Every company faces the same challenges when it comes to managing expense claims. So, whether your challenge is about compliance or about ensuring the reimbursements are done correctly or on a timely basis, you see this as time consuming effort that repeats itself each month,
Automation is the way to go
Automating this properly can save the company money and also improve employee relations. When the number of employees affected is few and expenses are limited, using a spreadsheet template designed for this is cheap and practical. But as soon as the effort increases, there is a need for a better solution to manage this.
Key Features to look out for
There are many software solutions available that can handle the needs. Here are some key features you should look out for when sourcing for such software:
- It should be a web-based solution. This is important as the intention is to reduce duplication of efforts. Employees incurring the expense should be able to create claim entries on their own, preferably using a device that they are comfortable with, and have it immediately routed for review and approval. This would also mean having native mobile apps as a tool for employees to use.
- A good user interface is paramount when it comes to adoption. Systems should be usable with little to no training. Complex systems will only lead to errors and negate the very reason for automation in the first place.
- Approval and rejection of claims by Managers should also be possible using the same device that they use for entry of their claims. This one single point of use will make the product easier to use and acceptable. Additionally, look out for solutions that have innovative ways of notifying Managers and Employees of actions needed.
- Often companies have strict policies and limits when it comes to expenditures. Such requirements should be configurable in the software together with any routing settings for approvals and rejections. Having this means you can improve on your HR practices as needs changes and not have to face replacement of software. More importantly, it means you now have the ability to change and improve employee sentiments.
- In more sophisticated solutions, ability to do Trip planning is a benefit not to be overlooked. This mean, instead of recording expenses after the fact, such solutions can provide companies the ability to approve trips against budgets set aside for them. Rules and Policies can be defined to ensure capping and limits are adhered to.
- As the use of such solutions matures in a company, there should be abilities for the company to tap into additional services offered by affiliated third-party suppliers. For example, accessing and using Transport, Hotel, Restaurants and many other services within the application where the use of such services offer additional savings for the company.
Having said all these, companies must also take note that with an introduction of new systems for automation, there is also a need to review and revise existing policies and procedures before the switch. There is no better time to correct what does not work in the past before introducing a new system. Failing which could be detrimental to the smooth operation of the company.