As we can all possibly identify there is a distinct difference in what we would like as opposed to what we actually need, and in relation to companies automating their expense reporting process the same realization exists. In recent months ExpensePoint’s global sales executives came together to share their findings in regards to answering the question ‘What do companies say they need for a successful overhaul of their expense report process’ Here’s how they ranked.
1. Online Expense Report System
ExpensePoint reports that clients hands down were searching for full vendor-hosted online expense reporting solutions. With the proliferation of online software-as-a-service (Saas) it now has become the expected method of automating the expense reporting process along with many other business processes such as accounting, ERP, CRM and others. Many companies who are looking for the first time at automated expense report systems are typically coming from using pen and paper or spreadsheets to complete expense reports and they want to go paperless and online.
2. Automated Approval Workflow
Companies who automate their expense report process want to have pre-configured expense report workflows, however not just traditional user-to-user approval workflows but also approval workflows based on policies. Client’s want to see items routed to approvers that go out of policy such as line items that go over a certain amount or for items that are charged to different GL segments such as different cost centers or departments.
3. Expense Policy Enforcement
Probably one of the most important items for larger companies is expense policy enforcement. Companies wanted to ensure that their expense report system was capable of managing their corporate travel policies by so called ‘Red Flagging’ expense line items that entered that fall outside of corporate travel policies. They also wanted infracted policy items to be visible to all people involved in the approval process right up to accounting.
4. Paperless System – Receipt Imaging
Certainly the growing trend within the last number of years has been to take automated expense reporting and make it a completely paperless process. Companies expressed a great desire to not have to send paper receipts from user to user and instead have a system that was capable of storing images of receipts and other travel related documents like flight itineraries, boarding passes, purchase invoices, etc. They wanted employees to be able to scan and upload images, or fax them to the service provider and have them automatically tag to the expense report.
5. Corporate Spending Data Analysis
The fifth must-have for expense report automation was having the ability to easily and quickly analyze corporate spending data. To coin the phrase ‘knowledge is power’ this is certainly true for any company that is trying to manage the second largest controllable expense ‘corporate expense reports’. It was crucial for all companies to be able to assess on-demand and through any time period how much has been expensed and to how much was going to be expensed. Also larger companies wanted to manage vendor negotiated deals and monitor performance via their expense report system.
To learn how ExpensePoint can address these top five client must-haves and more please visit www.expensepoint.com