Keeping accurate tabs on travel expenses for a company is often regarded as a necessary but time-intensive activity. What many people don’t realize, however, is that the toll on a company is not just in time, but in money as well. Expense reporting is an essential activity, in order to keep spending under control for business trips, but without the proper management of this activity, it can be a significant drain on resources that can hurt a company’s actual bottom line. But how does this actually happen?
Time & Money Lost
The first and most obvious way that a traditional, manual expense report system hurts is in time. There’s the old adage “time is money,” and all it means that is that time spent on other activities could have been used more productively to make money. That’s absolutely true in this case.
If you have a salesperson you sent on a business trip, that salary they are earning from you is being wasted on the time they spent compiling receipts at the end of the trip, filling out the expense report form, stapling the receipts together, and using the inter-office mail system to make sure the documents are properly sent out.
For your accountants and finance people, significant chunks of time are used up processing these reports, re-entering figures, and chasing down errors or noncompliant purchases that only become evident once they have the reports in their hand at the end of the trip.
In terms of money, the cost of toner, ink, stamps, staples, office supplies, postage, even physical storage space and delinquent credit card fees from late expense reports all gradually add up to sizable spending. All of this could be avoided simply by modernizing this process and using more efficient tools.
Automation Solves The Problem
With automated expense report software like ExpensePoint, many of these traditional issues are quickly addressed. Huge amounts of time are saved on reporting, since it can be done on the go using apps on phones and tablets. Receipts no longer have to kept for later processing with image receipt capture technologies, and noncompliant spending can be automatically flagged as it happens. Even company credit card transactions can be automatically logged so that users don’t need to do a thing. And finance and accounts people can verify and approve of every report entry made as it happens, because the information is stored online and can be easily organized for analytical purposes by management.
If you’re still using a traditional system, what you have may work, but it’s slower, less efficient, and less easy to use than modern solutions like ExpensePoint expense report software.