Using expense report management tools and software is most obviously useful when you’re on a business trip and the company is paying for your necessities (and maybe a little more depending on who you work for), but that’s not necessarily where it has to end. After all, even the most complex and integrated expense report management app is just a spreadsheet at its heart, and with more connections to other functions and applications a good expensing program can become a useful tool for any HR or accounting department.
When you use an expense report app, you create an itemized list of purchases and attach camera-phone images of the receipts as proof. While that’s certainly good for claiming travel expenses, there’s a lot more you can do with it. For instance:
- A small business or a startup can create a list of the office furniture and equipment they purchase for the sake of getting a tax deduction later.
- Someone who’s self-employed can also collect a list of itemized deductions for tax season.
- You can use expense report software for crafting a household budget. That said, unless your particular household engages in a lot of travel, you can probably get by with a less sophisticated app.
You can already integrate several travel expense apps directly into the HR payroll apps produced by the same companies, making it that much easier to create a transparent, easy-to-understand corporate payroll budget. By integrating other budgetary applications which cover capital gains and costs, revenues and deficits, along with overall budgets and itemized department costs, it’s easier today to develop a budget view which any CFO would be proud to present to a shareholders meeting.
Modern expense report management programs can make it much less of a burden to make expense claims during business trips, but they can go far beyond that basic application. With a little imagination, you can apply the software to several additional purposes, and with the right integration systems, it can become part of a completely transparent corporate budget software suite.