Gone are the days when we had to carry out lots of mundane tasks and be inefficient in managing processes. Today, technology is making the processes easier and more simplified, allowing employees to spend more time on important tasks. Undoubtedly, every business process will benefit from automation; however, automation can help make business processes more efficient. Automation can greatly benefit business processes that involve administrative tasks. One such business process that involves a lot of administrative activities is expense reporting. From travel booking to report processing, there are many phases where automation can work and save time for everyone involved. Not only would this make the process efficient, but also adds value to the organization and improves the bottom line.
Let’s take a look at a few reasons how automation can help and why it is required to make the process efficient.
Time is the essence of every task we carry out in business. Automation would not only save a lot of man-hours, but also cut the time it takes to process reimbursement requests. Now let us see why expense reporting takes more time. Firstly, the employee has to spend more time to fill in the expense report, save all the receipts and send the reports to the approver. Approvers will have to verify and validate all the reports that come in and then approve upon successful validation. Verification should not be done in a hurry, all the details need to be error-proof and validation should be done to figure out illegitimate expenses and misreporting. To be done in less time, organizations need to compromise on the verification process, which could result in expense fraud. What if you could complete verification in a shorter amount of time? This is what you can do with automation. Expense management software will automate the validation process by flagging suspicious expense claims and sending back to the submitter for correction. Not only will this save time in processing expense reports, but also cut various steps in the expense management process.
T & E Policy
Organizations have detailed travel and expense policies in place but do not always make sure whether these policies are enforced in real-time. Enforcing T & E policy is tedious and sometimes organizations need to allocate some resources to make sure everything is within the policy. This is where automation comes in. Automated expense report system will help you automate T & E policy enforcement and ensure employees cannot submit out-of-policy expense claims.
The software restricts entries in the expense report. For instance, your T & E policy will say that only a particular category of hotel chains is allowed for booking, but how about when your employee books hotel that is not there on the list. When you do this in a spreadsheet, it will become difficult to track and ensure employees do not submit expenses for approved vendors. In contrast to the traditional process, automated expense solution will restrict employees from submitting any data that is not there in the T & E policy.
This will make sure out-of-policy reporting will not happen. This is just one instance and the same can happen with any other aspects of expense management. The software will not allow any exceptions and if it is there, the system would bring attention to the supervisor. So, everything will be done right and in a timely manner.
Reports & Analytics
Real-time reports is one of the major reasons for automation. By automating the process, you can have the chance to completely analyze the entire process and get insights that can help guide in the decision-making process. Taking data-driven approach towards decision-making will give you the visibility and transparency into the system, a desirable way to control fraud and misreporting happening in your organization. Analytics can help organizations plan and forecast better. Budgets can now be more practical as you can understand where the gaps in the process are. Say the finance department wants to know whether reports are processed or any other information, analytics will give you all the details in just a few clicks.
Expense report automation can help businesses in many ways. The software solution will transform the way expenses are reported and reimbursed while doing away with the most undesirable aspects such as misreporting, fraud and reimbursement delays.
Another major benefit that software offers is reminders and alerts. A lot of miscommunication might happen when employees take a manual approach, but the software solution triggers continuous notifications and alerts to all stakeholders to ensure there are no communication gaps and the process is running smoothly.