Change is necessary when it comes to running a business. Being an entrepreneur, you have to run with the world. If the trend changes, you have to go with it. You would not want to be left behind and risk losing customers. This is the same for all the software and systems that you need to make your operation successful. One thing that every business has and is required to do in every turn is an expense report. It can be done by accumulating all receipts, tabulating them and then entering them one by one into your prepared spreadsheet. But over the years, this method has been found inefficient and is prone to errors and fraud. That is why the development of an expense management software has been a blessing to businesses all around. There are many service providers for this software, so it might be hard to pick one that will suit your needs. This article can help you with choosing the right software, just follow the factors mentioned below and you will get the perfect tool for your company.
What Are Your Reasons for Changing the Process?
First thing you have to factor in when changing systems is why are you changing the system in the first place? You have probably heard the adage, “If it is not broken, then why fix it?” Consider this for your business too. The old way of manually making an expense report has worked for you over the years; it has worked for a lot of companies. Why decide to automate your system now? There are many reasons for this; a few of them are the following:
- Having expense management tools can save you a lot of money. Did you know that you spend about $20 per report that you make manually, while you only spend about $8 if you use an expense management software? This is according to a research done by PayStream.
- Compliance to policies and regulations are better enforced when you use an automated expense management. This is because expenses can be monitored in real time and those costs that violate the policies can be easily rejected by the software.
- Efficiency of all reports is also increased with the automated system. This is because there is less risk of human error when you use the computer software. Also paper receipts are less needed with this new type of system. Losing the receipts will no longer be a problem as long as you have uploaded them to the database already. It can also be integrated with accounting and payroll software, so reimbursement of expenses will be easier.
- It is easier to monitor who spends the money and why they are spending it. With real time reporting, it will be more convenient for the managers and executives to see how their employees are spending money.
Should You Use Manual or Automated Systems?
There are two ways to accomplish expense reports. The first one is through the manual system where the company will just use spreadsheets to organize their expenses. This is a simpler system and works for small businesses, one where there are very little to no expenses. According to the Expense Management Trends Report, 64% of all small businesses use the manual expense process.
The second one is the automated system where expenses are entered into the expense management system and the system will be in charge of generating the report. This will be ideal for companies with many employees who are always out travelling and incur lots of expenses. Although the software will also be ideal for small business because it scalable. When the business decides to grow and expand the software will be able to handle all expenses well.
The change to an automated system may depend on the company. There are costs when changing systems so this should be taken into consideration. If the software is in the budget then updating the system is a no brainer. But if getting the top expense management tools will be additional expense, the pros and cons have to be weighed. There is of course a return an investment but it won’t be months until you can see the money you have saved. Getting an expense management software will help save the costs but you cannot deny the fact that it will also cost you in the beginning. According to the benefits of web-based systems, 71% of small businesses that switched to the automated system can get a return on their investment within a year or even less. As a business owner you have to decide if getting the software is worth the money that you would have to expend now. Read expense management tool reviews to help you with your decision.
What Are Your Needs?
Now that you have established why you want to change your system and what type you want to use, we can now proceed to the needs that you want fulfilled. Let us assume that when you assessed your reasons you have found out that using an automated system will be more beneficial and you have decided to use an expense management solution. Let’s go to the features that would need to be in the software you are going to choose:
- The type of hosting the software vendor will provide is a serious factor you have to consider. It is more advisable that you opt for the software that can be hosted using the cloud system rather than in premise or internal hosting. This is so your database and system will be available anywhere, anytime that you have a device and an internet connection. Another reason is that there are more expenses and regulations that you have to follow when you use internal hosting. Cloud based hosting is more efficient and cheaper.
- The cloud based hosting will be useless if you can only use the software with a computer. It also has to allow the submitting and checking or reports using a smartphone or tablet. There are software vendors that will allow mobile use while there are others that are strict with what you can use. Read expense management tool reviews to know which service provider will allow mobility.
- Electronic receipts. Another important feature is that the software should allow uploading or scanned receipts. This is to safeguard expenses even when the physical receipt is no longer present. This will also put all information and proof of expense on the database where it can be accessed more conveniently.
- Currency conversion. There are times that your employees will need to travel overseas, so the ability to enter expenses in different currency is a must have when choosing a software.
- Real time. The expenses entered on the system should be available and seen in real time. This will allow whoever is in charge to check what is being spent on while they are being spent on.
- Policy and regulations enforcement. Get expense management tools that will enforce policies and regulations strictly. One that can reject entries right away when they violate the policies set up.
How to Implement the System You Chose
Considering the features you want and need you have probably chosen the best expense management software for your business. It is now time to implement it. Here are some suggested steps to implement your system successfully:
- Choosing the right software is part of this stage. When you have done all that is mentioned above, including reading expense management tool reviews and has chosen a software. When planning, make sure that the system is easy to use and will be learned by everyone in a short period of time. Get something that can be used quickly without much hassle. The trial use of the software is also a part of the first stage. Before implementing the system in the whole company you have to try if it works well. This will also help you check if there glitches and issues that have to be addressed. Choose a software that will offer a free trial.
- This is the part where you inform all that is involved about the changes that is being pursued. Not all departments of the company might be involved in the change so the communication might be limited to only parts of the company. This is also the part where training will commence. Using new systems will require training so that employees will know what to do with the new expense management software.
- The last stage is to actually implement the new system. During the first week or month of using the software, take note of issues and problems that your employees might have. This is so you can find a solution to the problem or ask your service provider about it.
Change might be hard but is necessary. The world is constantly evolving and you should evolve with it and not be left behind. Employing the top expense management tools is one change that you won’t regret making. This article was made to help you and your company with the changes that have to take place. Choosing an expense management software might be hard but when you follow the steps mentioned above, it will be easy and doable.
Still finding it hard to choose an expense management software for your company? Read the reviews at CrowdReviews.com to help make your decision.
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