The importance of better expense reporting
Here’s a warning; this might sting a little. That’s because we’re going to say that if you don’t have proper control over the expense management system in your business, then look in the mirror; you might be the reason the system is out of control.
And making it better is the business finance equivalent of cholesterol; not matter how low it is, the medical profession would have you drive it still lower.
The reason business expense management control is like cholesterol is because there’s always an improvement to be found somewhere.
And that’s the upside of the thought that you, as busines owner, are be the problem with your expense reporting system – because the power to improve it in in your hands.
The answer to your problem is to get the strength of technology on your team. With technology you’ll be able to implement easily-understood policies and a transparent claim system that could well cost less than the system you have in place at the moment.
At ExpenseOnDemand we have a comprehensive set of expense management tools from which you can pick and choose to make the package that suits your company, but as a first step to better expense management, we’d suggest these ten simple steps:
- Define a travel expense policy: Do that, and everyone will know the rules of the game, and that you’re taking a closer eye on expenses
- Publicise that you intend to do spot checks using the new system: Sure, you could say it was to make sure it was working OK, but it would carry the implied deterrent effect that fraudsters might be caught out
- Don’t have more than two approval levels: The more you have, the clunkier the system becomes. Remember, you’re trying to improve the process, not make it worse
- Ban paper receipts: Tech like ExpenseOnDemand’s expense management app, allows your phone camera to capture pictures of receipts and invoices. Not only that, but it’s clever enough to read them and record the important details in an expense claim – and doing things this way means lost receipts are a thing of the past
- Claim the tax back: Set up your tech solution to automatically claim back tax you’re owed
- Integrate: Expenses must be recorded in the company accounts, but there’s nothing to say that needs human intervention. The drudge of multiple data entry becomes a thing of the past with the strength of tech beside you; it’ll do all the hard work so you don’t have to
- Eliminate mistakes: This is another data entry dimension. Because you’ve done away with multiple data entry, you’ve removed a part of the process in which hard-to-spot mistakes can be made
- Interrogate spend: Not to catch fraudsters (though that wouldn’t hurt), but to find out if the money you commit to expenses is worth the candle, or if employees are wasting your time by chasing shadows
- File the numbers: The ExpenseOnDemand app allows you to allocate spend to wherever you like – cost centre, office, or department, for instance. Greater visibility is the result!
- Use the data: Make what you’ve learned about expense spending work for you by calculating the ROI on sending people off to do claimable activities. Is there a better way of doing business? Having the right expense management data will help you decide.
Picture: Photojogtom | Dreamstime.com