While the first obligation of any business is to ensure that its primary product or service is the best it can be, there are a lot of different business apparatus that work towards helping this goal. Sending employees on business trips can be important for many reasons, either to provide actual service to clients, do work abroad, or provide more marketing muscle to generate business. But when employees travel, spending doesn’t stop, and that’s why expense reports are essential. Without expense reports, you don’t have a good idea of how or why company money is being spent, or what individual employees had to pay out of their own pocket to do work on your behalf while they were away.
Expense reports have been a familiar part of a company’s financial life for many years now, and, in all likelihood, you have one of your own implemented at your company. But just how good is your system?
Is Good Good Enough?
There’s a big difference between functionality and efficiency. Functionality is simply being concerned with making sure that something works. Efficiency is about making sure something works well. An expense report system can be tedious, unwieldy, slow, and difficult for everyone involved to process and file away, but it can still work despite that. Or, with the implementation of a good expense guideline, integrated with expense report software like ExpensePoint, reporting on expenses can be quick and easy for employees traveling and for the financial department that needs to process these reports.
Evaluate Your Process
Look at your own expense reporting system and see how it stacks up to others. Are you using traditional paper forms? Are you using software that wasn’t really intended for expense reporting, such as a spread sheet? How long does it take your employees to fill out a report and submit it? How long does it take your finance department to process it? How accurate are your expense reports? Are they giving you the information you need to make good decisions about the effectiveness of your business trips?
These are the questions you should be asking yourself, and comparing the answers you get to what a modern expense reporting system can give you.