When computers first made their big debut in offices and companies around the world back in the 1980s, many people proclaimed that “print is dead,” and started predicting the arrival of the “paperless office.”
In the 21st century, people are still reading books, printers are spitting out more documents than ever, and filing cabinets are still a fact of life in many companies for the protection and storage of important physical documents. It looks like we’re still a long way off from the fabled paperless office the late 20th century pundits were predicting.
But is that actually a good thing?
Expense reports, for example, use paper. A lot of it, in fact. And expense reports don’t just require paper in the form of the actual expense report document itself. Expenses have to be accountable. There needs to be a proof of purchase so receipts are a cumbersome necessity in any traditional expense report activity, because without that little receipt, an employee could theoretically have spent thousands of dollars on office supplies that then conveniently got lost or forgotten on making the return, and you’d only have the employee’s word to go on that this was actually where the money went. Expense reports need to have that documentation in order to maintain accuracy and accountability for how money is spent.
But that doesn’t mean it has to stay on paper.
Saving Time & Trees
If you’re still using a system that requires filling out expense reports by actually using forms and attaching a stapled pile of receipts to the form, it may be time to consider modernizing. A traditional form and receipt format of expense reporting works, but there are lot of inefficiencies inherent to this system. One of the biggest culprits is time. Filling out an expense report form at the end of a trip and ensuring that a collection of receipts is properly saved and submitted is a very time intensive activity that a seasoned professional employee could spend doing more productive things.
A digital form, with an image receipt system that allows users to take a photo of a receipt as and when they receive it, means that expense reports can be filled out as the expenses happen. The use of a receipt imaging system means employees don’t have to meticulously collect, catalog and transport every last proof of purchase with them, which saves time on filling the form, and requires far less storage as there’s no thick clutter of paper that comes with every report. With a digital report, there isn’t even a need for a final, printed document.
New automated expense report software like ExpensePoint are part of a more efficient, faster, environmentally friendly way to document expenses that make things easier and faster for everyone involved. Paper forms and receipt collections don’t just take up space, they use up valuable time in collection, organization and storage.
If you’re still using these traditional expense report methods and are looking for ways to make your business travel activities cheaper, faster and more efficient, try an automated expense report solution like ExpensePoint instead.