Business travel is an unavoidable part of any corporate operation, and expense reports are a fact of life for your employees. Unfortunately, expense reports are traditionally time-, money- and paper-intensive, and they are also prone to error and sometimes even fraud. Surely there’s a better way to approach this unavoidable aspect of doing business, right? There is – expense management automation.
An expense management automation system is typically cloud-based expense reporting software that can be configured to meet the unique needs of your business. The mundane, repetitive and time-consuming aspects that have plagued expense reporting in the past suddenly become simple, fast and efficient — not to mention highly accurate.
Yes, expense management automation requires an investment, just like any new technology. But the benefits of using expense reporting software can quickly deliver returns. Here’s a look at what Executives can expect when they choose an expense management automation platform.
Save Time With Expense Management Automation
Business travel is time-consuming enough, what with the planning and preparation that goes into it beforehand, as well as the time it takes to actually get to and from the travel destination. It’s a shame that entering, organizing, checking and processing related travel expenses also take up big chunks of a day or week for your team members.
When you choose expense management automation, an expense report that might have taken an afternoon in the past suddenly takes just minutes. Your Business Travelers are able to upload receipts and report expenses in real-time using mobile apps, and they no longer experience the epic expense report sessions on submission deadline dates.
What can your employees do with this newfound time? They can focus on pushing projects ahead, mentoring direct reports, finding professional development opportunities or making business development calls.
Time is money in business, and expense management automation can help unlock precious time for your team.
Save Money With Expense Management Automation
Travel is a significant expense for many businesses — about 7 percent of the average company’s annual budget. But there’s good news: Expense management automation can help you better control this large and seemingly uncontrollable portion of your corporate budget.
A 2013 report by Paystream Advisors found that a single manually entered expense report cost about $20.18, while the same report entered through an automated and integrated system cost only $7.60 — savings of 62%.
Think about the many expense reports filed each month by your more frequent Business Travelers. Each one represents an opportunity to reduce costs. Moving to an expense management automation system may require an upfront investment, but it can immediately deliver savings through improved cash flow and even rebates.
Reduce Errors (and Fraud) in Expense Reporting
Expense report errors happen. Most often errors are the result of oversights and simple mistakes — but they can also be the result of fraud. In fact, 13 percent of all company fraud cases are related to expense reimbursements.
Travel expense automation helps prevent both the honest mistakes and the blatant fraud. If you’re still using spreadsheets for expense management and asking employees and administrative assistants to manually input data, you’re inviting mistakes, inaccuracies and deception.
Compliance Becomes Simple and Easy
Many companies are operating in strict regulatory environments, and almost all companies have internal travel policies for team members to follow. When you choose an expense management automation system, compliance with external regulations and internal policies becomes simple and easy.
You can configure an expense management automation system to keep your Travelers under certain cost thresholds, to flag unusual or non-compliant spending, reject non-compliant entries and create the reports needed for tracking (and improving) how your company is allocating its travel budget.
Don’t underestimate the value of data on travel spending. Your company can use information generated by an expense management automation system to keep tabs on travel spending and to make sure that it’s aligned with your business objectives.
Employees Appreciate Expense Management Automation
No one likes to spend a Friday afternoon sorting through crumpled receipts and manually entering numbers into a spreadsheet. When you choose an expense management automation solution, crumpled receipts and spreadsheets become things of the past — and your Business Travelers will appreciate that.
Not only is expense report automation an easier path for Business Travelers, it also ensures that they get their reimbursement in a timely manner. Manual-entry expense reports are prone to errors, mistakes and delays. This often leaves Travelers following up on the status of their reimbursements. Automation allows for streamlined reimbursement, and most systems let travelers track the progress of their reports. Travel Managers will appreciate expense report automation, too, as they can quickly review and approve submissions — from any location and at any time.
Do You Have a Travel Management Partner?
Are you ready to start saving time and money through expense management automation? The tools and technologies needed for your company to transition to a fully automated system are readily available. And the right business travel agency can help you identify and integrate the perfect tools for your unique business.
At JTB USA Business Travel, we offer a common sense approach to business travel. We can help your company choose the expense management automation solutions and other tools needed to reduce costs, save time and generally make sure your company is getting the greatest return on its investment in business travel.
Contact us today about expense management automation solutions for your business. And look for our next blog post to cover key decision factors in choosing the right expense management automation platform for your corporation, including:
- Identifying system requirements for your company.
- Selecting a platform that’s ideal for your company’s volume.
- Evaluating packages and pricing to guarantee you maximize benefits and value.