How to choose Expense Management Software
It’s 2020. Business has been slow to catch up with the consumer technology revolution we now take for granted. We have gadgets in our home that listen, answer and even ask us questions, but at work we’re drowning in paperwork and scrambling around looking for lost receipts in a shoe box next to the stationary cupboard.
It’s time to bring the office up to date, and a great way to start is by adopting a future-ready expense management software package.
Soldo: The smarter business expense management solution
Choosing expense management software
If you’re just about to take a first dip into the world of expense management software, the first thing you’ll notice is just how much choice there is out there.
The key variables to look out for are:
- Ease of use
The right package will depend on the unique characteristics – and future plans – of your company. We’ve put together a few key questions to reflect on, to make picking the right expense management software just that little bit easier.
What do you need to solve?
What’s not working about your current expense management systems? Where are you most wasting time and money? What do people complain most about? Where are you struggling most to get your employees to comply?
* Make a list of the five key problems your expense management solutions should solve
What does your expense claim management look like?
Whether you have a tight expense policy or are doing things spontaneously, it’s really important that you accurately appraise your current expense processes.
Are your employees paying up front and getting reimbursed later? Do you use cash? Do you need cash? Do you buy online? Do you use purchase orders? What happens to receipts? How do your employees do expense reports? Who needs to review purchases before they happen? Who needs to review expense reports?
* Clarify which steps of the expense process you want the new expense management systems to replace, and which steps you will keep
How can your expense management solutions complement staff?
Companies vary enormously, not only in terms of organisational structure, but also in terms of the skills and job descriptions of each employee and department. Each employee has a unique personality and talent profile. Business expense management solutions need to work for your business, no-one else’s.
Which will be the main department using the expense management software? Which individuals will have most contact with it? How evolved are their IT skills? How much support will they need to implement the new solution? How will your employees as a whole be able to interact with the software?
* Make sure you pick expense management software that’s fit for the person, not just the purpose
Where is your expense management software going to be used?
If COVID-19 has taught us anything about business, it’s that it just doesn’t fit within four walls anymore. Even if you or your employees aren’t physically travelling on the road (or across borders), flexible working policies mean that working from home is the new normal. And, if your employees are travelling overseas, it’s important to choose an expense management software that can cope with multiple currencies without skipping a beat.
Do your staff work remotely? Do they travel? If so, is it in the UK or beyond? Where do the majority of expenses take place? Where do your employees do their expense reports?
* Write down exactly where your new expense management software will need to be used
Are your current systems built to last?
You need to be able to select expense management software that will work for tomorrow as well as today. While no-one can predict the future, now is the time to assess the different options based on robustness, scalability and longevity. Remember that you’re adopting a new expense management system to save you time and money, so there’s no sense in going for a lightweight option that you’ll simply outgrow in a year or so.
Who’s behind the expense management solutions you’re considering? Who are the founders? Is the company well-funded? Who else uses them? Do they have clear plans to grow?
* Read about and behind the expense management systems companies you’re considering
How much should you invest in expense software solutions?
Prices vary and – particularly when it comes to implementing a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution such as expense management software – you need to be sure that your company can afford the operational expenditure on a long-term basis.
How much do each of the business expense management solutions packages cost? Are the differences in prices justified? Is it cheaper to pay annually? Are there discounts available at particular times – such as at the beginning of a new tax year?
* Prioritise features over prices, but set a clear threshold above which you’re not prepared to pay
What do your people think is the right expense management software?
Whenever you implement a new solution, there’s a risk that your team will be slow to adopt it. The best way to get universal buy-in on a new process is to consult everyone concerned. This is really a listening exercise that will help you focus on all the points we’ve mentioned in this blogpost. Your employees are a rich source of real-life information about processes in your company, and how everything works.
Ask your employees what their pain points are when it comes to expense management. What do they feel most frustrated about? What do they hate most? What feels like the biggest waste of time? For those who might be reviewing expense reports, do they find they’re getting the insight they need to drive considerable savings? Or are expenses just being done by rote, missing out on key intelligence? How could expense management automation make their jobs easier?
* Speak to the key internal stakeholders to make sure you choose expense management software that everyone will love
Weigh your options
Treat the points in this article as a fact-finding mission. Consider all the questions carefully, and look beyond sales pitches and deep into the essence and quality of expense management systems packages.
Whichever expense management software you choose, it will work seamlessly with Soldo’s spend control platform, with integrated Mastercard® cards, a web-based administration console, and an app for employees.
Find out more at soldo.com
Join thousands of businesses with a smarter expense management platform.
Frequently asked questions
- What are the best expense management apps?
Soldo is an end-to-end expense management system for all your business spending. It includes a prepaid card that you can load with money and distribute to staff, a mobile app and a web console to monitor and analyse spending. You can integrate it with your accounting software (e.g. Xero, which also helps you manage spending) for automated reconciliation. For instant receipt scans, you can use ReceiptBank and spend even less time on manual tasks.
- How do I track business expenses easily?
Most modern expense management systems allow you to keep tabs on business spending easily via mobile apps, with invoice generators, quick receipt scanning and integrations with your accounting software. With a more complete expense management software like Soldo, you get prepaid cards which you can top up anytime, anywhere to pay for business expenses. Employees can track their own card movement from the app and you can monitor every company penny in real time.