How Automated Expense Reporting Makes T&E Easier for Everyone in 2022
Even though the pandemic cut down on business travel, it didn’t get rid of the need for employees to submit expense reports. If you’re like many companies, you may have needed to revise your expense policies to cover work-from-home expenses. As employees continue working from home and start traveling more in 2022, travel & expense reporting will need to be equipped to handle a variety of employee expenses.
T&E can be quite a hassle for everyone involved. Employees don’t like waiting for reimbursement. Approval managers get frustrated with incomplete paperwork. The accounts payable department can fall behind on processing if receipts aren’t submitted on time. And the finance team may struggle to come up with a T&E budget if they can’t easily access data about past expense reports.
The good news is that automation can help fix these problems. A reliable T&E automation software system will speed up processing, make it much easier to keep track of paperwork like receipts, and provide complete, easy-to-search records. Automated expense reporting is a win-win for everyone involved in the process.
What’s Automated T&E?
Travel & Expense reporting automation works by streamlining the entire expense reporting process from start to finish. Employees can start the process online through a user-friendly interface. The software processes the expenses according to your custom policies, then either automatically approves the expense or sends it to an approval manager. The system saves all the data generated by this process in a searchable database for later retrieval.
Features and Benefits
You can easily integrate business process automation into existing systems and configure the software to match your company’s T&E needs. For example, you choose which categories of expenses the system approves automatically, and which ones go to an approval manager.
The fast, user-friendly software helps ensure that your company’s policies are enforced and that employees receive reimbursement promptly. Because the software automatically enforces your company’s policy, the system helps catch and prevent fraud. It also makes it simpler for employees to check that their expenses fall into approved categories and make sure they’re including all the necessary paperwork.
Benefits For Everyone
Because automated T&E software is so flexible and user-friendly, it offers benefits throughout the expense reporting process. These benefits look a bit different for everyone involved.
Employees submitting expense reports can easily upload documentation the system. No more need to save paper receipts; they can just take a picture and upload it with their smartphone. If the receipt is already digital, such as in an email, they can easily add those as well.
The online submission platform is both secure and easy to access. Employees can log in from any location with internet. This makes it easy to add expense documentation as employees spend money and helps ensure they don’t forget anything. And since the software automatically enforces company policy, employees can quickly check if their submission qualifies as a legitimate business expense.
The platform also makes it easy for employees to check up on the approval process. Instead of calling someone to follow up on an expense report, they can just log in and see the status online. Expenses are processed quickly, which means employees get reimbursed faster than they would under a manual, paper-based system.
Approval managers also benefit from automation features. It’s very easy for them to log in to the system and view the status of an expense report. They can see which documents have been uploaded and quickly check if something is a legitimate business expense.
Because the system automatically enforces company policy, managers shouldn’t need to spend much (if any) time following up with employees about missing information. This frees them up to focus on other tasks.
The system also automatically reminds managers of deadlines and of expense reports that require manual approval. And because the system can be accessed online, managers can approve reports on-the-go to help save time.
Accounts Payable Department
After employees submit reports and managers approve them, it’s up to accounts payable to payout expense reimbursements. Automation software makes it very easy for AP to verify if a report is legitimate before issuing payment. If you’ve automated both T&E and accounts payable with NextProcess software, AP employees can move between systems to reconcile information with just a few clicks.
Customizable policy enforcement also cuts down on issues like missing receipts and overbudget expenses. Once an automated T&E system is up and running, the number of errors or unapprovable reports that AP has to deal with should dramatically decrease.
Another benefit that T&E automation offers accounts payable is thorough data collection. Because the system keeps such good records and automatically checks each expense report it processes, there’s very little risk of accidentally issuing duplicate reimbursements.
Finally, automated expense reporting software supports finance teams and executives. It provides complete, reliable information about expense report processing to support current and future financial strategies.
All the information processed through this system goes into a searchable database. It’s easy to run reports as well as look up specific information. This simplifies audits and provides information needed to plan for the future.
The flexible nature of automation software also makes it easy to keep it up to date as company policies change. This makes it easy for finance departments to respond to changes in regulations governing expense reports.
The type of cloud-based automation that NextProcess provides is very flexible and easy for your company to implement. We support every step of the installation process to make sure the software works exactly as you need it to. Our team works closely with your IT department and other employees to get the system set up and configured for your business. We’re also available to answer questions and help with ongoing customization.
NextProcess also takes care of updating the software for you. You’ll never need to worry about the software becoming outdated or needing to upgrade to a new system. We keep our software updated with new advances in data security and digital information processing so it gets even better with time. If you’d like to see first-hand how well this travel and expense software can support your company, get in touch with us to schedule a free demo.