In recent years new technology has not only made expense reporting and processing easier for employees, but it has also made it much more efficient and cost-effective for employers. A modern expense management solution is a must for any business that wants to ease the burden of tracking and reporting expenses for employees while also making sure their business isn’t overpaying for fraudulent or non-compliant expense claims.
Here are five ways new tech can help you improve the overall employee experience by making expense reporting easier and even enjoyable for workers.
Integrate expense management with email.
For most professionals, email is at the center of their work life. Given that a greater number of receipts are being digitized as email attachments, intelligent and automated expense management systems are now automatically extracting and reporting expenses from popular email services such as G Suite and Microsoft Office 365. You can also use Chrome extensions and G Suite and/or Outlook add-ons to free your employees from a manual process to submit expenses. When booking a flight, for example, the invoice is often sent directly to an employee’s email. In this case they have the ability to add the flight to their expense report with a few simple clicks.
Embrace mobile devices.
Cell phone penetration has surpassed 90 percent, and it’s likely closer to 100 percent among your working professionals. Thus, mobile apps that allow your employees to scan receipts and automatically extract and report the key data saves them time and significantly increases the accuracy of their expense reporting. Most (if not all) of your employees likely spend a significant amount of time on their smartphone, so it makes perfect sense for you to help make their work life easier by using an app that allows them to track expenses easily from their phones. This is particularly useful for high-volume purchases such as meals or transportation. If the receipts are delivered to your employees’ email, they can easily add them to their expense reports with the tap of a button.
Optimize operations with analytics.
An intelligent solution that tracks your organization’s expense data can also provide you with valuable analytics. By analyzing your employee spending patterns to help curb policy violations and detect fraudulent behavior, you can develop policies that are not only fair and easy to understand, but also data-driven. Easily searchable and sortable information about how what your teams are expensing give you the power to make quick and intelligent business decisions on the fly.
Make compliance a non-issue.
One of the most time-consuming aspects of expense management is the back-and-forth that can take place between you and your employees if submitted reports don’t align and comply with your company policy, such as spending limits on reimbursable meals or flights. Modern expense reporting software erases this hurdle by allowing you to set up expense reporting parameters and policies ahead of time, automatically rejecting non-compliant or duplicate expenses.
Enable automatic and immediate approvals.
You can streamline the business travel request process by automating approvals using custom hierarchies and letting your employees know immediately if their request falls within the company policy. This accelerates the entire process while also reducing the turnaround time for reimbursing employees. If, for example, one of your employees tries to unnecessarily book an unauthorized first-class flight for a work-related trip, a smart expense management system can instantly alert them that the expense doesn’t fall within your company’s policies.
Expense management is a fact of life for busy professionals, but it no longer needs to be an exhaustingly laborious process. Businesses that implement expense reporting tools that integrate with work-related staples such as email and mobile devices, and that use automation to simplify the entire process, not only improve the day-to-day experience for your employees, it boosts your bottom line by eliminating wasted time and money.
Please note that this article was originally published on Minutes Magazine.