As a professional, you know that managing expenses is more than preventing and catching expense fraud. But in day-to-day operations, especially if you are working with outdated software or are still using manual expense reports, it can be easy to lose track of the bigger picture, as your department spends many man-hours on data entry and verifying the information in expense reports.
Fraud Versus The Big Picture
The case for automating expense reporting and having integrated software often focuses on fraud prevention and detection. This is an important advantage with such systems, and expense fraud does cost business a significant amount. One recent survey by Chrome River estimated the cost of expense fraud to US businesses alone to be $2.8 billion annually. Reducing fraud is important, but having the big picture is equally important.
Clerical Work Is Not Productive
When the time of expense accounting staff is spent on manual data entry and matching physical receipts to charges, it takes time away from what should be the prime focus: managing expenses. Often employees are behind on their reports or submit incomplete reports, adding further difficulty. Automation and good software can vastly reduce the time accounting staff spend on clerical tasks and free them up to analyse the data, rather than just chasing it down, entering it, and checking it.
Being Up-To-Date Is Crucial
When you have an integrated system that allows employees to report expenses in real time from their smartphones, for example, you are much more likely to get decent compliance as well as more timely reports. Apart from the time it saves for all involved, it also allows accounting staff to catch problems from fraud to overpriced plane tickets that much more quickly, which can translate into significant savings for the company.
Real Tools For Reducing Costs
But perhaps the most important advantage of an integrated system is that it gives you access to all the data in different ways. A good software allows you to crunch the numbers from different perspectives with the touch of a button, giving you the tools for managing expenses properly. Instead of tracking down Joe Salesman’s mangled receipts, you can get on with the important business of reducing travel expenses across the board.