4 Ways to Simplify Your Expense Reports
Travel and entertainment is one of the biggest business expenses on the books, accounting for 10 to 12 percent of the annual budget for most companies. It’s essential that you record and manage expense reports carefully, but this is a time-consuming task that many companies struggle with. Simplify the process and protect your bottom line with these smart tips.
Implement Standard Reporting Procedures
Expense reporting is important to maintaining quality internal metrics but is often left to grow and evolve on its own without much oversight. If each employee is turning in expense reports in the way the suits them best, you’re probably accepting expense reports in a dozen different formats. While each one may contain the essential information, it will take much longer to locate important information when you’re working on your audits or budgets.
Put together a step-by-step guide to collecting and inputting information on expense reports. Clarify exactly what does and does not qualify for an expense report and make sure every employee is collecting information in the same manner. This is especially important in large companies, but it will streamline your business practices even if you’re only collecting expense reports from two or three individuals.
Turn to Web-Based Expense Systems
Web-based expense systems, like NextProcess’, are increasing in popularity, and for good reason. They’re neater, faster, and more intuitive than an Excel spreadsheet or Word document.
An expense reporting system that’s hosted on the cloud is even better. With a cloud-based system, employees can upload their expenses at the end of the day from their hotel room and make them instantly accessible for supervisors keeping an eye on activity. There’s no need for email attachments or a USB drive filled with files. All the information you need is instantly shared and constantly accessible from any device connected to the Internet. Many cloud-based solutions can also be accessed on mobile devices.
Outsource Expense Report Management
If your staff is struggling to keep up with expense reports, you can simplify matters instantly by outsourcing one or more of these functions. While you can automate many parts of expense reporting, there are some tasks that will always require a human touch, such as auditing documentation. A company like NextProcess can offer a helping hand on an as-needed basis for a quick turnaround and streamlined reporting.
With the proper expense reporting procedures in place, you can make sure all the necessary information is recorded and reported in a timely manner. With this data in hand, travel and entertainment expenses are always readily available, optimizing productivity for your employees on the road.