How to Improve Small Business Expense Management
Does managing expenses for your small business feel like a complicated process? If you find it hard to maintain your spreadsheets, don’t know who is charging your corporate cards, you lose data, or your whole team wastes time with expense reports, then it’s time for an upgrade.
Here are 7 essential tips on how expense management systems can improve your small business expense management, save time and money and bring greater efficiency.
1. Policy compliance and Automated expense policies
A modern business expense management system helps comply with company policy, set expense limits, and get notifications when your staff violates them. Improve your expense management with a solution that automates policy checks. You can also set caps, so your employees don’t submit expenses above a fixed amount.
Automating policy enforcement eliminates expense fraud with pre-set spending controls such as amounts, time available, authorized employees, vendors, etc. With automated expense policies, everyone knows their limits.
2. Reporting, Automated alerts, and Insights
Another way to improve your small business expense management is to have a solution that quickly shows you how your business spends its resources. Dashboards with preconfigured reports help to understand data at a glance. The expense management system also automates every process and shows automated insights such as letting you know which clients are most profitable or alerting you to savings and potential fraud.
3. Cloud-based solution
With a cloud-based VoIP solution, you can automatically access the most recent updates of your phone system to help better manage your small business expenses. Also, one of the great things about the cloud is that you don’t have to pay expensive upfront costs for hardware or go through a lengthy update process. You only pay monthly or annual subscriptions.
An expense management system that seamlessly integrates with the rest of the applications helps you maximize your investment. It allows fast accounting and data reconciliation by automatically pulling data such as vendors, billing, and expense information, into the tool for you. This ensures your books are always up-to-date and focus on other crucial aspects of your business.
All your business expenses and reimbursements are synced in one platform automatically linked to your accounting system while notifying you of any irregularities through integrations with accounting systems like Xero.
5. Ease of use and Expense pre-approvals
The next tip to improve your small business expense management is to find a solution that automates tasks and makes life as easy as possible. For example, a feature like Optical Character Recognition helps capture a receipt with your smartphone and automatically logs it as an expense.
With expense management software, you can quickly pre-approve or decline spend requests with a single click ensuring everyone is aware of the expenses being covered or not.
6. Streamlined receipt collection
A sound business expense management system pulls information directly into the platform. Through SMS and email prompts, the software reminds employees to submit their receipts at the point of purchase. It verifies the receipt information, matches it to the correct transaction, and unifies all the data you need into the platform.
Even with the best intentions, employees can forget or lose valuable information. This is why your expense management solution should automate reminders and make receipt collection easy from the start.
7. Real-time expense tracking
An ideal expense management software helps you quickly track spending over time with your company’s vendors and contract owners. Compiling reports, audits, and policy compliance are easy when all expense data is in one tool. Business expense categories and audit trails are easy to follow as all approvals are given on the platform.
This close data tracking of corporate spend helps protect your business finances. According to the 2018 Global Study by ACFE, data monitoring and analysis reduced losses by 52% and increased fraud detection by 58%.
Managing expenses can be daunting, but an expense management system helps automate your world of finance and integrates expenses, payments, and accounting — all into one platform. Keep these tips in mind and make the switch from spreadsheets to the ideal expense management solution that meets your business needs.