One thing traditional expense report systems like forms and spreadsheets have always suffered from is a certain kind of inflexibility. A traditional report needs to be submitted in a complete form, and if there are any questions, discrepancies or inaccuracies that need to be addressed that often means that the form, in its entirety can’t be processed until everything has been resolved. This can suck up time from the employee that filled the form, and the staff in finance that need these issues sorted out before they process, approve and file away a report.
That’s the old way. With new, modern expense report systems, it no longer needs to be like this.
Every Item Stands On Its Own
With modern expense reporting software, at the discretion of the staff, it’s possible to do line-by-line approvals and rejections of individual expenses. Part of the reason for this is that employees traveling can make individual entries as they happen. With each meal or other expenditure, they can make a report, snap a photo of the receipt as proof and upload it. If they use a company credit card, the transaction can be automatically logged and filed.
But then are less certain transactions, such as the need for a shoe shine, or pay for laundry service, in cash, and it may occur with a small, local business in a passing town that doesn’t issue receipts. In such cases, the lack of usual documentation might stop and entire expense report cold.
However, with the ability for financial staff to go online and see each item and process it individually, this makes it possible for an otherwise acceptable series of expense report entries to get correctly processed, without the less orthodox reports hindering the entire report. Anything that stands out, such as lack of documentation, or an unusual credit card transaction, can be noted and flagged for appropriate response while everything else can go through normally. With flexible expense report software, this type of line-by-line processing is easy to do, with full transparency for all relevant staff. And the fact that the information is stored online means everyone that needs to access it can easily do so.