Expense management plays an important role in the profitability of the company as a whole. Through the aid of automated expense management system, efficiency and accuracy is easily achieved without taking much time and cost. Business owners can have the freedom from a paper based and inaccurate expense documentation. Technology indeed has made one of the greatest contributions in the field of financial management that made significant development in companies and organizations.
There are many considerations when choosing the right expense management service. You may already have the criterions scribbled in your check list. On the other hand, you still find it overwhelming to pick one. There are tons of vendors who are out in the market with probably similar features, platforms, solutions and technologies to offer, thus, making it tough for you to choose one.
At the end of this article, you will be able to pick up tips and ideas on what to look for in expense management software. Read through the end to make it effortless for you to pick your choice as the best expense management software.
Problems to Solve
Before choosing the software to invest, you first need to ask yourself; why do you need such system? What do you need the system for? What are current expense-related issues that you want to solve inside the company? Ask these questions and write down the answers, that list will serve as another guideline.
It is important to think twice and consider the current happenings in your finance department. Discuss the problems incurred from your current expense management policy and decide the need for automation if it is strongly needed or not. According to an article written by Xpenditure, these are the four main problems that strongly need expense management automation:
1. Incorrect expense reports – this is commonly the result of manual expense management. The fact that manual method is paper based; employees can easily lose receipts which results to untallied expenditures. Inaccurate expense reports often result to financial and operational issues to both the employee and the organization.
2. Expense fraud – according to a study on reimbursement fraud, expense fraud comprises 14.5% of employee fraud as a whole. There are 4 types of employee expense fraud which are common to happen in larger or smaller firms:
- Reimbursement for items that were said to be bought but weren’t.
- Reimbursement for personal use items.
- Additions to the actual amount for reimbursements.
- Errors committed in making expense reports
3. Difficulty in auditing expenses in accounting system – hence the fact that manual expense method is paper based; instances can happen where some details are unrecognizable therefore making it harder to process reports in an accounting software.
4. Slow processing and approval – in manual method, review, processing and approval takes up a lot of time (2-3 weeks). Reimbursements for example, could take weeks before finally given to employees or managers.
When investing on a new venture, it is always important to consider company resources and allocated budget for new streams. Expense management platform also requires fee in order for a user to use it. Tons of expense automation tools are out in the internet which prices varies but has more likely the same features and platforms to offer. You may look for reviews of expense management software to see price ranges and how each user’s experiences upon using the certain software.
When looking for the right tool, you must be aware that other vendors may include indirect fees such as upgrade fee, customer support fee, software license renewal fee and more. It would be best to look for software that is free from hidden charges and sets a straightforward pricing. As a customer, you deserve to get what you pay for, never settle for cheap cost yet cheap service. You should invest in something that will help you save bucks not something that would let you spend more.
Whether you have a small or large company, it is always important to consider the current system of technology you have. Because of the fact that an automated expense system is through the use of a computer, you ought to know whether the software is compatible to yours or not. There are other software systems on the market which requires higher system specifications.
An expense management system does not only require a compatible computer, it also does require user’s knowledge in using the system. You may need to conduct employee training which can result to another expense. Try to figure out the capabilities of your employees in terms of using technology. To make it easier for your people to adapt, try to look for software that’s easy to learn, in order for the business to save time and additional costs.
Reporting and Exporting Tools
In choosing expense management software, evaluate the exporting tools featured. This is to ensure that everything you need to do as part of expense management can be done efficiently through the software. Here is a list of the essential tools needed for expense management according to an article written by Xpenditures:
- Exporting Tools – allows exporting of files such as .pdf, .csv and .xml.
- Approval flow – shows unapproved expense reports
- Accounting integrations – the software must be able to integrate with accounting software.
You need to remember not every people in an organization are keen with technology. Having an expense regulation service with easy to use tools is a must so as to avoid hassle and errors in every expense report.
Population and Expense Volume
In deciding to invest in expense management automation, you will need to consider the number of people in the organization. Some software set costs according to the volume of the organization and the number of users. According to Nexonia’s article on expense management software, you need to consider the following before investing in this medium:
- The size of the company or organization.
- The number of people who files or submits expense reports.
- Usual time people submit expense reports.
- How people submit their expense reports.
- How often people have business related travels.
Not every expense management service is the same. Some software’s cost may depend on the number of users or the number of transactions made. Business activities like travels could add up significant amount to the total costs. You need to consider all those things above to help you choose the right software that fits your current population and expense volume.
Automated Expense management can be difficult to use for many. It may include features that need technical knowledge from the user. Technical problems may compromise in the processing and auditing of expense reports which could potentially result to reimbursement and other payment backlogs.
These technical problems might be hard to solve. Lucky if you have someone in the company who is keen with computers and technology systems. Here is a list of possible supports expense management services can provide. You need to ask if they have at least one or two available of the following:
- Phone support – is the most common form of support. Phone call support gives you real time solutions and it would also be easier for you to address your concerns.
- Email support – almost every expense automation services provide email support. Look for one that is committed to respond quickly.
- Live Chat – chat support also gives you real time back up like phone call support. This is ideal for people who are not comfortable to talk over the phone or does not have enough time to handle calls.
- User Guide – includes manuals and self-help articles such as FAQs and troubleshooters.
Remember: not all software offers customer support for users. Some may offer one but might require additional cost. It would be ideal if you look for software that offers customer support without any hidden cost. Software that sets a straightforward price is one of the things you need to look for. There is nothing better than a vendor who ensures customer welfare and commits to providing quality service, especially client support.
So there you have it – those are the benchmarks of choosing the right expense management platform to use to fuel up expense management in your business. Always remember that accuracy in expense reports is essential to your business’ welfare; it results to better ROI (return on investment), higher corporate policy compliance, better utilization of company resources and overall operational boost.
The contents of this article serves as a guideline and should not be your only basis for choosing the right software to use. It is recommended to do further research and thorough planning to ensure you only get the best. You may look for reviews to hear feedback from people who have experience in using this medium.
Seeking for the right expense management software? Check out CrowdReviews.com to see all the latest reviews of expense management software, as well as the latest rundown on the best expense management software.
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