Using spreadsheets has been a tried and trusted way of managing business finances for decades. Its cell formulae and pivot tables have provided the essentials needed to keep on top of business' expenses, and can even be used for forecasting. However, as reliable as they are, spreadsheets were never designed to manage financial processes such as employee expenses.
With the number of available ways to make payments continually increasing, it is becoming ever more difficult to maintain control of overspending. Employees are being required to follow manually intensive procedures that can be prone to errors. Some of the drawbacks include:
* Expense claims eat into employees' time.
Filling out forms and copying and attaching loose receipts is a time-consuming process. According to YouGov, 39% of employees work on their expense claims out of office hours.
* Admin-heavy tasks slow the finance team down
On receipt of expense claims, the finance team need to input the data into their spreadsheet. Additionally, the components of each claim need to be checked for management approval, and to make sure that they are in line with HMRC regulations.
* Restricted visibility of expenses
When using spreadsheets to manage employee expenses, it's not easy to gain a thorough understanding of expenditure in the context of other company data. The lack of ability to analyse trends can make budgeting to ensure positive cash flow difficult.
Our automated expense management solution works by automating control, approval and expense processes so that everything happens in real-time. This includes:
* A prepaid card for employees to use
Our prepaid business cards can work just like any other debit or credit card; they can be used to make purchases online, can be contactless, or used to withdraw cash (depending on the rules set for the individual card).
The difference is that a finance team can control precisely how the cards work, by setting rules and limits on what the card will be used for. For example, limits can be set on the amount, when and where the card can be used, and what types of transactions are allowed. This eliminates the need to check if the expense was compliant with HMRC and company rules.
The prepayment aspect of the cards is particularly useful for lower-paid employees, preventing them from being left out of pocket.
* A dashboard through which the finance team can manage spending
Our dashboard allows the finance team to manage spending in real-time and top up prepaid cards as they are needed. Through our dashboard, the finance department can analyse data, identify patterns in spending. The resulting insights can help target areas to improve future growth.
* A mobile app to facilitate expense claims
With real-time monitoring, there is no longer a need for employees to file paper expense claims, and with our mobile app, there is no longer a need for paper copy receipts. The app allows the employee to record and send an image of the receipt associated with the expense directly to the finance team, saving time on both sides.
Our system can also be integrated with major management software solutions, such as Concur, Xero and Expensify, to name but three. This means that employee expenses can be viewed as a part of the whole financial picture, and the information can be mined and exported in a variety of formats.