Most of the time when we talk about the use of expense report software, the obvious benefits are to your company itself. Your finance department gets much better information and control over what’s happening with spending during travel. Your actual employees, if you get the right software, have a much easier time filling out expenses since they take less time, and no longer require collecting receipts and stapling them together to a report that is only filed after the trip is over and there’s some free time.
But there’s one aspect of this system that most people don’t touch on. All this ease of use and better information and access is good for your company, but it is also good for one of the groups that your company counts as a valuable ally; your company’s bank.
The Gray Area
Most bank employees cringe when you talk about the financial activity of a company and bring travel expenses into the conversation. The reason for this is that when it comes to most financial activities that a company shares with a bank, the information is easy to retrieve and is straightforward; there’s the profits the business has made over the year, the expenditures such as salaries and maintenance, but, depending on how well implemented an expense report system is, travel expenses tend to be a messy area.
This is where there’s great potential for error or even deliberate misinformation that can affect the information a bank receives through no fault of management. Expense reports can lag behind on submissions if employees aren’t diligent about filling them promptly. Due to the nature of many purchases not properly documented, these reports can be inaccurate, thus not giving a clear picture to the bank of your finances. Worst of all, some unethical employees see travel expenses as an easy avenue to exploit, and thus deliberately falsify or misreport expenses, further complicating an accurate picture of your company’s financial activities for yourself and your bank.
The other thing that banks appreciate about a well implemented expense report system is that this comes more in line with what banks themselves use in order to operate efficiently; compliance. By having a system with set ground rules for how expenses are made, reported and processed, this gives finance departments a much easier time processing incoming expense reports, which makes for more accurate financial accounts. When there is no standardization in the expense reports themselves, or how they are filed or stored, this can often lead to a lot of valuable time lost to investigation, leaving banks waiting while anomalies in your numbers get looked into and resolved.
Expense report software negates a lot of this, saving both your company and your bank time and distress, by letting your financials get accounted for quickly and accurately. This kind of organised information makes it much easier for you and your financial department to work closely with your bank to ensure smooth relations and accurate reporting.