Business expenses can add up quickly, especially for employees that travel a lot for their work. In fact, for some employees, the costs of travel expenses can start to approach a significant fraction of what you pay them each month.
When your business can’t reimburse your employees in a timely manner, there are two primary negative repercussions that your employees suffer. First, employees, especially those with large travel expenses, can start to have problems paying personal bills while they are waiting for large reimbursements.
Second, they can start to shy away from business or professional development opportunities because they do not want to incur the large cost of travel up front.
Either way, chronically late reimbursement times will lead to low morale among your employees. Low morale means higher turnover, which means increased costs for your business in searching for replacements.
How Expense Report Automation Can Shorten Reimbursement Times
Automating your business’ expense report process can shorten reimbursement times by eliminating inefficiency on both the front and back ends of the process.
In traditional expense report processes, employees must wait until they return from a business trip to manually fill out an expense report. By this point, not only are the expenses they incurred no longer fresh in their minds, they could have possibly lost several of the receipts.
By automating the process, employees can begin to seek reimbursements almost in real-time. By simply uploading expenses and receipt images from their mobile devices immediately or soon after the expenses are incurred, they can make sure that they have proper documentation for their expenses and get the approval process started on an item-by-item basis.
On the back end, your accounting or auditing staff no longer have to wait until completed expense reports are submitted before starting the approval process. They can approve expenses item-by-item as they are incurred.
More importantly, because the expense data is uploaded directly to the system, your accounting staff no longer have to manually input the information into a database or a spreadsheet while they review the reports. This saves considerable time on the back end, speeding up approval, and consequently, reimbursement times.