How can I save time on expense reports?

Employee expenses and their accompanying processes can be really time-consuming to manage, with plenty of potential issues thrown in for good measure such as errors, lost receipts and late submissions for the finance team to deal with.

So how can the process be improved to save time and reap efficiency gains? We take a look at some of the main steps to success:

Clarify the process

Expenses processes must be clearly defined, benchmarked against best practices and then effectively and comprehensively communicated to all relevant employees within the organisation. Once defined and signed off, they must also be embedded into new starter training and regular refresher training.

A business credit card offers employees the ability to spend whatever amount they want, so be very clear as to the rules about receipt submission, company credit card usage, acceptable expenses guidelines and other essential elements. Managers must also be well trained and routinely updated as to the process so that they understand their roles and responsibilities with regards to checking and approving expenses locally before they are sent to finance for processing. This process must link in with your company fraud protection measures.

Simplify the process

Make it as quick and easy as possible for people to submit their expense forms. Proper financial management today will typically see software used that largely automates the process, with drop-down selection boxes, user prompts and online help.

Add verification

Make sure expenses forms are not submitted without all necessary information provided. Again, modern software solutions make this easy by including flags and prompts as needed, so that forms cannot be automatically submitted until the missing data is added.

Consider prepaid expenses cards

A prepaid card can be issued to employees in specific roles or positions where spend is likely to occur during the month for company purposes. This helps with budgeting and also makes it far easier to separate out corporate and personal spending. When spending limits are set, they also ensure that no expenses can be incurred without proper authorisation from the relevant decision maker and budget holder.

Toughen up

Once you have improved and checked your expense process against a benchmark, embedded it correctly within the business, communicated expectations and built training into staff induction and refresher training, toughen up your stance on expenses.

Communicate the fact that expenses will not be paid unless processes are followed correctly. Be clear about your sign-off levels and set authorisations by reporting line and budget holder. This is made simpler with online software which provides sign-off routes and levels at the touch of a button, with ease of adjustment as organisational structures and individuals change roles.

Migrate online

Move away from spreadsheets and paper and migrate your expenses process online with a cloud-based solution which can be implemented off the shelf and then tailored to your business. Expense management solutions are at their most cost-effective when delivered via the cloud, using a monthly licence subscription. They also remove the need for on-site servers and time-consuming physical upgrades, as all system upgrades are delivered remotely and instantly. These solutions can really save businesses money and time.

How Soldo’s products can help

We offer a range of expense management solutions that save companies time and money by streamlining the process, making it more robust and efficient and migrating it online for ease of audit and accuracy.

Prepaid cards

Our prepaid cards give your finance team, and decision makers total control over the transactions which are to be approved. This means that employees can only spend within clearly defined limits and guidelines. For employees that need to initiate corporate spend online, your finance team can generate virtual prepaid cards via our dashboard for online spending. Learn more about one of the best prepaid cards for small businesses here.

An app solution

The Soldo mobile app dramatically simplifies the process of receipt submission for expenses. Employees merely take a photo of all relevant receipts and submit them to the platform, which extracts the necessary data. This automated reporting reduces staff and finance team administration time and the risk of lost loose paper receipts.

A management dashboard

Our online expense management solution also provides a management dashboard which is entirely customisable to your needs. This gives your management team real-time insight into how quickly, efficiently and accurately expenses are being managed and how corporate spending is stacking up against broader budgets. This provides the necessary data for efficient expense management, especially where further action may need to be taken to get corporate accounts under control.

Learn more about one of the best prepaid cards for small businesses here. Soldo Solutions can help you to build a more efficient and compliant business, visit our homepage for more information. Alternatively, contact our helpful sales team who will be delighted to discuss your situation on a no-obligation basis and arrange a demonstration at your convenience.

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