How Automated Expense Management Benefits Your Finance Team?
Finance teams across the globe have been known to help businesses excel with their strategic thinking and forecasting capabilities. While their role has always been critical, recent economic changes have re-emphasized the need for robust financial planning in building a sustainable business.
And for that, the first thing finance teams need is access to all relevant data. Since processing such huge data at scale is humanly impossible, organizations are empowering their finance teams with the right tools and software. These tools will help them extract intelligent data and share insights useful for making informed business decisions.
While some businesses are actively digitizing their finance processes, some of them are yet to start their digitalization journey. Irrespective of what stage you are in, one finance process that you must automate is – employee expense management.
Manual expense management incurs a huge business cost, is inefficient, and is time-consuming. It forces your finance teams to spend most of their time and effort on repetitive manual tasks rather than focusing on forecasting expenses, budgeting, and providing cost-saving in the long run.
If you are still managing expenses manually or on spreadsheets, it is high time to shift towards using expense management software so you can automate rule-based tasks and free up your finance team’s bandwidth to make judgment-based decisions helping the business grow.
But if you are still unsure and want to know if you should make the shift, here are some signs that might help.
If your finance team is facing most of these challenges, you should get to automating your expenses right away:
- Chasing employees for filing their reimbursements
- Struggling with incorrect or incomplete expense filing
- Tired of manually reviewing and auditing expenses
- Struggling with implementing strong expense policy compliance
- No data visibility on spends preventing them from better budget forecasting
- Spending hours creating month-end reports for business stakeholders and more
With automated expense management, you can solve all these problems while keeping your expense reports audit-ready all the time.
Benefits of Using Automated Expense Management for Finance Teams
1# Mitigate Compliance Risk & Reduce Audit Burden
As per a study by GBTA, 19% of manual expense claims contain errors or incomplete information. The finance team spends an average of 18 extra minutes/report to resolve these errors. This costs companies an additional $52/ report
Traditionally, the finance & auditing teams manually tally expense claims with the receipt submitted. They then conduct audits by randomly sampling the expense report based on high-level rules and checking for discrepancies. This type of auditing is time-consuming and ineffective in identifying errors.
With good expense software, companies can directly configure their expense policies into the system, making it equipped to detect any policy violated claims and notify the employee at the time of filing itself. This drastically reduces the chances of out-of-policy expense claims.
If the out-of-policy expenses are still filed for some reason; the audit trail (digital footprint of the claim request and related details of the expense) and auto-flagging make it easier for the finance team to identify and resolve such claims quickly.
As the expense management software ensures policy compliance from expense creation to expense submission, in the long run, it helps companies reduce their spends without hampering employee morale.
While choosing an expense software, here is a quick feature checklist you should look for to ensure policy compliance:
- Ability to configure complex policy and approval flows
- Auto-flagging of out-of-policy spends to reduce audit time
- Digital audit trails to provide complete visibility and control
2# Eliminate Manual Repetitive Work
Only 43% of expense claims are filed within 15 days of expense, whereas most employees (52%) take 30 to 60 days or more to file their claims.
This last-minute filing of expense claims increases the finance team’s burden tremendously. First, they have to chase employees for filing reimbursement on time. Once the expenses are filed, the finance team has to match each claim with the corresponding receipt & validate expenses, ensure they are duly approved, lie within the policy, and then reimburse accordingly within a stipulated period.
It is a lot of work, no matter how efficient your finance and accounting teams are. Not to forget the multiple back and forth emails with employees asking for any clarification if needed.
A good expense management software simplifies expense filing. On one hand, it enables finance teams to send notifications and smart nudges to employees asking for timely expense filing. On the other hand, it lets employees file expenses on the go via its mobile app.
As the system ensures complex policy compliance, follows government tax regulations, and contains all the information on one platform, it frees up the finance team’s bandwidth to focus on business-critical activities.
Here is a quick feature checklist of expense management software to ensure faster expense filing:
- Auto-scan receipt (with OCR technology) for easy and accurate expense filing
- Real-time expense tracking for complete visibility on reimbursement status further reducing queries for the finance team
- Smart notifications nudging employees for timely expense filing leading to quicker book closing by the finance team
- Mapping expenses to GL Code for a faster account reconciliation process
3# Increased financial visibility and deeper data insights:
One of the most significant benefits of using expense management software is its ability to analyze hundreds of expense data points to identify trends and spot wasteful spending. The real-time visibility of spending, as and when it happens, allows the finance team to manage the allocated budget more efficiently.
The centralized visibility into expense data and plug-and-play dashboards let CFOs, finance leaders, and decision-makers analyze expense data in various ways helping them forecast expenses and allocating future budgets accordingly.
Here is a quick feature checklist of expense management software that provides you data insights into your expenses helping you make informed decisions,
- All your travel and other expense data are stored in one place, giving your finance team centralized visibility on T&E spend
- Deeper analytics for better business decisions & control
- Powerful dashboard with ready spend reports for easy management reporting
With improved visibility on the expense data, your finance teams can identify where wasteful spending is happening and mitigate cost leakages. Moreover, the team can bring the needed process change by identifying bottlenecks in existing policies and workflow.
Automated Expense Management is Win-Win For All
The bottom line is, automated expense management is a win-win for all, the employees filing expense claims, stakeholders responsible for approvals, and finance teams responsible for managing timely reimbursement and month-end expense reporting. As a leading all-in-one expense and travel management solution, ITILITE has all the necessary features that streamline your expense management process and provide intelligent insights for your finance and leadership teams.
With ITILITE’s integrated travel and expense solution, your finance teams can,
- Be audit-ready in no time, with automatic flagging of out-of-policy spend and digital audit trails
- Quickly create insightful month-end expense reporting with an easy-to-use dashboard
- Eliminate wasteful spending and control cost leakage with real-time spend visibility
- Understand the expense behavior of employees and bring the required policy changes
The automated expense solution will undoubtedly make your finance team’s life more comfortable while driving efficiency in your expense reimbursement process, guarantee policy compliance, and enable cost control.
To know more about how ITILITE can help your finance team, book a free demo with our product specialists today!