Expense reports are a necessary part of running a business, but that doesn’t mean you have to like them. In fact, the goal of every business should be minimizing expenses and the costs associated with processing expense reports so that those valuable resources may be reinvested in growth.
The best way to do this is to streamline the process so that your employees don’t waste valuable time worrying about expense reports rather than performing the actual work you pay them to do. Here are some steps to help your business streamline its expense reports:
- Automated Policy Enforcement – If your business is still processing expense reports manually, your accountants are wasting a lot of time checking each item on an expense report against your company’s expense policies. Software can help automate this process, automatically flagging policy violations on expense reports.
- Define The Approval Process – Create an approval process, establishing who is authorized to make approvals and the turnaround times for approvals, to keep the process running smoothly.
- Publicize Preferred Relationship – There are a lot of benefits that come with entering into preferred vendor relationships. Make sure your employees know who the preferred vendors are and know that they are expected to use the preferred vendors.
- Perform Smart Audits – Auditing your expense reports is an important part of preventing fraud, but it can be time consuming and expensive. Analyze your expense report data to identify outliers and target your audits on those expense reports.
- Allow For Exceptions Within Reason – Business is often unpredictable, and there will be times where business needs trump strict policy adherence. But you can make your expenses more predictable and manageable by setting specific conditions under which exceptions are allowed.
- Review Your Policies – Your business is dynamic, and an expense policy you designed five years ago may no longer make sense for your business today. Review your expense data with your accountants often and make sure that your expense policies still make sense.