Automated Expense Reports,  Business Expenses,  Business management,  Compliance,  Expense Management,  Expense Policies,  Financial Productivity,  Integrations,  Receipt Tracking

4 tips to consider before picking your expense management software

Did you know, GBTA predicts that global travel spends would reach $1.6 trillion by the end of 2020?

This means more expense receipts, expense reports, and back-and-forth with employees for finance teams. To curb these expense management challenges it is imperative to have the right weapons (read, software)  in your armory to tackle those mounting expenses. However, in the quest to finding the apt solution, we often overlook some critical questions we must ask, expense management vendors before buying them.

In this article, we have listed key aspects to keep in mind while selecting your expense management software. Additionally, we have worked out a game plan for you to execute while approaching your expense management pain-points.

Current drawbacks with your existing expense management software

Finance teams are often viewed as stressed out individuals, sitting behind desks mounted with paperwork. They are like caged birds who want to contribute to the growth of the company but are held back due to the paperwork-cages. In such cases, it is crucial to maintain, if not increase the overall productivity of the team. To increase their financial productivity and process expenses faster, you must identify the pain-points that prevent you from unlocking their full potential.

In the absence of an automated expense management system, an accountant would have too much work on his plate. In addition to maintaining financial reports and staying audit-ready, he would also require to consistently nag teams for timely submissions. They are required to waste time on numerous emails and phone calls to ensure the accuracy of expense data. Additionally, they need to ensure that all expenses are policy compliant and non-fraudulent claims. This costs your finance teams crucial productive hours, which could have been spent, otherwise.  
If this seems familiar to you, consider this article a wake-up call to automating your expense management.

Does your expense management software satisfy your employee requirements?

Sales team expenses constitute a significant portion of your business expenses. Hence, it is necessary that you loop them in, while choosing an expense management software. They are travelers, who represent your company and incur expenses on behalf of the company. Many a time, they might spend from their own pockets, hoping to get reimbursed.  

Since the IRS mandates that you attach receipts for expenses beyond $75, they have to carry receipts with them until they complete their business trip. Most commonly incurred expenses include travel, accommodation, entertainment expenses, conveyance and so on. In addition to this, your company might also spend on specific projects or events. Keeping a record of these expenses for reimbursements is vital. While this might sound challenging enough, understanding expense policies is another pain altogether.

How can the right expense management software address these challenges?

Go for a solution that lets your employees record expenses at the source. Many of the expense management tools also provide mobile applications, powered by OCR technology. By doing so, your employees no longer have to collect expense receipts. It also lets them record expenses faster, which, in turn, fastens reimbursements and overall turn-around time.

Additionally, go for a software that lets you analyze your numbers thoroughly. It enables you to gain insights on top spenders, category-wise spends, and more. This can provide you with crucial information to make well-informed decisions for the future. Ideally these softwares should come with AI-powered policy engines. These engines enable real-time policy checks on expenses. If expense claims violate policies, they are immediately flagged and responsible individuals are notified. Additionally, a complete digital audit trail of all communication is documented. This is an ideal way of ensuring your traveling employees stay complaint, at all times.

Does your expense management software satisfy your office needs?

No matter the size of the organization, employees are always looking for tools to improve operational efficiency. Most offices already use accounting softwares for book-keeping. However, expense management is still in shambles. Finance teams either use excel sheets or manual data entry to manage their business expenses. This affects their efficiency on the whole. Therefore, it is essential to pick an expense software that works well with your accounting software.

Cloud-accounting software has made accounting easy for finance teams. Now, they no longer have to depend on one system to manage the numbers. With a plethora of expense management solutions available in the market, make sure that your choice integrates well with your accounting software.

How can the right expense management software address these challenges?

Cloud-accounting software has made accounting easy for finance teams. Now, they no longer have to depend on one system to manage the numbers. With a plethora of expense management solutions available in the market, make sure that your choice integrates well with your accounting software.

How responsive is your current expense management’s support team?

Whenever you use a new software, for official needs or otherwise, it takes time to get the hang of it. The same applies to your expense management software. You will need time and help to get used to the interface and understand its working. This is where the customer support team comes into play. They are quite literally, the face of the product.

The kind of support you receive, tells you how much your vendor values you as a customer. The customer support team should have a clear idea of your requirements, set realistic expectations and stay responsive, at all times. They should be able to hand-hold you through the product and ensure you have a great experience.

Summary

Having an efficient system to manage expenses should be a priority in your organization. However, it is not wise to jump the gun. Analyze your company’s requirements carefully and create a list of options. Evaluate all your choices, test the waters, and go for the one that suits your needs with unmatched support.

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