When a business is small and growing, it can be very important to avoid as many costs as one possibly can. This way, the business can focus its efforts and capital on the kind of investments that could make an early, strategic difference.
However, as a business grows into maturity, some of these early solutions can turn into potent drawbacks. One “stop gap” measure that many smaller businesses engage in is the use of free templates found online to handle financial tasks.
When looking at an expense report template, it’s important to realise the value of what’s at stake. Although the template itself may be free, it could lead to errors or omissions that might lead to a multi-million dollar fine in the future!
Generally speaking, enterprises go through a number of stages when it comes to financial security. Each stage corresponds to a different level of business travel and a different level of regulatory burden.
The Three Stages of Expense Reporting For Business Travel And Other Issues
Ask yourself where your enterprise stands in this growth hierarchy:
1) Stage One: Inexpensive Stop Gap Maneuvers
Stage One is the stage that any entrepreneur on a shoestring budget has worked with in the past. During this stage, it is important to evaluate the needs of the business, such as its expense report standards, and find the most inexpensive tool that meets that need.
2) Stage Two: System-Focused, But Not Purpose Built
During this stage, the business is beginning to grow and reach out as much as possible. This is when big things start to happen. With the differentiation of labour, it becomes necessary for the different teams to build their own solutions. At this point, financial and regulatory teams often use “productivity software” to execute an expense report.
3) Stage Three: Scalable, Global, Purpose Built Systems
During this time, the stakes are at their highest. With a large number of complex financial transactions each month, it becomes necessary to focus on “perfect” expense reporting and the utmost due diligence. At this stage, companies step away from the confusion and duplication of ad hoc systems, looking for a single enterprise software suite to manage issues.
No matter where you are in the life cycle of your business, you can capture distinct benefits by deciding to seek out great expense report software right away. The sooner you integrate a tool into your enterprise, the sooner you will enjoy its full value.