Expense Reporting Directly From Your Email Inbox

Jan 2, 2018 3:15:57 PM

Business expenses are on a rise and the effort needed to manage them correspondingly is on a rise as well. We are so engrossed in tracking down the hard numbers, that we often overlook the time spent in tracking them.

Organizations suffer heavily when a huge percentage of their working hours are spent on non-revenue generating activities.

Thankfully, the advent of information technology has made lives simpler for business folks. With competition increasing exponentially in every conceivable industry, the need for technology to fill in for repetitive tasks and increase productivity at organizations is high.

In the following article we take a look at how email can help in the management of business expenses at scale.


The Power of E-mail

A ubiquitous technology sitting right in front of us, powering our daily transactions, is the email. The email had humble roots but it has become the undisputed champion of business communication. Add to that a host of collaboration software, and the list of communication technologies can seem daunting.

So you would ask how does business expense management fit into this? Well, it doesn’t seem obvious in the first place but cues are present in front of us. Professionals rely on email for a majority of official correspondences, and most of the personal ones concerning transactions.

It would make sense if they are able to manage expenses right from their email inbox.

Since we receive a variety of receipts and billing information in our mail it would be amazingly satisfying if individuals could report business expenses right from the inbox, eliminating any chances of error.


Expense Management from the Inbox

The typical expense management process entails creation of expenses, reporting them and finally gathering appropriate approvals. The implementation of the same workflow in real-life can be cumbersome and challenging for individuals. These tasks are often overlooked by professionals in favor of higher priority tasks which concern to the individual’s job.

An automated expense management system such as Fyle, can digitize the aforementioned workflow and impart sanity to the organization.

A system such as Fyle sits in your email inbox and extracts data from the receipts you receive in your mail. See Fyle's Gmail Chrome extension in action in the video below:

After figuring out the relevant fields it auto-populates the data for the same from the receipt. This implies that the expense is created at the moment an individual receives a receipt in his or her inbox. Contrast this with the traditional process where one has to take out time for creating expenses.

The capability of a software like Fyle to provide end-to-end management of business expenses trumps traditional methods of expense reporting like spreadsheets.


The Business Traveler - A Classic Example

Let us take the case of a business traveler. The individual has a number of upcoming challenges on his way. I would like to walk you through a few challenges of the traveler.

The traveler has to manage transit costs, layovers and lodging in addition to the prime objective of conducting business. Once the trip has concluded the traveler has the additional responsibility of reporting the cost of the expense. For this the individual has to revisit the course of the journey segregating personal expenses from professional ones.

We have assumed the example of a business traveler, but expenses occur everywhere. They occur across all industries, across all functions and within every team, independent of the size of the organization.


Email to the rescue

Let us revisit our traveler. If the traveler had a method using which he could have tracked his expenses on-the-go, that would have simplified his journey. He receives e-receipts in his mail, an extension or an add-on extracts journey details, invoice details, amounts and auto-fills the category as well.

Once expenses have been reported they are forwarded to appropriate managers for approvals. The concerned manager is notified on his mail that reports require his attention.

Whenever there is a violation to company policies, expenses are flagged. Managers can comment on the same requesting explanations from the employees.


Final Takeaways

There are a number of benefits to reporting expenses from the mail inbox. The major advantage being that the system allows for real time insight into business expenses. So, executives and decision-makers don’t have to wait for two months before the real cost of a deal is disclosed. It’s Just-In-Time in action! We believe that this itself is a major incentive for organizations to consider automating their expense management system.

Better email management has the potential of increasing productivity and definitely improves employee experience. Tweaking just a simple practice in an organization might deliver great dividends in areas of organizational culture, ease of doing business and employee engagement. These are intangible results which manifest themselves gradually.

But if that doesn’t make it sound compelling enough, let’s recall our traveler. The employee deserves a good experience working with the company. A good experience might contribute towards reducing employee turnover rates and reduce acquisition costs of employees.

If you would like to implement an automated expense management system we have created just the solution you need.

Request a Demo today to know how Fyle can add value to your business.

Request Demo

One click for paper receipts
One click experience and automatic data extraction, so
you never have to spend time with data entry.