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Published August 23rd, 2016 by

Fast Track Claims & Reimbursements Through Expense Management Tools

One of the points of discussion in the market nowadays is to whether a business could really go full digital, or that having a hybrid model isn’t achievable at all. Is it really possible for digital and traditional business operations to work in parallel with each other? If so, how will it happen?

<img class="aligncenter size-large wp-image-6210" src="https://www.crowdreviews.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Fast-Track-Claims-Reimbursements-Through-Expense-Management-Tools-2-1024×450.jpg" alt="Fast Track Claims & Reimbursements Through Expense Management Tools” width=”1024″ height=”450″ />

For some, dualism may mean conflict, and which may also mean a more complex scenario. In any business model’s case, in order to maximize full benefits of traditional and digital solutions, they should complement each other by providing the right balance in all its aspects. The fundamentals of digital solutions arise from traditional methods and not from an instant existence. Digitizing is an evolution itself, not merely another concept that is natural like in traditional methods.

The nature of traditional and digital solutions differ in such a way that one arise from familiar methods, while the other exists as a product of successful experimentation. Adhering to digital solutions mean that you aim for efficiency by either optimizing the process, or completely disrupting the fundamental or familiar operations.

In a digital business, the processes involved are not entirely built around its own nature, but rather from “borrowing” some concepts from the traditional ways. This is where both can exist in a single ecosystem wherein one can be comfortable with change because it is basically the same principles, but using a different but more convenient and efficient approach.

The marriage of traditional and digital solutions when done in seamless fashion creates a more immense and service centered customer experience. Dualism bridges the gap between the familiar and enhanced market environment, wherein one will harvest the foundational assets from the traditional methods and carry them over to be digitized, in order to leverage your business that is cut from above the rest. That is the stronghold of a business that is adaptable and flexible regardless of the challenges it will encounter.

Finding the Right Balance

Most modern business solutions sought the right balance between traditional and digital means. Too much automation can lead to the negative implications on your business’ customer service. It takes away a personal and emphatic approach in providing solutions, which are essential in building a strong client-business relationship foundation. Putting character or personality to transactions will make many unique customer experiences of each individual, which will lead to different positive feedbacks and varied credible testimonies for your business.

Human intelligence is still the forefront of success in establishing good business. Artificial intelligence is just a tool in order to create integrated solutions that is a mix of human touch, and the speed and efficiency of machines. While the advancements in digital technology have significantly transformed how we live conveniently today, but as Gartner has put it, it should still be our objective to maintain that understanding of staying in control as machineries run and processes are being automatically executed.

Hybrid solutions, or the marriage of human and artificial intelligence, creates a more in depth customer experience, which is more satisfying and targeted. No matter how big or small, complex or simple, your business and its processes it may seem to be, technology based hybrid solutions can do the job. Here are some ways of how to implement hybrid solutions in your business transactions:

  1. Establish solid, real time engagements through mobile technology.

Make personalized marketing service updates by making them available to receive or access through your client’s mobile devices.

  1. Open varied communication channels for your clients to engage in.

This way, your clients can choose the medium they prefer at any given situation in order to reach your business. People nowadays are more demanding for fast solutions and by opening up both offline and online communication channels, this will create leverage because you can deliver solutions faster than your competitors.

  1. Utilize the social media platform.

The social media platform offers a wide array of opportunities for businesses, particularly in the aspects of customer service, and brand visibility. It also establishes a communal feeling, or a sense of belongingness in a community of same brand users. This way, existing customers can engage in an insight exchange about their experiences with the product, and at the same time indirectly encourages other potential customers-to-be because of its public nature.

  1. Make use of real agents with your customer service center.

A warm and more detailed response to an angry customer can somehow “soothe” them better than when faced with a robotic response. Small talk can make customer engagements feel they are personally being addressed, and most likely will get a solution that is more favorable for them.

  1. Personalize your online promotions.

It is possible to make targeted and engaging promotions by establishing categories for your customer engagements. For example, liking your company’s social media page can entitle him or her a discount from your services. On the other hand, email newsletter subscribers can get free, but exclusive reading materials that are relevant to the services or products they avail from your business. By personalizing your promotions according to their preferences, say the communication channel they chose to get in touch with you, will most likely will make them feel that you value their presence and your choice.

  1. Create products and services that are based on client-centric decisions.

There isn’t more satisfying when a client gets the solution they need, plus a continuous support system, even after the purchase has been made. By making your decisions about how your business will render its services, will take effect on how your clients perceive about your future innovations. Trust is very valuable in sustaining your relevance and visibility in the market long term, which also creates a strong, loyal customer base, which are one of your best assets.

Dualism, Paperless and Paper Based Transactions

As clients are important in driving revenues and profits to your business, your employees are the ones that sustains your business operations in order to give the best products and services for your customers. A business should be able to manage them well by always regarding their best interests, which will entail greater benefits in the long run. As mentioned, a hybrid solution is a combination of human and artificial intelligence, with your employees as who represent the human side. Conversely, for them to become better at what they do, should be supported with the right technologies, as being the implementors of artificial intelligence.

One aspect of the dualistic approach in running a business is the use of both paper and its electronic counterpart, simultaneously. Depending on the ground for comparison, using both entails different advantages and disadvantages, but both also stems from the basic principle of paper as an economical medium used in business transactions. In modern businesses, the very same paper and its contents are digitized in order to flow through an electronic system. The same content, but with a different form.Hard copy to digital copy.Dualism.

But in the same manner, challenges arising from traditional processes may entail a different approach for dealing with the issue of form. Such is the case of expense management in a business, wherein a traditional, paper based approach is inefficient and time consuming, and in which it requires a definitive solution involving the conversion of all involved documents and processes into digital. This is done in order to achieve the level of efficiency that also translates to productivity of employees and regulations.

Challenges in Expense Management

One of the important aspects to deal with the expense management system is also the exposure to data inaccuracy and fraud. In fact, the business case of fraudulent transactions on the rise has been discussed in a white paper released by Inc. Business Owners Council, which is Inc. Magazine’s membership organization of top entrepreneurs and family business owners in New York, mentioned about a cumulative average percentage change of +67.5% in fraudulent activities between the years 2006 and 2009. An effective implementation of policies, regulations and guidelines must be dealt accordingly in order to set the boundaries for acceptable and honest expense claims and reimbursements.

In addition, working with traditional expense management processes also entails issues on the following:

  1. Limited Visibility

In traditional expense management system, cash disbursements that have given way ahead of project execution leave businesses to a lot of guesswork in knowing if it will really go to where it is intended to be. Some opt for implementing expense claims and reimbursement policies instead, in order to get the right justification of expenses incurred before shelling out the money to its employees. This in turn shifted the headache of creating reports and then be subjected to the waiting game from a long and time consuming process of expense approval. But in both cases, there is a limited visibility of all expenses made, thus reconciling it is very challenging to do.

  1. Lack of Control

It is hard to ensure full accountability for spending the company’s resources, especially when funds are already directed to the employee.

  1. Lack of Audit Trail

Establishing a systematic and trackable audit trail is challenging when dealing with manual and paper based expense management. Thus, it is hard to implement methodologies for financial audit and business expenditure management.

Fast Tracking Your Expense Management Processes

Automation is an aspect of digital solutions, which makes everything flow through a streamlined approach in business management. An automated approach is carried out by using an expense management software. As we know, manual expense management systems comprise of isolated processes such as spreadsheet reports, paper receipt attachments, different signatories, financial approving and cash disbursement.

By shifting to automated expense management solutions, businesses can achieve magnified visibility and real time data update. An employee can also make use of a bundled mobile expense management app, in order to access the system and input expenses as they occur. Receipts can also be scanned and be automatically sent in the system, so that the finance manager can capture as much information to be used for financial analysis and detailed expense archiving.

Expense management tools can also give greater control over expenses incurred by giving system access rights and booking thresholds based on a specific budget. It can return alerts to financial managers when a booking beyond the designated budget has been reached. This ensures every expense is authorized, and in accordance with budgets and overall company expense policies.

The best expense management software can also give the business to conduct comprehensive financial management analysis from the data captured by the system. This enables the business to make informed and relevant decisions for certain key areas, as well as those which have future implications.

Conclusion

Any business should always be in the best position in safeguarding the interests of both its employees and clients, to ensure that the best appropriate experiences is always achieved. A business should be open to different ideas and models for business implementation, in order to have the best solutions for achieving greater efficiency, increased productivity and cost effectiveness. The right solution doesn’t come automatically, and entails careful analysis of your business’ actual needs.

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Trevor Price

Trevor Price helps small businesses leverage mobile technology to reach their audience and extend their capabilities in delivery, information, and tracking.

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