How much does it cost for your company to process its expense reports? It’s more than likely that you don’t know the answer to this question. According to a report from Paystream Advisors, the average cost of manually processing a single expense report was $23.12 in 2014. The bad news is that those costs seem to be increasing. Paystream Advisors also reported that the average cost had gone up to $26.60 per expense report in 2015.
The good news is that there is a way to minimize those costs. According to the Paystream Advisors report, the $26.60 figure drops to $17.31 per report with some type of expense report automation, and it plummets to $6.85 per report with fully automated systems.
How Does Expense Report Automation Save My Company Money?
Expense report automation software can link corporate credit card transactions directly to the software. The credit card transactions can be used to prepopulate most entries in electronic expense reports, saving your employees time from manually filling out expense reports. This also eliminates potential errors that your accountants and financial staff would otherwise have to investigate upon review.
Expense report automation software also allows employees to record and submit expenses from their mobile phones as soon as the expense is incurred. Employees can even take pictures of their receipts and attach them to the electronic expense report. Approvers can see all the information accurately and immediately, and approve each expense within a matter of minutes instead of drudging through a long and error-prone paper report.
With traditional expense reports, employees at each step of the approval process must re-type information as needed, duplicating work and introducing chances for error. By automating, the same data entered by the expense incurring employee can be viewed by accountants and financial staff at each step of the process.
Data analytics are an increasingly important part of running a modern business. By automating expense reports, all your expense information becomes valuable, searchable data. You can run queries and reports, or export the data in standard formats such as CSV, Excel, or XML. With this data, you can analyze your employees’ expense behavior and set cost-saving policies or guidelines.
Given the significant cost savings associated with expense report automation, investing in even partial automation is a good strategy for lowering your company’s operating costs.