The True Cost of Manual Expense Reports


true cost of manual expense reports

The Aberdeen Group found that 40 percent of survey respondents need to reduce expense report processing costs, yet lack visibility to do so. For example, on average, it costs $20.65 to manually process a single expense report.

If your company processes 500 expense reports, that breaks down to:

  • $20.65 processing cost each
  • $10,325 monthly cost
  • $123,900 yearly cost

But if your organization does have visibility into expenses, the cost drops to $12.51. That’s an $8.14 saving per expense report, or 39 percent, for 500 reports:

  • $12.51 processing cost each
  • $6,255 monthly cost
  • $75,060 yearly cost

This results in a $48,840 savings in annual costs.

Where is the money spent? The expense life cycle can be a complex process with varying paths. The cost and length of the process is dependent on the number of people involved, processes and execution, and the lag time between steps.

Once an approver receives an expense report, they need to review it and forward to the accounting department. Once it gets to accounting for processing and auditing, they validate expenses and receipts against policies. They make exceptions, if necessary, and/or return the report to the employee for corrections. Finally, it goes to accounts payable for reimbursement.

To learn more about how to automate your expense management processes, schedule a free demo.