As a CFO or financial controller, you’re constantly seeking new ways to manage your organisation’s spending and to maximise the productivity of your most important and expensive resource – your people. The right expense report app can help you to achieve both of these goals. It will put you in complete control of your budgets and the expense management process, while freeing up your people to do what you actually pay them for – adding value for your customers and your business.
However, not all expense tools are created equal. To get maximum benefit from your platform, you need one which has ditched the expense report.
Out with expense reports, in with line-by-line expensing
The traditional expense claim relied on an expense report – a paper form listing every expense for the project or time period, filled in by hand, with a wad of crumpled receipts clipped to the back. What’s surprising is that most expense report apps aren’t much more sophisticated. They make your users complete an entire expense report, even if they’re just claiming for a quick coffee with a client. Expense reports are a burden for your people to prepare and time consuming for you to process, particularly if your finance team receives large numbers of reports at the end of each month. Using expense reports can also result in delays and frustrated employees, if the whole report is rejected because you need to query a single expense.
The line-by-line expensing model is the answer to these problems. With this model, every time your employee makes a business purchase, they open the expense management app and use their phone to take a picture of the receipt. By employing optical character recognition, the technology then automatically extracts the date, amount, currency and merchant. The user only has to enter the cost centre before submitting the expense to be approved in real time.
No fuss, no delays and no out-dated expense reports.
Putting you in control of your costs
If your organisation employs many frequent travellers, the costs involved can rapidly mount up. However, the time and stress involved in completing expense reports can discourage your people from claiming regularly. The result can be large expense balances that you don’t know about, so your budget reports don’t show the real picture. The real-time nature of line-by-line expensing means you’re always on top of what’s been spent and by who, so you can monitor trends and take action if costs get out of line. The system should also flag anomalies. This allows you to automatically identify duplicated or unjustified expense claims or to highlight potential fraud, so you don’t pay any more than you should do.
Delays in your employees claiming expenses can also be an issue if you rebill the costs to your clients. Line-by-line expensing allows you to rebill on a timely basis, so you can avoid awkward conversations with clients who are surprised by a late bill or who suddenly find that your costs are more than they expected.
Many companies also find it difficult to reclaim VAT based on the receipts and invoices their employees supply. Your expense management app should be able to pre-fill the correct VAT rate, based on the country and category of expense and the entity the employee works for.
Another cost advantage to look out for is that you shouldn’t need to make large investments in the system in advance. An application that runs in the cloud as Software-as-a-Service means you only have to pay an affordable fixed price per user per month.
Supporting your people’s productivity and engagement
In today’s lean organisations, your most valuable employees have to handle administrative tasks which used to be done by support staff. This inevitably means their productivity takes a hit. Some organisations have found that upgrading to an effective expense management app can reduce the time taken to process expenses after a business trip from an hour to less than 15 minutes, meaning more time to do value-adding work.
Line-by-line processing also changes the way your people think about doing their expenses. Rather than being a chore, they can use a spare two minutes to scan their receipts, whether they’re in a taxi or waiting for a meeting to start. Once they’ve done that, there’s no need to keep the paper original, which means no more lost receipts. The app will give them flexibility and instil a positive frame of mind, as it shows you value their time.
These days, technology has become central to our personal lives. We expect it to make things simple and fast, whether that’s streaming the latest movie on demand or receiving an online purchase within hours of ordering. This is the standard by which people increasingly judge the technology they experience in the workplace. To make sure your expense management system meets your employees’ expectations, you need one designed to provide an outstanding user experience. A carefully crafted design and simple user interface will mean anyone in your company can get started with processing their expenses within minutes, with a customer support team always on hand to answer any questions.
Finally, the right system will improve your employees’ satisfaction by helping them to manage their personal cash flows. Real-time expense claims mean you can pay them more quickly – even within minutes – meaning no more waiting for the money to come in while they rack up interest on expenses they paid for by credit card.
Get started with Rydoo today
Rydoo is a user-friendly, mobile and cloud-based solution which transforms the outdated expense reporting process for you and your employees. It will streamline your corporate travel and expense processing, giving you better insights, automated controls and happier and more productive employees.
Ready to get started with expense lines? Sign up for our free trial and let Rydoo put you in control.
Originally published , modified