The global pandemic has changed the way businesses and people function. While some countries are still trying to combat COVID-19, most businesses have resumed operations across the globe. With tightened workforce and budgets, companies now have to worry (more than ever before) about maintaining their bottom line.
With the rising need for absolute control over business expenses, businesses of all sizes are now actively moving towards automating their expense management.
Expense management is one of those components that, if handled correctly, can result in tremendous cost cuts and savings. This article details everything you need to know if you’re considering an expense software for your business.
Why are businesses automating their expense management?
Whether your employees are remote, traveling, or working in the office, business expenses and expense reimbursements are constant. Therefore, it makes sense to automate expense management and ensure zero disruption to employee reimbursements or receipt management and safekeeping.
Thus, to ensure this happens seamlessly irrespective of the external situations, businesses are now actively moving towards completely automating their expense management.
Now, let’s look at the key differences between traditional expense management and expense management with an expense software.
Expense management using traditional methods
Piles of paper expense receipts, frustration due to missing receipts or expense report submission deadlines, delayed reimbursements, and inefficient receipt management sum up traditional expense management in the modern business world.
Manual data entry and manual verification and processing of expense reports take up enormous amounts of human-resources and incur huge costs. Also, they’re riddled with errors your Finance team (which has more important things to do than verifying receipts against expenses and chasing employees to submit expense reports) might not always be able to weed out.
This is where an expense software comes into play.
Expense management with an expense software
An intelligent AI-powered expense software automates every step of expense reporting, expense approvals, and employee expense reimbursements, reducing manual intervention and Turn Around Time (TAT) for expense reimbursements drastically.
Advantages of embracing an expense software
An expense software makes life easier for your employees and Finance team by making expense reporting, expense approval, and processing of employee expense reimbursements a one-click deal. Here are a few other advantages of automating expense management:
With an expense software in place, employees can track and submit business expenses with just a single click anywhere, anytime and with device of their choice.
This way, your employees never have to worry about safekeeping of expense receipts or waste time making travel and expense reports. (And trust us on this, neither your employees nor your Finance teams enjoy expense reports!)
An expense software can eliminate working hours spent on making expense reports and ensuring they’re compliant with your company’s travel and expense policy.
Employees can save expense report drafts as they track business expenses with supporting expense receipts, and send them to their approver with a single click.
An expense software comes with a strong policy engine that automates policy enforcement for your entire organization. The advantage of policy enforcement is that your employees and Finance teams don’t have to memorize travel and expense policy documents to ensure fyled expenses are compliant.
An expense software enforces policies according to different employee and expense parameters, and checks for any discrepancies at the source of expense creation. This gives Finance teams the freedom to easily change/tweak policies as and when necessary. Finance teams can also enforce them effectively across specific categories or within the entire organization.
Employees and Finance teams have to chase each other for everything when it comes to expense reporting - expense report submission, approval, processing and reimbursement. What if these interactions were reduced to one single click? How much time, effort and frustration would that save your employees?
No matter how complex your travel and expense approval workflows, an expense software can automate it. Expense software comes with features that facilitate single-stage, multi-stage, cross-organizational approvals, project-based approvals, or any other custom expense approval workflow you can imagine.
Travel and expense reimbursements play a very crucial role in keeping up employee satisfaction and morale. When employees know that come what may, their refunds won’t be delayed; they can trust the organization a little more.
An expense software helps you reduce TAT and process multiple travel and expense reimbursements to different employee bank accounts with the click of a button. All while ensuring policy compliance.
SUGGESTED READ: Five ways to make expense reporting easier for employees
A cloud-based expense software provides secure expense receipt storage, making receipts searchable inside a unified expense management dashboard.
Gone are the days when the safest way to store receipts was in a dedicated shoe-box/drawer. Just click a picture of your expense receipt or scan it with your expense tracking app, and discard the receipt. (Your expense receipt is safe in the cloud, forever, waiting to be fyled at a time of your choice.)
SUGGESTED READ: Receipt scanner app features for business expenses
Retracing a paper trail to verify the legitimacy of an expense is a nightmare. You will need to trust your employee to keep receipts safely, first. Then, you sort through heaps of receipts to find the one you’re looking for. This is an unreliable and very time consuming process.
An expense software records every action taken on travel and expense reports or individual business expenses. This makes it easy for your Finance team or auditor to check the actions taken on any given expense, check the attached proof of expense, and pinpoint any issues with the expense in a glance. (Your Finance team really can’t thank you enough for this feature!)
An expense software integrates seamlessly with your existing accounting, ERP, or HRMS software. This means no additional effort is required to move relevant data from one platform to the other!
A modern expense management software like Fyle also comes with powerful API integrations that allow developers to build on top of the expense software to facilitate the movement of data flowing in and out of the software.
These are just a few advantages that an expense software offers. There’s so much more that we do to streamline expense management. If you’d like to explore more features and capabilities, head here - Fyle’s expense management features.
Things to consider while choosing an expense software for your business
Features and capabilities are one part, but there are more things to carefully inspect and consider while picking the best expense management software. Your expense management software vendor should deliver more than just product integration. We’ve listed the most important factors here:
Trustworthy user reviews
User reviews help understand the gap between your expense software vendors’ promises, and what the product and customer service team can really deliver. Check real reviews from real users on trustworthy SaaS review platforms like G2 or Capterra for starters. These platforms rank software based on user reviews they receive, hence making them credible sources for understanding user experience.
An expense software should make expense reporting and expense management easy for your employees, not add to their workload.
Product implementation timelines
If you’ve been a part of product implementations before, you probably dread being a part of another. And reasonably so, product implementations are crucial and can lead to more problems instead of solving existing ones. Ensure you ask the vendor for a detailed implementation plan along with timelines before you decide on an expense software.
Fyle’s founder, Yashwath Madhusudhan, says “no over-promising, no under-delivering” in every employee induction he oversees. We follow this principle very religiously. It also reflects in the way we handle product implementation, and throughout our journey with any customer. This ensures that our customers are always in-the-know of the implementation progress.
Bharadwaj, our Customer Success Strategist documents the week-wise breakdown of onboarding and product implementation process with Fyle. This article should help you understand the various steps involved in integrating an expense software for your organization’s expense management needs.
Customer service that doesn’t quit on you
An expense software is the solution to your expense management woes. However, it is a software at the end of the day and might sometimes run into issues. At times like these, it is essential that you reach your expense automation vendor and have problems fixed quickly.
Customers have ranked Fyle as one of the best expense software solutions, especially for its constant innovation and best-in-class support. Take a look at our rankings:
That’s a mark of trust right there!
Innovation and scalability
An expense software should be able to continually innovate and find solutions for present-day business expense management needs. You cannot expect an expense software built in the 80s to solve 21st-century problems, after all.
But how do I trust someone new in the market handling a vital function like expense management, you ask?
You can bank on user reviews, product demos, and case studies for this.
While user reviews help you understand the merit in your expense software vendor’s claims, case studies will help you determine how your expense software helps cater to your business’s unique requirements.
Product demos also give you a deep insight into the product functionality and capabilities.
Expense management with Fyle
Fyle was built out of fierce hatred for expense reports and mundane expense reporting tasks! Therefore, every feature we’ve built over the years aims towards making expense management a process that smoothly runs in the background while you and your employees focus on the more pressing needs of your business.