If you are one of the organisations who is still managing Employee Travel and Expenses manually, with paper receipts, spreadsheets and emails, then you must consider not only time and money you are wasting but also inconsistency and error-prone results your business might be exposed to.
An automation software can help eliminate issues like these and let you focus on productivity without worrying about the typical difficulties of manual processes. With an automated expense solution, submission, approvals, and auditing can be a lot easier.
Here is why you should automate travel and expense management
1- Remember time is money
The process of travel and expense management for both managers and staff can be seen as overly complex and time-consuming. Paper-based processes are cumbersome and require a huge amount of resource, not just by employees themselves but also by management. Added to that delays in approvals or loss of documents can be challenging to manage.
There is an easier way that will let you save time and money. With automated workflow solutions, expense requests can be done via an online form, by uploading images of receipts as attachments, sending automated notifications to department managers and other approvers.
Whether this approval takes place before or after the trip, with an automated workflow that is linked to an email system, approvals can be done with just a click of a button on an email without going close to the other system, from any location.
“Time is the currency of the new economy.”
2- The Increased popularity of business travel and mobile workers
There is a significant increase in popularity of business travel today, it’s now more important than ever to manage employee expenses efficiently to allow profitability and scalability of an organisation.
With an off-line capable workflow automation system, expense claims with attachments can be submitted from mobile devices even when there is no network connection. This helps significantly to the mobile workforce who travel often and have the pain of managing this process. With an automated solution that is available offline, users don’t have to wait until they are back to the office, they can manage their expenses while they are abroad, in-flight anywhere they want.
3- Automation will reduce the risk of errors
Manual processes are prone to the risk of errors in entering data, like duplicating claims, rounding up numbers. Automated expense management validates the entries, makes sure that there are rules applied to all departments and employees, preventing wrong data entries and applying right policies using pre-populated fields.
Businesses working in various geographic locations face bigger challenges. These organisations usually opt for managing this by using daily allowance (per diem) method which is a specific amount of money an organisation gives an employee, per day to cover living expenses when travelling for work. Automating these processes enables accuracy, easy auditing and quick changes to policies based on legislative changes, helping organisations control their processes more efficiently.
4- Enhanced travel policy enforcement and increased visibility
Smart data usage and data visibility are crucial to drive an organisation efficiently and to make intelligent business decisions. Gaining access to information through a central location of dashboards can help management to analyse progress, view reports and indicators of performance.
With automated processes, expense reports can be easily integrated with other systems like accounting, ERP etc. in real time, giving organisations an end-to-end visibility of business processes, helping in managing budgets, cash flows and controlling spending.
Companies currently using an automated expense system experience quicker reimbursement times enhanced travel policy enforcement and increased visibility.
In conclusion, when you change from a manual process to a fully automated process, it’s important to carefully evaluate your expense management software options. Some of the solutions may not be suitable for your business, you may need something simpler than what they offer.
Depending on your specific business requirements, the design of this process does not need to be overly complicated, the simpler the better for an easier user adoption. It can be as simple as three forms, one for submission, second for approvals and last for finance review. Employee submits a request, manager approves, finance pays, data gets stored in the system then you are set to report, review and audit.
After all, our habits don’t change as fast as the technology changes. Starting with small and simple steps is the right way to achieve sustainable digital transformation.
If you are considering implementing a travel and expense management solution and looking for a smart, easy, flexible and scalable alternative, consider Kianda BPM, you will be amazed how much you can achieve with it.