Too many companies today are still manually processing travel and entertainment (T&E) expense reports. If this includes yours, consider how much more efficient and cost-effective it might be to automate that process.
1. Save money
On average, a company spends approximately $20.18 to process an expense report manually, according to the 2013 Travel and Expense Management Benchmark Report by Paystream Advisors.
By comparison, the report found that organizations with fully automated and integrated systems had costs as low as $7.60 per expense report, a 62 percent decrease as compared to manual reporting.
If you’re not slapping your head yet — or if documented savings reports aren’t convincing enough — consider the bottom line benefits that automation technology can provide.
With an automated expense management system, managers can easily run reliable reports and analyze data, which can help put you in a more competitive position to negotiate better deals.
For instance, one automated report could confirm that business travelers are regularly using one hotel chain or airline carrier over another. Armed with this information, you’re in a position to negotiate cost-saving deals with travel providers for an even bigger impact on your bottom line.
2. Easily manage enforcement and compliance issues
Whether your workplace policies are dictated by regulatory compliance or internal issues, you’ll enjoy the peace of mind that automation provides.
Most automated platforms are programmed in accordance with standard reporting policies. And, most of the time, you can also customize features in order to reflect your internal policies.
For instance, do you want employees to keep expenses below a certain threshold? Are employees constantly wondering about IRS-allowable mileage rates?
Most automated expense management systems allow you to have both customized and pre-populated fields. This way, when employees enter expense items that are out of range or prohibited, the system can automatically block or reject those entries.
3. Free up valuable time
Manually auditing and processing employee reports can become a full-time job. When you spend time shuffling through paperwork and processing expense reports on spreadsheets by hand, valuable time is lost.
Your time is likely much better spent developing, mentoring and coaching employees, as well as managing projects and client relationships. With automated expense reporting, you’ll be able to dedicate your time where it has a greater impact.
4. Ease employee pain
When top-performing employees are traveling all week — perhaps generating sales and making clients happy — you should support them by minimizing unnecessary distractions.
For instance, if tardy reimbursement checks cause financial hardships for employees, you can also expect to see declining morale and productivity.
This scenario is practically unheard of with an automated and integrated T&E management system. With most systems, traveling or time-strapped employees can appreciate the convenience of a quick, direct-deposit reimbursement that makes a trip to the bank unnecessary.
Granted, human behaviors don’t always change as fast as technological advances. When you change from a manual process to a fully automated, end-to-end process, it’s important to carefully evaluate your expense management software options. Focus on vendors who have a proven track record.
As you consider your options for expense management systems, consider Insperity ExpensAble. Our expense management software makes tracking and reporting expenses easier than ever by automating and streamlining the expense reporting process, so you can leave spreadsheets and headaches behind.