Why digitising expenses should be part of your financial strategy in 2021

In 2021, businesses can make gains in efficiency, employee satisfaction, and profitability – all from digitising expenses. In this pit-stop blog, we explain how your team can benefit.

Let’s get past the obvious – the pandemic is a compelling reason to manage finances digitally. And it has implications for each of the points we’ll make below. But it’s not the sole reason you should care; each of our recommendations earns its own place and will continue to be relevant beyond 2021.

Digital receipt management

Let’s list some of the complications of paper receipt management: receipts get lost, they fade, they take up space and time to file, and chasing employees is tedious. If you can think of a single benefit (and we can’t), it’ll be easily outweighed by the improvement in experience and efficiency with digital receipt management.

Employees just snap a picture of the receipt moments after purchase, and that’s it; you get accurate, legible receipts in real time – wherever you are.

 

Quick and easy reporting

To make the right calls, spending data needs to be fresh. Timeliness is crucial, arming leadership teams with up-to-date information. But manual reporting using spreadsheets has many points of failure, presenting the risk of reporting delays and siloed data. Digitising expenses can help.

By reducing manual data entry, digital tools reduce latency. Leading expense management tools capture transactions, receipts, and more in real-time – delivering enhanced visibility. Crucially, the best digital expense tools connect directly to cloud accounting software, presenting an up-to-the-minute view of business-wide spending in one place. It all helps your team make the right calls for growth.

Simple budget management

Some digital expense tools, like Soldo, come with prepaid company cards for employees. Going above and beyond a corporate expense policy (who really reads those anyway?), these expense solutions provide more control over spending.

Finance teams can set daily, weekly, and monthly budgets to keep spending in check. And you can also define rules about where money can be spent, and on what. Whether you want to restrict payments to your country of operation, or you’d like to prevent gambling, you can rest easy that funds will be spent where they’re needed.

Remote working readiness

It’s now clear that some employees don’t need to operate in the office at all times. Employees benefit from flexibility and businesses save money from reduced operating costs. But – as many businesses have discovered in the last year – working remotely creates complications. Expenses are one of them, with petty cash tins and physical credit cards seeing their limitations exposed, and paper-based reporting becoming nigh-on impossible.

But digital expense platforms make it easy to operate remotely. They effortlessly gather receipts, VAT, categorisation, and transaction data in one place, ready for reconciliation. And the best expense apps also help you to manage spending remotely, so employees can make purchases on behalf of the business without dipping into their own pockets or sharing corporate credit card details online.

Reduced processing errors

Wherever there’s manual data entry, there’s the threat of processing errors. When it concerns your business’ money, these errors can be costly. We recently discovered that processing issues mean businesses are leaving 8% of their VAT claims on the table, losing out unnecessarily. Again, digital expense apps provide a solution.

By cutting out the manual steps of gathering and reporting spending data, the best expense management software significantly reduces the likelihood of data entry and processing errors. Accurate data is shuttled automatically into secure cloud-based platforms, meaning lost receipts and Excel fatigue no longer eat into profitability.

Employee satisfaction

Last, but certainly not least, is employee empowerment and satisfaction. Late reimbursements and cumbersome processes are an unseen stressor for employees. It’s only fair that employees aren’t left wondering when they’ll see their money again, and there are far more valuable and enjoyable ways to work than fumbling through manual reports.

Digital expenses make processes more transparent, removing the anxiety of wondering when reimbursement will come, and making reporting easier and less time consuming. It all adds up to happier employees, and that’s something we can all get behind.

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