Expense Management System: 4 Step Guide to Expense Automation

How to Implement an Expense Management System in 15 Minutes

Shivasankari Bhuvaneswaran

March 15th, 2019 Expense Management  

The financial landscape is plagued by roller coaster economic conditions and volatile markets. At any moment, businesses need to be able to know and control their business expenses.

As a result, businesses are always focusing on ways to significantly reduce spend and improve profit margins. Organizations come up with an array of strategic initiatives to get their expense management process under control and eliminate unnecessary discretionary spending.

However, manual expense management systems drain time and money. The process of collecting paper receipts, tracking employee business travel expenses using a spreadsheet, initiating expense report processing, and sharing them is tedious.

How to implement an expense management system in minutes

A workflow automation tool like Kissflow can help you implement expense management with ease. There’s no coding involved, so anyone can create a smooth process. You can use drag-and-drop tools to create workflows that streamline and manage expense processes. Here’s how you do it in Kissflow:

1. Create your form

The first step when designing an expense management process starts with creating the forms required to capture expenses. You can create one from scratch, or use the pre-installed expense approval app in Kissflow. Employees can use this form to submit their expenses.

2. Design the approval workflow

Once the expense reimbursement form is ready, you need to design the sequential path of tasks that need to be completed. Depending on your requirements, you can have multiple levels of approvals.

3. Set permissions

Once the expense approval workflow is ready, you can assign stakeholders and set permissions. Roles and responsibilities like initiators and approvers are assigned to individuals based on their tasks in the expense management process.

You can even hide fields based on the confidentiality of information and the access granted to employees.

4. Implement the process

After everything is set, you can publish the workflow. Employees can initiate instances of the workflow and submit their expenses for managers approval.

Key Elements of an Expense Management System

An ideal expense management software creates a less tedious system for employees, managers, finance teams, and everyone involved in the process. It aims to increase the organization’s efficiency while helping stakeholders cut down on costs. It can streamline the following areas:

  • Seamless expense entry
  • Data validation
  • Multi-level approval
  • Easy approval process
  • Expense policy compliance
  • Expense Reimbursements
  • Posting journal entries to an accounting system
  • Advanced report creation

When to implement an expense management system

Corporate expense management of smaller workforces can be easily handled by manual-based processes. However, as an organization starts to grow, failing to embrace expense management automation can have a detrimental impact on an organization’s bottom line. Here are seven tell-tale signs that clearly show that it is time to implement expense automation.

  1. You have little to no visibility of your expense management process
  2. You often lose receipts or other important documents
  3. You incur too many costs doing things the traditional way
  4. Your expense approval process stretches on for monthsYour employees hate the corporate expense management system

Benefits of expense management automation

Automated expense management solution makes the process completely touchless. If done right, expense management software can offer organizations innumerable benefits. Automated expense management systems:

  • Shorten the expense approval cycle
  • Make the whole process transparent
  • Speed up decision making improve accuracy and consistency
  • Allow organizations to control spend effectively
  • Eliminate hidden costs

Role of Kissflow in employee expense management

An expense management system is the first step towards streamlining corporate expense management. Tools like Kissflow offer features beyond mere centralized databases and workflow automation to create the expense reimbursement app.

Kissflow’s rule-based engine takes care of streamlining and optimizing every step of the expense management process while eliminating the risk of excessive, out-of-policy expenses. With its 360-degree view and in-depth spend analytics, businesses can spot process gaps and mitigate risks rapidly.

Conclusion

In order to sustain in today’s competitive small businesses environment, organizations need to reduce costs and manage discretionary spend. Although manual and semi-automated processes are a good place to start, manual employee expense management demands more time and cuts into profit margins.

Streamlining your expense management system with expense automation will help your organization better manage employee business expenses.

Take the first step to make your expense management system simple, smart, and sustainable. Sign up for a free Kissflow trial today and see how effortless employee expense management can be.