Employee Expense Reimbursement

How is the expense reimbursement process managed in your business?

Does it entail cumbersome filing and submission of paper receipts to the Finance department and long wait times for approval? Or does it entail a quick scan and submission of the receipts and seamless, quick approval?

If the first scenario describes the current situation in your business, then it is high time you look at automating the expense management process in your organization.

If your expense management system is more like the latter scenario, then you are already on the right track to seamless and transparent expense management!

employee expense reimbursements

How important is the Travel and Expense Management (TEM) system for an organization?

The TEM system stands second to the Employee Payroll in terms of operational costs. Apart from the Finance department, managers and employees also spend a substantial amount of time on the employee expense reimbursement process flow.

Traditional expense management systems are not only tedious but are also lacking in compliance and transparency. With such a pivotal role to play in the business operations, the TEM systems no doubt need to be updated/upgraded for better operational efficiency.

Need for Automation of TEM Systems

The factors that need to be improved in traditional expense management systems include processing speed, transparency, compliance, human error/bias, and efficiency. This sets the premise for the need for automating employee expense reimbursement.

Apart from overcoming the flaws/inadequacies in traditional TEM systems, automation is needed for:

Better Employee Satisfaction: When employees incur expenses on behalf of the company, they pay out of their pocket. So the sooner the money is reimbursed, the higher is the employee satisfaction index. Automating the expense reimbursement process is speedy and error/bias-free.

Reducing Processing Cost: Expense approval involves many layers of validation and approval, which eats up the productive time of employees. The cost of processing an expense report is very high in traditional processing systems. Automation helps cut down the processing cost and time.

Improving accountability: Eliminating human bias from expense processing improves transparency and accountability of processing significantly.

Deeper financial insights: Automation of employee expense management process empowers the finance teams with deeper data insights into the T&E spending. The automation software provides dashboards that give a bird’s eye view of the expenditure. Armed with comprehensive expense data management can make informed decisions on cost-cutting.

Real-time Visibility: Businesses need to keep track of where and how the money is being spent. Automation of expense management allows real-time insights into reported spend claims, approved, or flagged expenses. Visibility and transparency are greatly increased, which in turn enables smooth business functioning.

Scalability: Traditional TEM systems are not scalable. Organizations looking to scale up their operations would be better off with automated TEM for seamless transaction processing.

Top Trends in Expense Management Automation

According to an IDC report on Worldwide Travel and Expense Management Software Forecast for 2019-2023, the TEM software market is set to reach 2.7 billion USD by the year 2022 at a CAGR of 8.7%.

Businesses looking to optimize their operational costs are exploring technologies to manage, control, and track their expenses more transparently and efficiently.

Automated employee expense reimbursement system empowers the Finance department and the Management with real-time insights into expenses, and simplifies the spend claim submission process for employees.

The top trends in the Expense Management Industry to watch out for in 2020 are:

  1. Mobility: The millennial employee wants everything on-the-go, can expense reimbursement be far behind? Automating expense management can bring in mobility into the process through mobile apps.
  2. Integration: automated expense management systems can be seamlessly integrated with ERP and other accounting systems.
  3. AI and machine learning: An automated TEM system enhanced with AI or ML capabilities can analyze financial data and flag off anomalies likely caused by human fraud/error.

Choosing the right software

Choosing to automate expense management is the first step to operational efficiency and cost-cutting. Some of the must-have features of automated employee expense reimbursement software are:

  • Support multiple users
  • Customizable to Firm’s travel policies
  • Automatic categorization of expenses
  • Automatic expense report creation and submission
  • Able to flag policy violations
  • Automated approvals
  • Advanced Analytics
  • Seamless integration with other systems

These are some of the key features to look for while choosing an employee expense reimbursement software.

Cflow is a workflow management software that automates business processes efficiently. The software comes with an easy-to-use user interface that can be accessed through the web or mobile. Cflow can be used to automate CapEx management for complete documentation and automation. Real-time updates are made visible to all those involved in the approval process for complete transparency and efficient processing.

Key Takeaways

According to a report by Market Research Future, the expense management software market was valued at 2,349.1 million USD in the year 2015 and is expected to touch 6,599.2 million USD by 2025. Expense management software is now considered as an imperative financial management tool that assists enterprises to automate and streamline expense report management.

Give your business the advantage of automated expense management now! Cflow enables you to gain a complete and accurate picture of your finances, and spend less time handling transactions.

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