In today’s fast-paced environment, we thrive on efficiency — of resources, time, and energy. One of the easiest ways for a growing business to streamline their efforts is to upgrade their expense management process. Purchasing a software package dedicated to managing your expenses may not seem necessary at first, but it will likely streamline the reimbursement process and will save you time (and perhaps a few headaches). But first, let’s look at what expense management software actually does.
Expense management software sends the classic, dreaded “expense report” right where it belongs – to the recycling bin. Expense reports as we know them are no longer necessary with a good expense management software. This type of software can automate the reporting process every step of the way. While all packages are different, most will follow the subsequent key steps.
- The employee will submit an expense report to management for approval. They can easily create these reports electronically, and standard expenses like per diem meals and incidentals can be instantly populated.
- The software processes the report. A good software can integrate with your accounting system to eliminate the need to manually enter these transactions.
- The software will facilitate the disbursement of funds. Companies can easily reimburse their employees through regular payroll processes – direct deposit, in most cases – and management can approve the reimbursement electronically.
- The software will analyze the expenses. This feature can be especially important, because it can help the organization see trends that they may not have otherwise noticed.
When reviewing possible packages, some key features to look for are:
- Mobile access. Your employees will thank you.
- Receipt imaging. Say goodbye to those paper receipts!
- Data reports. Comprehensive comparison and trend reports will be so helpful.
- Accounting integration. Be a hero and automate those journal entries.
- Expense compliance. Let your software do the dirty work of flagging expenses that are outside of your company’s policy.
It’s quite easy to justify purchasing such a robust software when you realize what benefits it can bring to your organization. The following benefits are just three of many.
It saves you time.
Expense management software can save the organization time from so many angles. Employees will save time filling out their expense reports. Supervisors will save time approving them. The accounting department will save time entering transactions. And management will save time combing through information to find the data they need for quality improvement measures.
Software that allows its users to snap a photo of their receipt can help prevent receipts being lost before an employee attaches it to their report. Right away, the employee can code what that expense was for, rather than waiting until the end of the pay period/month/quarter to do so, at which point they may have forgotten what project that expense should be coded to. All of these efficiencies result in time saved, money saved, and more room for growth, which brings us to our next point:
It gives you room to grow.
With their time freed up, your employees can spend their working hours tackling business objectives that they wouldn’t have had time for otherwise. After all, the saying “time equals money” wasn’t written for nothing.
It empowers your leaders.
Expense management software is so much more than a system that automates a process; it can be a fantastic planning tool, as well. Not only can these programs improve compliance, they can help reduce costs by catching serial noncompliant employees. But more importantly, the reports that are produced can be a game changer for management.
We recommend you invest some time in comparing expense management software options that are available to you. First and foremost, see which ones work best with your accounting software, and then consider costs, complexity, and frequency of updates or maintenance. If you’d like more advice on what best fits your business needs, contact a member of LaPorte’s Construction Industry Group. We’d love to share our professional insights with you.