We all know that Finance teams can sometimes be bogged down with very time-consuming, process based work. This often requires high levels of detail oriented tasks which are of course, naturally prone to human error. So the last thing they want to be routinely dealing with, is approving expense claims from potentially hundreds of travellers. But with the capabilities of technology today, there are even more ways to reduce the time spent on manual tasks in the workplace, no more so than in the finance department.
At AirPlus, we’ve been thinking of ways to ensure that the Expense Management function tracks as smoothly as possible, by using technology. Below are the top five ways we've identified to create the best Expense Management process possible.
- Consider using an On-The-Go Expenses Tool — “On the Go EMTs” allow employees to capture their expenses whilst they are on the road, taking pictures of their receipts and storing them in an app, building their reports as they spend. The benefit of having an on-the-go expense management tool is that it removes the "end-of-the-month-admin-day". (The day that employees dedicate to doing their expenses and inbox-cleanse).
- Review your permissions processes — Task based work is very time consuming and accounts for particularly high levels in the finance team. So why do you need members of your skilled team reviewing every single expense report? Instead, employ management brackets, allowing auto-payment for those expenses under a certain amount of spend and only escalating above a certain level.
- Introduce Centralised Payments for everything big! — Sometimes it can be helpful to review previous years spend data and see whether there is a way to concentrate spend on most popular Airlines, Hotel chains and Ground transportation providers. Not only can this reduce the number of expense reports that are submitted, but you can also negotiate better deals with your frequently used suppliers supported by real transaction level data.
- Automatic feed of payment data —By having an open feed of your payment data from your Corporate Card into your EMT, you can reduce the reconciliation time of expense reports, again allowing your employees to spend more time doing their jobs, rather than admin tasks.
- Continuously evaluate — Finance teams are adept at analysis and understanding the workings of processes and systems. Use this skill to regularly evaluate both your T&E policy and your systems to ensure you've always got the right solution for your business needs.
Empowering your teams to spend more time doing what they’re best at (their jobs) can have a very positive impact on your business, both in financial terms and in employee productiveness. And yes, we know that technology is not always the answer, but when it comes down to Expense Management, we hope you agree that it really should be incorporated.