People: the enemy of old-fashioned expense management

In a business cartoon the boss asks an employee: “What did you think of my spreadsheet?” Without looking up, the employee answers: “Only two errors. Your data and your formulae.” It’s a humorous way of putting over a very serious message about a potential major flaw in expense management systems  – people.

People make mistakes. Why wouldn’t they; they’re only human. But if you’re running a business, then you’re the one who’ll pick up the cost of mistakes, possibly without ever knowing about them. And the bigger the business, the larger the margin for error.

One of the hidden features of Solo Expenses is that it prevents mistakes being made in the first place. But how can it do that?, we hear you cry. People are putting in the data just as they would do with any other expense management system, aren’t they?

Do the work only once
Well, they are – but it’s being done only once. With Solo Expenses there’s no need for transfer of data from, for example, a hand-written expenses claim form to a spreadsheet, so you’ve eliminated the need for a second set of data entry right there. And you’ve saved the time of the poor soul who’s having to do all that tedious data entry to do something that actually adds value to your business.

And then there’s the other thing; the elephant in the room. Fraud. In any large business it would be naïve to think that every employee wasn’t guilty of a little bit of expenses fraud every now and again.

Pressured to complete a monthly status update for the boss when the deadline for expense claims was approaching, someone, somewhere is bound to shout ‘How far is it from A to B?”. Someone else will shout ‘About 50 miles’, and a round trip of 100 miles will be added to the claim. But what if the journey’s only 46 miles each way? The answer then is an expense claim inflated by almost 10% – and that adds up to a lot in the course of a year. Equally, what about claims made without receipts? Unless you have a clear expense policy, there’s every chance of those getting through – and what if two people claim for the same meal, even innocently?

Integration smooths the path
Solo Expenses is a powerful tool, especially in the largest of its four incarnations (we have version for individuals and SMEs before we get to the Enterprise version for those with claimants running into hundreds). But no matter how powerful it is, it’s still small enough to fit on a smartphone for use everywhere there’s a WiFi signal.

  • There’s a mileage manager, so the software will work out how far someone’s driven by using postcodes for both ends of the journey
  • There’s credit card integration with all leading card issuers, to stop personal and company money getting mixed up
  • There’s a feature that allows fleet management
  • There’s a way to have the software help to set up an expenses policy
  • There’s a way to book travel with a pre-approval facility
  • There’s an option to switch currencies, so the software is ready to help, anywhere in the world

What’s more, our website has a facility for you to drop us an email to work out the plan that suits your business. Click on ‘plan’ at the bottom of this link. We’re waiting for your email. Drop us a line, and cut the human element out of your expenses management system.

Picture: Elnur | Dreamstime.com