Covid-19 has affected every echelon of work, and expense management is no exception.
How are companies dealing with the expense process when so many work from home? What are people expensing in this new normal?
Are there any signs that business travel has a future in the short-to-medium term? And do companies now see digitisation as a must-have tool?
These are questions confronting every enterprise who keeps their head above water while they paddle to keep themselves afloat in the sea of constant changes.
Not just a company’s problem
Ineffective expense management processes annoy employees, such as slow reimbursement processes and manual entries into spreadsheets that take forever to compute.
Companies that are using great HRMS like SuccessFactors are not spared too.
Here are several standard expense management issues plaguing many companies:
1. Budget Management Errors
No managers will blindly approve all expense management requests.
They must check the monthly and annual budgets, make sure the report on operating expenses is correct, and look at many spreadsheets to ensure it’s all the right way up.
Chaos may ensue if the wrong expenses are approved, such as a ballooning budget which may impact other expenditures and the department and company’s profitability in the long run.
But even the best attempts may be laden with errors due to tired eyes.
In the long run, poor budget management could hurt the financial health of an organisation.
2. Delayed Productivity
A delayed reimbursement process will harm productivity.
Suppose employees do not receive the essential tools, such as software, hardware, and other support. In that case, a delay could result in a loss of output, excessive use of existing resources, and workers losing patience.
3. Reports that arrive months late
How would a manager feel if she got an expense report from one of her employees that she was supposed to send in 6 months ago? Imagine how much work it would be to do all the accounting.
To make matters worse, there might be chargeback involved if the expense is on behalf of a client.
The client won’t appreciate an overdue invoice, and your company can’t explain why it took so long.
4. Uncertain Expense Policies
Can we or can we not claim?
Any difficulty in comprehending spending policies may cost the organisation more money in the long run.
An employee who has difficulty determining if an item is under the approved expenditure category may end up charging for unauthorised purchases.
The transparent and well-known policies will educate employees and ensure that they do not shop outside of the company’s boundaries.
To be lean and efficient, companies should cut down on manual processes, save money, and reduce employees’ time on the expense management process to be lean and efficient.
5. Low compliance for audit
A CFO has a significant problem when failing an audit per governance principles. In addition, failure to implement good business expense processes and procedures will directly impact governance and risk management.
Even though the financial team checks each line item meticulously, there may be unintended mismanagement or internal fraud inside the unit. A single dishonest or careless staff member might expose your organisation to millions of dollars in fines and penalties.
A dedicated expense management software for enterprises
Companies need to consider reliable expense management software to resolve all these issues and more.
And you need to ensure that they tick the following boxes:
- Allowance of timely expense submission made possible with a combination of consumer-grade UX and highly accurate OCR capabilities. Significantly so, since users will be working from home, a product emphasising UI and UX will aid higher adoption.
- AI-driven rules to help approvers ensure a high level of accurate approvals since they can automatically pick up fraud, duplicates, and out-of-policy claims.
- Pre-built actionable insights for the finance and management team to control spending.
- The software is purpose-built for enterprises. This means it can be easily configured to the enterprises’ needs and aspirations, as well as having industry-best practice inbuilt and SAP SuccessFactors certified
- The ability to support real-time info flow so that you won’t have to wait until the end of the month to make your expense submissions with yellowed or faded receipts.
- In-built policies and validation checks at every step of the way.
Most Finance and HR systems may offer a simple expense form attached to a simple approval workflow, but ultimately is still a relatively manual process and isn’t made to scale.
An example would be the basic claims module that comes with SAP SuccessFactors. Rolling Arrays’ survey showed that almost all SuccessFactors Employee Central (EC) clients demand an advanced Expense Management module and have the following options to choose from :
Using spreadsheets to keep track of important things like business expenses is not a safe or efficient way to do it.
Expense processes done by hand are a pain for both business travellers and finance teams. They take a lot of time and money to make reports, fix mistakes, and deal with policy violations and fraudulent expenses.
An expense management system like Reimburse (being an SAP SuccessFactors certified add-on) does away with the need to enter data and do the same thing repeatedly manually. Instead, your employees can quickly take pictures of receipts and send in their expense reports while they’re on the go.
Your travel and finance teams can focus on making sure your policies are being followed, saving time by not having to do much manual work, quickly processing reports to reimburse your employees, and keeping your money and data safe.
This is a sponsored post by Rolling Arrays