Make Expense Reporting Easier for Employees

Published November 12, 2018
Woman submitting expense report on phone

Expense reports are an important aspect of employee travel. Without them, how would your company reimburse employees? And, beyond the reimbursements, expense reports can provide useful data that helps departments shape and set their travel budgets.

Are expense reports easy? Sometimes. But too often, filling them out can be a burden for employees. And processing them can create issues for managers and accounting.

  • A manual or paper-heavy system can force employees to do mental back-tracks by the time they sit down to complete reports after a trip. And what about all of the receipts they suddenly can’t find?
  • This can be time consuming, and also lead to misreporting their expenses—accidentally or otherwise. In the process, they might overstep expense restrictions or policies without knowing it.
  • Meanwhile, the last thing managers need is to take on more administrative work. What they’d rather have is insight into useful, actionable data that can help them make budget decisions for future employee travel.

Simplify expense reporting

To help make expense reporting easier for employees, and to give managers new tools to access and use data, more and more companies are building expense management strategies to save time on the front end, and glean useful information on the back.

What would an expense management strategy look like for your company?

We’ve outlined three tips below that can help make the expense report process easier and more insightful.

When employees do business on the road, you want them to focus on meetings and sales opportunities. Do you want them to worry about their receipts? ExpenseWire’s features help make it easier for employees to track and report their expenses while they’re on the go. Request a demo and learn more.

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Make Expense Reporting Easier for Employees

Ease the minds of employees and managers

A simplified expense reporting process can help ease the minds of your traveling employees, and help managers get more out of the expense reporting process. Consider the following three tips as you build an expense reporting strategy.

1. Review your existing expense policy

Do spending limits fluctuate at different times of year? How does spending in one department match up with others? If you’re noticing inconsistencies or unanticipated spikes, or if accounting keeps flagging expenses that don’t align with expense restrictions, now might be a good time to review your policy.

  • Look to employees, managers, and the accounting department for insight and feedback. And, invite their questions as well. You might discover that employees are accidentally overspending because they don’t understand the existing policy, or that reimbursements are getting held up because managers keep misplacing reports. Such insight can help you improve your expense report process, and create a policy that’s easier to navigate and understand.
  • Some expense management software remembers transaction trends. This information can have a dramatic effect on how managers and departments budget upcoming travel expenses.

2. Consider the cloud

Plenty of companies choose cloud-based solutions to simplify different HR and management functions. Cloud-based expense management software is one of them.

If you’re already using expense management software, then you’re most likely familiar the way that mobile features can enhance the way your employees track expenses.

  • Help your employees save time by making it easy for them to track and submit expense reports from the road. This includes tracking miles, uploading receipts, and even receiving alerts. They won’t have to worry about being tied to the company’s server to access and complete the expense spreadsheet, or dig around to find expense policy information.
  • On the back end, cloud-based expense management software can generate reports that highlight spending trends, and help you measure expenses vs. revenue related to specific business trips.

3. Look for ways to integrate your people and your expense management process

If you already have a solid expense policy, you might even have internal FAQs to help employees understand limits and restrictions. But, what good are FAQs if employees can’t access them when they’re on the go?

  • Cloud-based expense management software can make it easy for employees to access information about expense limits and restrictions. Your software can even send alerts when employees are approaching budget limits, or when they claim an expense that is outside of your company’s policy.
  • For managers, your expense management software can alert them when employees submit expenses—as soon as they come in. No more losing papers on desks, or missing an email in a cluttered in-box.

Expense management software can help employees leave the worry of lost receipts behind—and much more. A simplified expense tracking method can make the expense process easier for everyone, and help managers and accounting plan for business travel.

A little bit of innovation can help take the stress out of your expense management and reporting process. Contact ExpenseWire for a free demonstration of our mobile expense management system.

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