6 Salient Features to Look For Before Buying a Expense Report Software

6 Salient Features to Look For in an Expense Report Software

Shivasankari Bhuvaneswaran

February 26th, 2019 Expense Management  

Manual expense report tools involve paper receipts, tedious processing cycle, and costly errors. But over the past decade, there has been substantial technological development. Tech-savvy employees have started demanding a technological overhaul in every aspect of the financial management process including expense management and expense reporting.

The ever-evolving technological landscape creates a demand for organizations to rethink their expense management strategy and implement expense report software. Expense report software enables every organization to offer its workforce a streamlined and flexible expense management process without sacrificing spend control.

An automated travel and expense report system removes an employee’s need to collect paper receipts and track transactions manually. It empowers employees to track, manage, and submit policy-compliant expenses. As for the finance team, they get 360-degree visibility into all corporate business expenses and helps them catch overspend and deviant expenses instantly.

Here’s everything you need to know about expense report software.

Why use an expense report software

Expense report software consolidates expense reports, reduces dependency on paper, and improves spend visibility. It provides an array of features from business intelligence and spend analytics to proactively optimize expense management.

An expense management tool covers all aspects of the expense management process from pre-trip authorization to post-trip analysis.

Salient features to look for in expense approval software

In an expense management system, the main goal is not just to help employees track business expenses easily but also speed up the approval process. Expense report software offers an organization the framework it needs to enforce policy compliance and eliminate inflated expenses.

Listed below are six features every expense report software must have:

1. Mobility:

Mobile-enabled expense report tools help employees track, manage and submit expenses on the go.

2. Drag-and-drop interface:

Visual form builders empower business users like finance staff to create an automated expense management process from scratch without any coding.

3. Integrations:

Solutions that connect seamlessly with other expense management software used by the business to eliminate data silos and reduce manual data update.

4. Automated workflows:

Rule-based, dynamic workflows reduce human intervention and shorten the turnaround time of the expense management process.

5. Insightful analytics:

Visual rich reports help businesses analyze not only travel and expense processes but also the common business expenses to eliminate overspending and spot improvement opportunities.

6. Intuitive dashboard

An intuitive dashboard that displays visual-rich reports based on priority and business needs will help stakeholders informed.

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Challenges of using manual processes for expense management

Manual processes and legacy systems are simply not equipped to meet the requirements of modern business. It’s important to keep, track, and record every expense to identify pitfalls, avoid unnecessary expenses, and cut down on costs.

  • According to the Aberdeen Group, the cost of creating and processing one expense report manually is $41.12, while an automated report costs only $7.17.
  • Recording, processing, and approving expense reimbursement claims can be a major drain of time and resources, especially when the business grows in size.
  • Businesses without a dedicated expense management software have difficulty in enforcing corporate expense policies and expenses tracking.
  • Using manual, outdated systems can be unwieldy and prevents you from getting a glimpse of the complete picture when it comes to your financials.

Why is having dedicated expense approval software important?

Finance teams often find themselves neck-deep in paperwork when employees return from business trips. Manual processes are prone to errors and miscommunication; they rely on managers to validate and approve claims quickly.

When you use dedicated expense approval software, it does most of the heavy lifting for you and can help expedite the approval process. Here are some benefits of using travel and expense management software for small business.

1. Compliance with travel policies

The expense approval software identifies policy violations and throws up red flags if a request violates them. Ensuring that corporate travel and expense policies are adhered to takes a huge burden off the finance team’s shoulders. This will also help reduce expense fraud and enforce compliance.

2. Visibility into financial health

When you track how much money goes out, you get a better picture of the cash flow. You can identify areas where you’re spending unnecessarily, and make insightful decisions that can help you cut down on costs. This helps you plan an effective budget for future business trips.

3. Tax deductions and audits

Travel expenses must be “qualified” in order for an organization to mark them as legitimate expenses. Without tight control over the process, you may be missing out on tax benefits. In addition, you’ll need records and audit trails to show that you’ve properly managed travel expenses, and haven’t opened yourself up to claims to mishandling funds.

4. Happier employees

Submitting expenses and waiting for claims to be approved can easily become a full-time job, taking a toll on productivity. When you have an easy-to-use system in place for employees to submit reports and claim expense reimbursements, it makes their lives a lot easier.

How Kissflow Finance & Ops Cloud can help?

Selecting the right expense report software in a sea of solutions is a daunting task. Size plays an important role in the process. Small businesses can neither afford a leading expense report software nor do they need one. A simple and affordable software solution like Kissflow Finance and Operations Cloud that comes with a solid set of expense report management features would suffice.

Kissflow Finance and Operations Cloud simplifies all the steps involved in an expense report process: initiation, approval, tracking, and auditing. In addition to eliminating complexities, Kissflow integrates seamlessly with other financial and business accounting software used by the organizations.

Kissflow Finance & Ops Cloud