One of the most important steps in good expense report systems is what happens after the report is submitted. At this stage, your accounting or finance staff must exercise diligence and expertise, going over the expense claims, and making judgements about whether all the activity is routine and file away an approval for the report, or spot errors or, worse yet, attempts at fraud, and investigate and deal with these claims.
In a traditional expense report system, these activities take time, especially if something requires verification. This is made more difficult by the fact that in older systems, full expense reports are only made after a trip is concluded, and if there are missing receipts or other questionable elements of the report, it’s that much harder to follow up after the fact.
But with expense report software, both routine and investigative activities can be conducted faster.
Approve Or Investigate At It Happens
Expense report software like ExpensePoint creates a system where employees can make each individual entry in an expense report the moment it occurs. Even cash purchases can be quickly documented with a photo of the receipt that is attached to the report when it is made on a phone or tablet. Once this report is made, it is automatically uploaded to a centralized storage area online, where your staff can investigate and verify each claim.
In the case of routine expenses, this means staff at the home office can monitor and approve each transaction as it happens, which means when the employee returns, there is no further expense report approval required, it was all done during the trip. With errors or fraud, this also means that the anomalous activity can be flagged by the software itself if the expenditure is noncompliant with the policy you’ve established, and again, staff and investigate, verify and notify the employee while still on the trip if there’s a problem.
In this way, your staff can both approve and investigate expense reports at a much faster rate. And frees them up to spend more time doing the important financial work for the company rather than tracking down missing receipts and following up on miscellaneous expenses.