For successful businesses, real and meaningful data can take the guesswork out of strategic spending and saving. Endless rows on excel spreadsheets and piled-high purchase receipts generate needless challenges along the path to financial organization. Small businesses limit productivity by sticking with outdated methods, especially when compared to more nimble, software-savvy competitors.
Automating approval processes for expense reimbursement minimizes error and reduces the need for employees to “play detective” as they hunt down old business expenses. Instead, workers can upload expenses as they arise, without getting bogged down in an extended chain of command.
Manually submitting receipts is a dull, repetitive task prone to human error. And submitting receipt information hinges on keeping up with that receipt in the first place.
In the most productive companies, employee time is protected, and employees are free to maximize their abilities. With the influx of convenient mobile apps and complementary software, expenses can be tracked from the point of sale through partially automated, data-capture processes. Some software relies on camera capture, much like depositing a check with a mobile device. Still, others may import directly from bank statements or credit cards. Best approaches can vary by business.
Converting Data To Value
Expense reports are critical for obtaining information about the way growing businesses are spending money. A properly executed report should extract meaningful value from raw numbers.
Despite the importance of reliable expense reports, the workforce hours of any small business are often better spent growing the business through attention to core products and services. Business owners may find it uneconomical to apply the hours of skilled employees to the meticulous, repetitive generation of expense reports.
Software can bridge the gap. Reports can be automatically generated on set schedules, and they can highlight key performance indicators while ensuring company-wide compliance. As business owners and purchasing administrators become increasingly familiar with steady reporting output styles, they can spend less time policing documents for numbers and more time analyzing budgets.
Many software solutions backed by cloud storage neatly compile data. Business owners can leave behind rifling through rows of numbers when recalling specific expenses and instead sort according to date ranges or via keyword searches.
Good software is detail-oriented around the clock. It unfailingly detects mistakes and anomalies. The most effective expense reporting tools should also help businesses maintain compliance. High-value programs can automatically flag out-of-policy expenses, policy violations, and duplicate data entries. Variable documentation requirements can be adjusted to reflect need, and they provide clarity to employees as they upload receipts or import credit card data. Spending limits can be set from anywhere, based on custom criteria, to make operating within guidelines a pain-free process. These days, even things like mileage can be tracked with the push of a button on a mobile device.
Making the switch to expense report software may seem daunting at first, but even for small businesses with dedicated reporting departments, implementation offers tremendous upside by limiting errors and allowing analysis to take center stage.