Ask any traveling employee or AP Manager for a task they dislike the most in their day-to-day work. The inevitable answer will be – expense reporting.
Let’s face it – expense reports are despised, they are delayed, they are viewed as distractions and simply considered to be a hassle. But they are a necessary element of today’s increasingly mobile workforce. With corporate cards, foreign currencies, cash advances and many other moving pieces, expense reports continue to be daunting. And that is where technology and automation comes to the rescue.
Many companies struggle to tackle challenges and take firm steps with automating the expense reporting process because of not knowing where to start, when it comes to automating the process. Aberdeen Research Group’s report (‘Expense Management for a New Decade and The Mid-Market Expense Management Program’) says that:
* 56% of mid-market companies have limited visibility into T&E spending
* Only 33% leverage cloud-based expense reporting solutions
* Only 28% utilize corporate credit cards and integrate the data in T&E systems
* Just 15% provide T&E data to C-level executives for financial forecasting purposes
The good news is that cloud-based T&E software’s like Gorilla Expense have significantly brought down the cost of automating the expense reporting process. The software provides significant reduction in expense processing costs and removes frustrations for the travelers and accounting teams.
To reap the benefits and take the hassle out of this process, here are three steps that companies can execute on immediately:
1> Automate the T&E process to eliminate manual work while utilizing the latest technology
Gorilla Expense provides multiple options for users to submit expenses – mobile, web, corporate credit card import and email forwarding. By utilizing the mobile app, the entire expense report can be submitted from the mobile device by the user without having to get in front of a computer!
The advantage for the user is that the expenses are done immediately after incurred along with all the relevant information including expense categorizations and receipts. Since the managers can approve expense reports on the mobile device, their work becomes quick and simple too.
2> Integrate the expense data into Dynamics GP and stop manual data entry
Once the expense report is approved, the most preferable way is to send the data to GP without having to manually key in the data.
Gorilla Expense’s ‘1-click’ integration can send the data to GP in seconds with a single click! The standard and most common integration is to Payables within GP. Here, Gorilla Expense sends expense data as a Payable Transaction Entry within the Purchasing module.
Gorilla Expense can also integrate the data to the Project module in GP for project related expenses. The project managers can be setup as approvers in the chain so that there is full visibility of T&E spend related to projects.
3> Educate employees regularly on expense report related policies and processes
Companies that are serious about tackling the challenges associated with a manual T&E process must provide clear guidelines to employees and communicate them consistently.
When it comes to policies, companies must inform and educate employees about what are considered soft violations, what are hard violations and what are the ramifications for breaking policies. Companies must appoint a designated expert who can answer questions from employees and clarify doubts.
In conclusion, by simply following these 3 steps, companies can derive benefits immediately and make life easier for the road warriors and accounting personnel. And that’s a sure-fire way of improving productivity and cutting costs overnight versus a manual expense process that can be wasteful and reckless.
Interested in visualizing the benefits of T&E automation? Curious to see how the various moving pieces like corp. card, mobile expenses come together? Want to see the GP integration in action?