What’s the most time-effective way to manage employee expenses?

What's the most time efficient way to manage employee expenses?

If your business and your finance team are spending far too much time managing employee expenses, take a look at each of the areas that are consuming your management and admin time and think about how you can approach them more efficiently. Here are some key suggestions.

1. Stop employees spending their own money

Perhaps the most crucial time-saving business efficiency that you can make in the area of expense accounting is to stop employees spending their own money on business expenses. Every time they do this, they create piles of paperwork for your finance team in the form of receipts, invoices, credit card statements, accounts claims and bank transfers to reimburse them.

You can get rid of all this valueless "busy work" with prepaid business cards. Unlike expensive and inflexible business credit cards, these are directly under the control of the business. They can be preloaded with a set amount, using a dashboard to which only the finance administrators have access. As the card is used, the finance team can see in real time, precisely what expenses are being incurred and by whom.

2. Use an expense management system

An expense management system will manage the end-to-end process of employee spending. From setting up the dashboard which will allow the prepaid cards to be loaded, to distributing the cards to staff, to monitoring and analysing expenditure, the entire process can be brought under control.

3. Set up policies and rules for expenses

As an organisation, you probably have policies concerning allowable expenses. The expense management system will allow you to refine this, by setting up a series of rules that will tailor the controls to each employee's prepaid card according to how much they are allowed to spend, where and when they are allowed to spend and so forth. This means that you don't have to rely on employees remembering the policy or policing themselves. The card won't let them step outside the limits and spending behaviours that have been authorised in advance.

4. Use mobile phones as portable processing devices

If you do need to process receipts, our expense management system the data can easily be retrieved from a mobile phone picture of the receipt. Gone are the days when anybody needed to enter this manually into a spreadsheet. So if employees do need to draw cash on their prepaid card to pay for something, they can get a receipt, snap it, upload it and the finance department can still manage the expense efficiently.

5. Integrate expenses management with your accounting system

You can take this time-saving automation a step further by selecting an expense management system that will integrate with your accounting system. This will give you the advantage not only of real-time spending control and processing but also up to date management reports, and cash flow projections that are accurate and timely.

Our expense management system has its own analytical abilities. When allied to your accounting system, real business intelligence can be produced on the actual costs of various parts of the organisation or the real ongoing expenses attached to projects.

6. Tighten up time limits

Once you have implemented the expense management system, there is far less burden on employees regarding form filling. So it's entirely reasonable to impose limits on expenses payments - just for those people who routinely forget to upload their receipt via their mobile phone. Many businesses and organisations have a limit of one month for expense claims, and unless the employee is travelling away from home and their base office, this seems reasonable.

Monitoring employee expenses used to involve an organisational trade-off between being fair to the staff and giving the business a chance of getting accurate expense statements in a reasonable period. That trade-off is no longer necessary. Pre-paid cards make life a lot easier for employees while at the same time giving businesses a far more accurate idea as to what is being spent and why. Companies can use this information to influence and control spending in a way that has not been possible in the past.

Expense management systems and prepaid cards, therefore, represent one of those rare things in business - an all-around winner. Why not contact the friendly team at Soldo for further information.

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