Using expense tracking software to track and manage employee-initiated expenses brings in multiple benefits for organizations. These help all the stakeholders in the expense process, and help organizations handle their expenses more efficiently, and help control them. These benefits help spur the global market for expense management, especially SaaS-based solutions. We will discuss them in this article.
In expense management, confusion and chaos often seeps in because the roles of the stakeholders are not well-defined. In cases where the expense owner is from one team but the expense maker is from another, then there is no clarity on who needs to approve the expense. Expense software gives every stakeholder a well-defined role, and ensures that they are accountable to complete their assigned tasks.
As with the employees, so with the process. Expense software such as the market leader FreshBooks also ensures that the entire process is standardized, and all the anomalies are accounted for. When organizations use manual processes and inconsistent practices that are associated with them, there is no clarity on what to do when something goes out of order. An expense report has been approved by one stakeholder before the other? What should be done? A line item does not fall under the company policy? What should be done? As a result of this lack of clarity, the expense management process takes much longer to complete, and will be harder to manage. In the absence of a standardized process, there is also the high risk that processes become inefficient and ineffective.
All of this will be remedied by the standardized process that expense software helps implement. No more will there be any lack of clarity in the operations of the stakeholders; there is a set process for everything, and there are notes on how to handle any deviations.
One of the reasons why the expense management process gets delayed is due to the lack of effective communication among the stakeholders. The travel might be over and the transaction settled, but the expense report is not completed within time, or the expense report is completed and sent to the approver but it sits in the inbox without being approved, or the finance professional does not know that the report is approved and ready for processing. All of these are common occurrences in organizations, and all of them will make the process inefficient.
Effective communication among the stakeholder is the answer to this problem, but even here, there are problems as employees are not always very communicative with one another. They might think that the other person would do the task without being informed, or they might even forget to keep the person informed. Instead of suffering all this, there is a much easier way to ensure that tasks are completed in time – by automating communication. Expense software triggers alerts and notifications immediately, and keeps reminding the stakeholders to complete their tasks in time so that the processing speed does not suffer.
Expense management functions, especially in bigger organizations that see lots of employees traveling, often involve many tasks that are quite repetitive, and such tasks will be better served with automation instead of wasting employee man hours on them. Tasks like filling in the expense reports, routing them for approvals, and validating each expense, can be automated using expense software so that they can be done faster and better.
Another great benefit that organizations can gain from expenses management software is the complete support it offers for policy enforcement. Gone are the days when employees had to waste time validating each expense line item, or suffer policy violations due to lack of visibility or oversight. The software ensures that company policies guide the process end to end, and handle all tasks effectively. Also, if the policy is being followed accurately, there is much lesser scope for expense fraud to occur at the workplace.
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