Expense management is a two-pronged approach: how a business spends money and how it keeps track of the spend. It’s been the burden of finance teams, but organizations still stick to manual processes like paper forms and spreadsheets. As a matter of fact, one in two American businesses still uses manual processes to manage business expenses.
When you throw in employee-incurred expenses and their subsequent expense reimbursement into the mix and use spreadsheets and emails, that’s a recipe for disaster.
Simply because there are lots of moving parts and far too many people involved in the entire process. Outdated expense management solutions result in ineffective expense control. However, a dedicated tool can help you streamline the expense management process.
7 key indicators of a failing expense management tool
If your expense reporting system is not the right fit for your business, it can lead to financial drain and an incredible waste of time and resources.
Here are some telltale signs that your current expense management tool isn’t working, and that you need to start looking for an automated expense management system that meets all your requirements:
1. Paperwork, paperwork, and more paperwork
While exhaustive paper trails are important, you don’t want to go down the proverbial rabbit hole during every audit. Paper receipts from the business travelers not only fade and become illegible with time, but are also easy to lose.
If there’s no option to store digital versions of paper receipts, then it’s time to bid goodbye to your current expense tracking system. It’s very easy to get lost in stacks of paper; this can lead to a lot of costly mistakes.
2. Too many mistakes
If there’s one thing you should never compromise on when it comes to expense approval system, it’s incorrect data. It can be a result of manual entry errors, or system errors when you outgrow your software. Whatever the case, you can’t afford to make mistakes when it comes to financial data.
3. Too much time
Managers and finance teams spend several hours a week reviewing stacks of receipts, ensuring that they’re compliant with the organization’s policies, and approving claims–that’s several hours they don’t have.
If your expense management tasks are time-consuming tasks for you and your employees, then you should consider switching to another expense management software.
4. Employees hate doing expenses
Not everyone is as lucky as Don Draper, who can return from a business trip and hand over receipts to a waiting personal secretary. Most of your employees do it themselves.
If your employees absolutely hate doing expenses, then there’s something wrong with your expense reporting process. The tool has to be easy to use with an intuitive interface, and should be able to let them submit expenses from anywhere.
5. No mobile app
It’s really important to record business expenses as and when they happen, to account for all the spending. If yours is a business that has a lot of employees making business trips, you cannot do without a mobile app. A travel and expense management tool with a mobile app comes in handy so employees can submit expense reports even when they’re on the move which saves time.
6. Difficulty in enforcing policies
Auditing reports and processing payments manually can easily become a full-time job for your finance team. It becomes difficult to enforce corporate spending policies when they have to go through rows of data and ensure each and every expense conforms to the organization’s policy.
You should be able to define employee travel expense policies within the expense management tool and the system should be able to identify expenses that violate policies.
7. You don’t have the complete picture
What good are an expense management tool that can’t give you the holistic picture of your financials? An intelligent tool will let you access key insights without making you look for it. The system should have advanced reporting functionalities that can help you identify important metrics at the click of a button.
How can Kissflow help?
If you’re looking for an expense approval system, check out Kissflow Finance and Operations Cloud. You can keep track of all expenses, let your employees create expense reports, and you can approve them right from your smartphones.
Kissflow Finance Cloud is suite of finance applications that are tailor-made for your business to automate and streamline finance processes like expense approvals, travel requests, and budget approvals.