Certify’s Small Business Guide to Online Expense Management

Certify’s Small Business Guide to Online Expense Management

Is your current manual expense management process a constant struggle? Are your employees frustrated by your current process? How about your accounting team? Have you considered using an online service but thought it would be too expensive and/or time-consuming?

If you are running a small business, it is vitally important to track every single expense, particularly when these costs can quickly spiral out of control and eat into other proprietary budgets. And while T&E spend is a necessary budget consideration, it can contribute to significant financial losses for you and your company in the form of missing or lost receipts, travel policy violations, and expense report errors. Certify offers an automated expense management system, which may be just what you need to start saving time and reducing costs.

As a small business owner or even an employee, your main concern is to increase revenue, not costs. The first step to managing your expense management costs is to review your current processes and ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is the T&E budget constantly being exceeded every day/week/month?

  • Is the travel and expense policy minimal and vague, or worse, nonexistent?

  • Is the approval process and reimbursement timeline cumbersome for everyone involved?

  • Are expense reports habitually submitted with errors, missing receipts, and policy violations?

  • Are expense reports regularly submitted late, sometimes weeks or even months late?

If your answer to any of these questions is a resounding “yes”, then it’s time to change to an online system.

Switching from a manual expense management system to an online expense management system can only benefit you, your employees, and by extension, your business. An online system such as Certify can provide the following benefits:

  • The travel and expense process becomes more organized and simplified

  • Instant and global access for employees, reducing time spent in front of their computers

  • Improved travel and expense policy compliance, due to integrated policy restrictions

  • Significantly reduced time spent on expense report creation, approvals, and reimbursements

  • Increased frequency of expense reports, submitted on time and with few - if any - errors

  • Increased visibility into spend, with a full range of reporting capabilities

  • Increased productivity for the accounting team due to integration with accounting software

While small businesses need to have flexible and versatile processes to compete in today’s competitive market, they also need to periodically review old or outdated processes in order to practice ongoing operational efficiency. Clearly defining a travel and expense policy is just the first step to initiating a change; the next step is implementing and enforcing it. This step can be the most challenging, though the more streamlined and user-friendly it is, the more likely it will be followed and used regularly with little pushback. An online expense management system is always going to win out against a manual expense management system on all fronts.

As the old saying goes, “time is money”, and this applies especially to small businesses. We all know that lost money is never good, but lost time is far worse, because time can never be recouped. Increased productivity is the goal of every business, because increased productivity increases revenue. Yet it can also be an identifiable source of savings for small businesses, particularly as businesses find ways to reduce their T&E costs, simplify processes, and improve employee morale. What better place to start saving both time and money, than with the transition from a manual expense management system to an online one. Once you make the change, you’ll wonder why you waited so long.

Learn more about Certify for Small Business here.