Whether you’re looking to improve efficiencies or regain control of spending, automated expense management software could be just what your business needs.
By Beth Wallace
Organisations of all sizes incur a range of expenses, from business trips to client lunches and car-related costs. While an Excel spreadsheet has long been the method of choice for tracking such expenditure, it’s far from the optimal tool.
Automated expense management software is the way forward, says webexpenses APAC and North America general manager, Ryan Corlett.
“Everyone is time poor and efficiency is important to any business,” he explains.
“Chasing employees for the correct information, encouraging the whole business to comply to company expenses policies, dealing with the month-end surprise of what the employees have been spending, and then transposing all that information into an accounts package is not an effective use of time and opens up a business to costly mistakes.”
If managing business expenses is a bugbear for your own finance team, Corlett points to seven key benefits automating expense management can deliver.
1. It saves time
Expense management automation saves time for everyone involved: claimants, approvers and finance teams.
Webexpenses’ simple, intuitive interface makes it easy for your staff to record their claims, and auto-approval routes allow claims to be processed immediately.
2. It saves money
While the reduced workload is a money saver in itself, webexpenses can cut costs in other ways too. “Typically, we see a reduction of around 25 per cent in travel and entertainment costs when moving from a manual system,” says Corlett.
“This saving can be attributed to a few different things, but the big one for me is capturing information in a way that allows it to be reported on. This can highlight areas of potential savings: whether that be tracking expenditure on particular business expense categories, or specific to clients and projects.”
3. It’s digital
An online, paperless process brings greater efficiency all-round. Lost or crumpled unreadable paper receipts are a thing of the past! Plus, as webexpenses is cloud-based software, you can view your account across multiple devices and manage your expenses anytime, anywhere.
4. It’s mobile
Staff can use the mobile app to snap and upload their receipts for travel, hotels or coffee at the point of spend.
“Simplicity is key for claimants, and giving them the tools to enter information on the go in an efficient manner is vital,” says Corlett.
5. It reduces over-claiming
Expense policy reinforcement built into the software alerts staff – and finance teams – of any out-of-policy claims. “Defining company policies at the point the claimant is submitting their expenses ensures that there is no grey area as to what can be claimed,” Corlett explains.
“Being able to reinforce those policies by highlighting out-of-claim items is an obvious way to make some savings.”
A GPS function within the mobile app also allows precise tracking of mileage claims – greatly simplifying the old logbook requirements for staff. Distances are often rounded up to the nearest five kilometres, which adds up over time and can cost a business significantly.
6. It’s easy to report on expenses data
Webexpenses generates sophisticated, customisable reports, which give finance teams robust data and total visibility of spend, drilled down to any level you require.
The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has said that certain types of business expenses will be a focus area in 2017.
Your webexpenses software can be set up to ensure staff expense claims comply automatically with ATO taxation rules, GST and approved ATO claim rates, and reports can document compliance for audit purposes.
7. It integrates with accounting software
Automated expenses management software can integrate with the company’s accounting software to enable expenses data to flow through to the whole finance function.
Webexpenses has a one-click integration with Xero, and can be easily integrated with any other finance software using APIs.
To find out how automating expense management has worked for other companies, or to request a demo, visit www.webexpenses.com