead to them losing out on money and, most importantly, morale.
Some of the other challenges are:
No one easy way to directly submit job-related expenses
- Construction workers may have multiple bills for multiple construction projects. They need to safely store receipts to claim reimbursements.
- There is no easy way to report or track job-related expenses. This further piles onto the frustration of delayed reimbursement claims.
Limited to no visibility into field expenses, job-related expenses
- Numerous expenses from multiple locations bring about massive challenges in collating, submitting, verifying, and approving construction expense reports.
- Jobs need to upload and code receipts to projects manually. This increases the amount of manual effort required to claim reimbursements.
No unified data across platforms due to limited or no integrations
- Often the entire expense reporting process happens from different locations. While some employees may mail in their receipts of business expense others may download and fill in excel sheets.
- Additionally, any corrections or clarifications also come in from disparate mediums. While some employees may call their Finance teams to provide clarifications, others may send long email threads.
In both cases, it is almost impossible for Finance teams to manually verify and validate and collate expense reports coming in from numerous sources.
No data-driven business decisions due to lack of insights
- Data is everything. Without insight into historical data, it’s most likely that predictions and business forecasts would fall short. This could drastically affect budget allocations, construction cost management, and cost estimates.
- Also, without insight into expenses and their distribution across categories and departments, Finance teams may end up making incorrect financial decisions. This could prove detrimental to the health of the project and the construction firm.
Streamlining employee expense management for the Construction Industry
Top 4 benefits of mobility in construction expense management
How to control your employee expenses with project cost management
Why is Fyle the best construction expense management software in 2020?
Fyle, as your construction expense management system, automates everything literally. Here are some key features that set Fyle apart from other construction expense management solutions.
A construction expense management software that eliminates manual expense reporting for your field staff
With Fyle, employees can simply click a picture of their job-related expense receipt. The software then auto-populates and codes the expense receipt to a specific job or construction project. The employee can then verify and submit the construction expense report for expense approval.
Employees can easily report expenses from everyday apps like SMS, WhatsApp, G-Suite, Outlook and more. They can also simply attach all job-related details with a single click. This ensures connectivity doesn't come in the way of everyday business functions.
A construction expense management software that enables effortless receipt management and compliance
Receipt compliance and receipt management have long been problematic grey areas for almost all leading industries. This is simply because of the immense clutter and confusion it brings with itself. But this has changed with the advent of automated construction expense management solutions.
With Fyle, Finance teams can apply any filter of their choice to understand expense reports in question. On applying these filters, a bunch of expenses that match the query show up. Finance teams can then dive deeper into the expense reports by looking into the attached digital audit trail. This audit trial particularly becomes useful as it carries all the information and expense receipts concerning a particular expense.
Fyle also comes with secure cloud storage, which can be accessed anywhere, anytime, and by using any device of your choice. All this and more without juggling multiple physical receipts and reports.
A construction expense management software that provides real-time insight into actual costs
Your employees may file varied types of job-related expense reports. While some business expenses may include bills regarding procurement, others may consist of mileage, food, or corporate credit card expenses.
Employee brackets or categories also determine the amount allocated to them for specific job-related expenses. For example, a contractor may have a larger budget allocation. This may be because he has more business variables to take care of than a sub-contractor or other workforce.
This adds up to a large variety of business-related expenses coming in for the Finance team. Making sense of such data using traditional means may seem like a colossal effort all gone to waste. But automated construction expense management solutions like Fyle can come in handy here.
Not only does it provide you rich insights into categories, project-wise, or job-wise expenses. It also shows spending patterns, top spenders, top spend categories, top policy violations, and more. All this with no extra manual efforts put in!
A construction expense management software that automates any custom approval workflows
On submitting an expense report, the expense software goes through the report in real-time. It cross-checks the submitted report with the custom expense policies. This eliminates any human intervention during the expense submission and expense approval process.
Policy violations are also common types of expenses requiring multiple approvers to look into the expenses. An expense software helps set up such approval workflows in just seconds.
The expense reporting software also comes with custom-built approval workflows and real-time policy checks. This ensures that any construction expense report is always compliant before it reaches the Finance team.
A construction expense management software that comes with a digital audit trail
An expense software also comes with a digital audit trail that documents every interaction for a particular construction expense report. This ensures everybody is in the know of things.
Finance teams can also gain insight into top policy violators, weekend or holiday expenses, alcohol bills, and more. This ensures Construction firms can rest assured that their bottom line is always secure from fraudulent business expense claims.
A construction expense management software that helps identify cost saving opportunities
If the employee submits a non-compliant expense report, a pop notification appears when the employee is trying to report the expense. The software’s popup notification helps the employee understand what’s wrong with their expense report even before approval. This eliminates multiple back and forths.
Additionally, the employee can explain the expense policy violations if they want to. They can do so in the digital audit trail that tracks all communication regarding a particular construction expense report.
If Finance teams have any questions regarding expenses, they can directly look into the digital audit trail to gain insights behind non-compliant submissions.
A construction expense management software that ensures everyone follows business rules
In cases of duplicate submissions or expense fraud, the policy engine automatically flags the expense. Depending on the nature of the violation the software further allows the Finance team to design workflows for such cases. This ensures no expense fraud slips by.
The expense software also comes with secure cloud storage, making it easy to check and recheck any other expense receipts. This ensures digital access to all information without the burden of handling a million paper expense receipts.
A construction expense management software that ensures visibility into employee expense reimbursements
Fyle ensures compliant construction expense reports and a transparent process where all stakeholders know which stage the expense report is at. This allows for zero confusion and stress around expense reporting.
Finance teams can also send employees custom reminders to either submit, add clarifications, or receipts to expense reports within the audit trail. This ensures all documentation happens within the system, thereby providing accountability at all times.
A construction expense management software that seamlessly integrations with HRMS, ERP, and accounting software
Construction expense management solutions like Fyle also come with easy and seamless integrations with the preferred ERP, HRMS, or accounting software of your choice. This ensures that no matter how data comes in, the Finance team can always have a centralized view of expenses and reimbursements.
This not only streamlines the process but also ensures all data is always present under one dashboard. This provides Finance teams complete visibility into construction expense reports with their corresponding job expense receipts and any verifications or clarifications provided.
This provides for a wholesome approach to construction expense management.
Fyle as your construction expense management software
With the world moving towards innovation-driven technology, it only makes sense for everyone to jump onto the bandwagon of change.
The world of automation enables mobile and contactless business transactions. It is built to adapt to the current global scenarios. This ensures easy and quick access to business processes and ensures employees are safe and socially distant even while at work.
The need of the hour is rapidly changing. The sooner you embrace it, the faster your growth projectile in the years to come. An automated expense management system is adopted by almost all leading industries in the ecosystem today. It is only time; you do too.
Your employees work hard enough already; let’s reward them by boosting employee morale and productivity?
(Psst, Fyle also enables Construction Finance teams immense control and insight over construction cost management, cost estimates, budgets, and spends.) Fyle is the new age of expense management, where everything is automated, fast, and secure. What to know more? Schedule a demo with us today!