Business

Published on October 28th, 2021 | by Ali Dino

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How Expense Management Automation Is Benefitting Remote Work?

Every company that’s successfully managed the transition from in-office to remote work has had automation tech lead the way. As a business owner, you should consider the perks of using automation to improve your processes.

If you’re confused about where to begin, consider starting with expense management software to refine your expense management process.

Why? Because sustaining through these uncertain economic conditions would mean that you need to ensure that your company has a healthy financial bottom line and isn’t bleeding money.

An expense management software helps your employees efficiently report and track their business expenses while ensuring that it plugs all the financial leaks in your system. By giving your business the added financial stability it needs, your Finance teams can ensure that no fraudulent expenses slip by. 

Automated expense management allows companies to achieve all this and more with zero added efforts.

The following article will elaborate on the different use cases as to how expense management automation can significantly benefit your business during remote work. Let’s find out!

How Does Automated Expense Management Benefit Remote Work?

Finance teams took the most amount of damage from the transition to remote work. With their job being heavily dependent on meeting other employees for clarifications and corrections, remote work took that privilege away by adding miles between them. Unfortunately, this also leads to no control and visibility into business expenses; this, resulting in incomplete or inaccurate records, broken financial processes, and increased cases of expense fraud. 

“The Pandemic has shown a 300% rise in spend violations even with a 55% decrease in business spend.” – 

Oversight Report, 2021

Leaders need to understand that broken financials can severely hurt business continuity and add their establishment to the ever-expanding list of those that have closed shop during the pandemic. 

Switching to automation-led technology doesn’t just help bolster continuity but also ensures that businesses abide by the rules of the IRS.

Listed below are the different ways in which expense management automation can benefit your business during remote work.

  • Automates Tedious and Error-Prone Tasks

Spreadsheet-based expense reporting is the perfect synonym for something tedious, time-consuming, and labor-intensive. Additionally, every stakeholder involved has a unique list of problems with the process, making it challenging to close tasks on time.

An expense software can help address every minor issue any stakeholder involved faces to complete all tasks quickly. Simplifying and automating every error-prone task ensures that expense reporting becomes a synonym for something hassle-free, error-free, and effortless.

  • Seamless Expense Management experience For Everyone

Every stakeholder involved in the reporting process has something to gain from adopting expense management software. So let’s take a look at how it benefits everyone:

Employees: 

  •  An expense report software enables employees to easily submit and track their receipts from applications they’d use every day like Slack, Whatsapp, Outlook, or G-suite.
  • Employees no longer need to store or submit their receipts physically to Finance teams. An expense software comes with OCR (Optical Character Recognition) technology which lets them capture images of bills on their phones. Additionally, it auto-populates every field in an expense report, so you no longer need to worry about data entry errors.

Finance Teams

  • Finance teams no longer need to spend multiple hours verifying expense reports against company policies as the software enforces compliance by automating pre-submission checks. This ensures that no fraudulent reports can get by. 
  • All data is stored in a single secure, centralized location for easy access by Finance teams during the audit process. 
  • Every change made to an expense report is recorded in a detailed digital audit trail. This makes it easier for Finance teams to verify reports before approving payments. 

Business Leaders

  • The software has advanced data analytics, providing leaders real-time information about business expenses across cost centers, projects, budgets, and departments. This enables them to work with Fiance teams in cutting costs or placing limits on allocated budgets closely. 
  • Business owners can regain control of company-wide expenses to make better decisions backed by financial data while also fixing potential financial leaks in the system. 
  • Enforce Policy Compliance in a Single Click

With traditional expense management, employees must remember expense policies by heart while submitting reports to ensure compliance. However, as expected, employees aren’t going to remember every company policy, which means some or most reports will have policy violations. 

This means that Finance teams must memorize and correctly map existing policies to submitted reports to ensure no out-of-policy or fraudulent expenses get by during verification. This puts the burden of preventing expense fraud solely on the Finance teams.

An expense software mitigates this problem and ensures seamless policy compliance with robust enforcement of business rules and a real-time policy engine. The software flags every non-compliant expense with explanations given to employees regarding corrections to the report. This reduces not only back and forths but also the frustration behind expense reporting.

Furthermore, all reports come with a digital audit trail that records every stakeholder’s action on the expense report. This makes audits easier with the IRS while significantly reducing employee expense management time.

  • Save on Hidden Costs By Mitigating Expense Fraud

“Fraudulent expenses alone cost U.S employers $2.8 billion every year.” –

Business Wire Report

As mentioned earlier, the pandemic has shown a dramatic 300% increase in expense fraud, and traditional expense management would put its mitigation entirely on the Finance team. However, with a little lack of vigilance, fraudulent expenses can easily slip through or be reimbursed accidentally. This can severely hurt your financial bottom line and, if left unchecked over the years, can put you on the verge of bankruptcy (Enron Scandal, 2001.)

An expense report software mitigates expense fraud by having real-time policy checks that only permit the submission of compliant expense reports. In addition, with centralized cloud storage that stores every single receipt, duplicate expense reports become impossible; thus, alleviating fraud. 

  • Effortless CCC Reconciliations

“65% of businesses agree that matching credit card payments to invoices is among one of the most labor-intensive tasks of the payment process.” – GoCardless Report.

An expense software takes this load off the Finance team’s shoulders by automatically matching CCC transactions with bank statements. This can keep your skilled accountants from spending enormous amounts of time on this to dedicate their time to more critical tasks.

Additionally, teams also gain access to real-time card spending to personally look into cases where overspending is happening and set new limits. 

Conclusion

Considering expense management automation is a great place to begin your journey into automation-led technology if you want to scale your business regardless of economic conditions. In addition, making the expense management process more straightforward and accessible takes off the load from both your employees and Finance teams.

Additionally, it bridges the physical gap between your employees to enable further collaboration and extensive communication, making productivity location independent. This finally translates into satisfied and happy employees who work in an organization with little to no financial leaks.

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