If you are searching for an expense management solution, the chances are high that you are creating a list of vendors to evaluate. You probably went through multiple solutions and attended product demos for a number of them. But were you able to quantitatively and qualitatively gauge the software of your choice?
In this article, we outline 10 points to keep in mind while you are creating your list.
Your choice of expense management software will vary depending on the specific needs of your company. One of the requirements is whether the software can accommodate the needs of all your employees. The company size parameter becomes quite essential when you are opting for on-premise deployment. For larger organizations, the time of implementation may vary depending on the number of employees who access the software.
How much do you value customer success
The customer success experience is one that can change the perception of a product amongst your employees. How responsive is your expense management vendor? How committed are they to making sure that your employees can go about their business without glitches? These are some questions to which you should be able to get an answer before you finalize a list of software.
It is essential because all software has points of failure. There are also times where you might experience difficulties in understanding a particular module of the product. Though there are articles and videos to help you, we are prone to seek human help. Your vendor must be responsive in such cases. We often hear complaints from prospects where a vendor sold them an annual contract and delivered a poor customer success experience. Such a situation is harmful to both customers and software vendors.
Receipt storage requirements
Depending on the IRS audit requirements and your company directives on receipt compliance, you will need a specific amount of storage for your receipts. It is especially critical for companies looking to subscribe to a cloud-based expense management software.
You will need to benchmark your current number of expense reports submitted. You will also need to benchmark the total number of submitted receipts in a month across your organization. The benchmarking exercise is necessary to evaluate your receipt storage requirements. Along with this, you will also have to forecast the growth in employee headcount, especially in the departments which submit the most expense reports.
You can avoid this issue by shortlisting vendors who provide unlimited receipt storage on the cloud. There are several such solutions, including Fyle.
Do you need an integrated travel booking and expense management platform?
One of the questions to ask before you shortlist a solution for further evaluation is whether you need a travel booking tool as well? You might already have partnered with third-party travel agencies or travel management companies. If that is the case, then you will have to give access to your travel managers to report travel expenses. Most solutions, including Fyle, assign user roles to travel managers with limited access so that they can do their work. It ensures no sensitive data is exposed to third-party travel agents.
If you are opting for on-premise deployment, the pricing structure will vary across vendors. On the other hand, if you are looking for cloud-based software, the pricing model follows either of the following two approaches.
In one model, vendors charge you based on the number of expense reports your employees to submit monthly. You can view expense reports as credits in such a model. Most legacy solutions serving enterprises have such a pricing model because they operate on the level of 2000-5000 expense reports a month.
Alternatively, expense management solutions for small businesses typically charge on an active user model. This model ensures you get charged only for employees who submit an expense report. The advantage in this approach is that even if an employee submits five expense reports in a month, you still get charged the same amount. Most companies like Fyle, Certify, and Abacus charge on a per-user basis.
With so many solutions floating in the market, one barometer for gauging the standards of a product is customer reviews. Customer reviews help you get the perspective of people who are currently using a product. You can find user reviews of all expense management software on websites like SoftwareAdvice, Capterra, and G2Crowd. Our advice is that you go through reviews and make an informed choice on your preferred software vendor.
Levels of automation possible
The primary task for expense management software is automation. It can range from automatic expense creation through receipt scanning apps to automating expense approvals. Expense approvals often pose a fundamental operational challenge – continuous back and forths. You should check whether the system you’d like to go ahead with allows for exceptional approval based on policies. You might also want to check whether cross-organizational approvals and project-based approvals are present.
Credit card reconciliation
One of the essential requirements for almost all businesses is the ability to manage corporate credit cards. Depending on your card provider, you might want to check whether your preferred software supports direct bank feeds. You must clear this out as early as possible since we often see this as a deal-breaker for most companies.
We cannot stress the importance of accounting integrations enough. Your expense reporting software will be of little use if you aren’t able to reconcile it with your existing accounting software. You should also enquire about the nature of the integration. This could range from a single click export to a file-based integration with GL code mappings. These are questions which when asked early in the procurement process will keep you on top of things.
Expense policy implementations
Finally, your software should be able to handle complex expense policies. Expense policies can change according to the business needs and the regulations in place. Your preferred software must be flexible enough to accommodate these changes.
At the same time, it should be robust enough to make sure there aren’t any leakages in the system. It is also vital that your expense software configures policies using a UI-based interface. It helps accountants set the expense policies without the intervention of IT support.
Why should you consider choosing Fyle?
We believe the points mentioned above are the most important considerations you should keep in mind before shortlisting vendors. We also want to point out that you should have a look at all the features of your shortlisted software.
Ideally, we recommend you prepare a template for functions or ask vendors to submit a proposal with the pricing. This can help you gauge the worth of your expense management software.
We believe you would love Fyle and its capabilities. If you have the above points in your mind, do get on a 15-minute call with us to find out more about Fyle.