How to Improve Efficiency With Automated Expense Reporting

Efficiency is usually considered the primary goal of any company or business. The aim of this is to produce as much quality work as possible within the shortest amount of time.

Many companies and businesses put their resources towards streamlining many of their work processes. This is so more time can be devoted to critical business-related tasks and less time towards smaller tasks.

These smaller, yet necessary, tasks include expense reporting. Expense reporting refers to the tracking of expenses that are incurred when an employee performs an essential assignment or function for their job.

Expenses on a business trip can include such things as transportation, gas, meals, and accommodations. In order to keep track of all of your expenses, as employees, you must list all of the expenditures in the form of an expense report so that you can be reimbursed appropriately.

What is travel and expense reporting?

Traditionally, expense reporting was a tedious process of saving every receipt and then manually typing in all of the required information into an Excel spreadsheet or a paper hardcopy. This travel and expense report would then be submitted to the finance manager for approval.

Expense reporting doesn’t have to be a complicated process and employees no longer have to hold on to and keep track of hundreds of different receipts.

Luckily, this manual process is now a thing of the past; with automated expense reporting, we can simplify and shorten the tracking of expenses.

Automated expense management systems allow employees to use their cameras to quickly take pictures of their receipts and upload them to a dedicated expense reporting platform.

What are the benefits of automated expense reporting?

Automated processes help by taking the burden of manual and sometimes tedious work off of our to-do lists, so as employees, we can focus our time and energy towards more important business-related tasks. There are multiple benefits of automated expense reporting and its ability to improve efficiency, including:

  1. Save time and money

    Holding onto every receipt you collect over the course of a business trip, for example, can be counterproductive and probably one of the last things on your mind as you move from one location to another on a busy schedule.

    Employees can easily access the expense report app from their mobile device and quickly submit expenses as they are incurred in real-time – rather than it becoming a larger task at month-end.

    When you are expected to collect and then manually input all of the information into a spreadsheet, it’s time-consuming and can cost you money. With the rise of automated expense reporting, the cost of processing expense items is decreased by about 30%.

  2. Automated data flows

    Inputting information from all of your employee’s receipts is one part of the process – and integration of that information into an organization’s internal systems is another. This is one of the benefits of automated expense reporting, which allows the automated expense report solutions to be integrated with an organization’s internal systems through a quick and simple process.

    Your finance staff will no longer be bombarded with numerous spreadsheets, which they have to input into the accounting system manually. This can result in data entry errors among other process delays – including reimbursement. Automated expense reporting solutions also allow their users to generate custom reports, which provide a clear visual of all employee expenditures, patterns, and company expenses.

  3. Increase the speed of reimbursement

    If your employees have spent their own money throughout a business trip, it’s no surprise that they would want to be reimbursed as soon as possible. With automated expense reporting, the need for human review is no longer necessary, and this helps increase the efficiency and speed with which an employee is reimbursed.

    Employees no longer have to wait as long for their money to be returned, with the time shortening from weeks to days. The expense platform where you upload all receipt images handles most of the work and performs the initial review before sending the reports to managers for sign off. Not only do you save time, but you also spare a significant amount of human resources as the platform shoulders most of the responsibility.

  4. Improved fraud detection capabilities

    As unfortunate as it is, most businesses lose around 5% of their annual revenue due to fraud in the workplace. With automated expense reporting, the majority of human input is removed and not required, which decreases the potential for false, duplicated, or inflated expenses being sent to the finance manager for approval.

    Any specific guidelines or exceptions to the expenses that you need can be integrated into the automated expenses reporting system. This way, any unusual activity will be flagged and can be further investigated or audited.

    Automated expense reporting removes the majority of human involvement and replaces it with predefined business rules that can detect any errors or duplications and cross-reference with the company’s credit card statements to ensure that only the appropriate amount of money is being reimbursed.

  5. Getting it right the first time

    Sometimes mistakes are just unavoidable, and the risk of making mistakes increases with the level of detail required. Unfortunately, about 20% of expense reports are produced with errors or with missing information, and these mistakes can cost you time and resources to correct.

    Using an automated expense reporting solution, employees can create expense reports which are compliant with company standards and require little to no correction before approval. Automated expense reporting solutions can be configured to help guide their users to input the required information step by step, so the process is completed correctly the first time around.

  6. Automating is a win-win

    Traditional expense reporting is a tedious process, not only for the employee but for the finance management teams who are responsible for reviewing and approving all submitted expense reports.

Holding on to numerous receipts, extracting and inputting detailed information from each of them, and then sending them off for review by the finance team is an unnecessarily long process with the possibility of errors.

In order to bring convenience to employees who make purchases, and to the finance teams who have to review each expense to ensure its legitimacy and accuracy- automated expense reporting solutions have been utilized more and more. The automated system serves to ease the burden of time, costs, and resources on both ends of the expense reporting process.

Eliminate the need for hardcopy expense reporting and save your company’s valuable resources with an automated expense reporting system.

To learn more about how to improve efficiency with ACI’s XR Assistant automated expense reporting solution, call Ash Conversions International at 1-866-340-9774 or contact us here.

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