Summary: There is no dearth of hassles in the travel and expense management process. Form lack of visibility to delayed reporting and processing, stakeholders have to suffer many problems before they get their reimbursements. Cloud-based expense report software helps you eliminate these issues from your process and gain greater visibility and control over operations.
Corporate travel and expense management is fraught with many hassles that serve to make the process inefficient and cumbersome for users. From booking a ticket to reporting expenses, processes can become quite cumbersome and chaotic when the right processes and practices are not used. Manual processing is often the biggest culprit, followed by ineffective expense policies and reporting and validation procedures. By using a cloud-based expense report software solution, organizations can ensure that their travel and expense management process is hassle-free and efficient. As this post says, the software can ensure visibility and accuracy. We will expand on this and show other ways the software can be helpful in eliminating these hassles.
Easy and convenient booking
With cloud-based expense software, you can book your tickets easily and conveniently. The software will provide you with your own booking portal, which means that your employees can make their own bookings without having to rely on a third party. Since most, if not all, of them would have booked a ticket online before, this is not going to be hard. With their credentials, they log into the system, so their information is already saved, and can be automatically populated in the right fields. No more endless haggling with agents – simple and convenient booking is just a few clicks away. This booking is not limited to flights along – you can integrate hotel and train booking services, and even taxi booking services like Uber. All your bookings can now be easily managed from one interface, and all the data is saved in one place instead of in multiple systems.
Automated data entry
Ticket to report is now automated with the software. Since it is integrated and comes with end-to-end travel and expense management capabilities, you only need to supervise the process, and you can have your report ready in a matter of minutes, as against the hours you would have to otherwise spend. With data directly being copied from the booking engine, there is no scope for inaccuracies or human errors. Indeed, to control fraud, this is quite effective, since there is no tampering with data anywhere. More on this later. Automated data entry really takes the load off employees, and gives them the chance to use their time more productively. Expense reports will no more be an excuse for slacking or lagging in work.
Receipt management is one of the major hassles in travel expense management. These little things can cause so much confusion and discomfort when they are not managed properly. Lose a receipt, and chances are that you have to forego reporting that expense. Wouldn’t it be nice to not worry about receipts all the time? Wouldn’t it be nice to have all your receipts in one place so that you can prepare expense reports easily, and your supervisors can validate them at their own comfort? This is what the receipt management module of expense software does for you. Since you will be making most of your bookings from the integrated booing engines anyway, and data and bills are automatically imported into your expense report, there is no issue there.
What about the other bills? What about those bills that you get in paper that you have to report? Worry not. The software can help here too. You can digitize the receipt in a jiffy and discard the paper bill. Simply click a snap of the bill and scan the details into the software using its OCR engine, and you are good. Both reporting the expense and attaching the receipt is done in a moment. In effect, you can prepare your reports in real-time, and not letting them pile up, which will involve more work later. The software provides you with multiple features to eliminate the hassles of receipt management.
We saw about the hassles with reporting. But what about those with approvals? This is not without its share of hassles and obstacles. Expense reporting often hits a bottleneck at this phase. It does seem like a lot of work after all. Going through so many expense reports, validating them, and providing feedback does take up a lot of the managers’ time, and is simply not practical in some cases. So organizations settle for a compromise – randomly checking only a sample. Instead of this, wouldn’t it be nice to have a system where this validation is done automatically and you only need to pass your judgment on the legitimacy of the expenses? In fact, wouldn’t it be nicer to have this support too, so that you can spend lesser time on these administrative activities? This is what the software can do for you. Your approvals procedure will cease to be a hassle and will take up only a little of your employees’ productive time.
Delegations is one feature that is particularly helpful in approvals. Often, supervisors might not be available for some reason or the other, and approvals come to a halt when this happens. Reimbursement timelines go off the rails because approvals have not yet been completed. For such cases, there is the option of a delegation of approval tasks to peers.
Visibility might not be an operational issue, but the lack of it has the potential to destabilize all operations. Lack of visibility leads to very bad things, including and not limited to fraud and misreporting of expenses, out of control budgets, and lax processes and policies. One of the reasons for this lack of visibility is that multiple systems are used and data is distributed. If anyone does care to figure out what’s happening, they will be put off by the chaos that these multiple systems bring. This is where the software is very helpful. It offers complete visibility into all aspects of the process. Since the software is centralized and is the only platform used for everything to do with expense management, data is in one place, which means you can understand everything that’s happening easily.
The software also provides you with insights on the performance of the process and the stakeholders involved. It also highlights any inefficiency and allows you to take the necessary corrective steps.
Many of the activities in expense management can often seem daunting if only because of their mundane nature. After all, how much can one pore over such administrative tasks, and how much valuable employee man-hours can be wasted on these tasks? By automating most of the tasks in expense management partially or completely using expense management software, these daunting tasks can be made simpler and much more doable. With the software providing support at every step, seemingly complicated tasks like expense reporting, approvals, and so on can be made much simpler. Rounding all of this is the effective communication enabled by the software, which automatically shoots out notifications to the stakeholders who have to complete their tasks. No more delayed tasks simply because someone did not know to complete their task or because someone forgot to send a mail notifying the others regarding the same. All of this is automated.
Integration of different solutions also helps strengthen the automation the process. Say you use an accounting software solution which you use to make the reimbursements. Instead of entering all the data from your expense solution into your accounting solution manually, wouldn’t it be nice to get this done automatically while having the added benefit of accuracy? With the integration capabilities that online expense report software comes with, this is quite practical. Once you integrate these solutions, importing data is a matter of a few keystrokes and clicks.
Cloud-based expense report software just has so much to offer to organizations in making their expense reporting processes efficient and convenient. Gone are the complications and hassles – you will have a simple process that is easy on the stakeholders, while not compromising anywhere on quality of service delivery. The stakeholders can collaborate with one another much more effectively, and communication flows freely, leading to the greater cohesion of operations. And all this with the flexibility and customizability you desire at an affordable price. If you want a hassle-free travel and expense management process, cloud-based expense report software is a must-have.