Have You Achieved Your Top T&E Expense Goals This Year?

Have You Achieved Your Top T&E Expense Goals This Year?

As we get closer to the end of the year, it's only natural to start thinking about new goals for the year ahead. Whether they be personal goals or goals for business, we always strive to make be better in the future. But while we are busy looking ahead, a lot of times we don't look back and reflect on how we performed in the past year. After all, while setting goals is important, it is often far too easy to let things fall by the wayside as other priorities gets in the way.

At the end of 2016, we surveyed over 600 finance and accounting professionals what their top goals for 2017 were. Below we highlighted the top 5 goals for 2017 reported in the survey and some of the tools that can be used to achieve these goals within your own organization.

#1. Need to reduce expense report processing costs
Eliminating costly processes and improving profitability is the focus for many companies around the world. When it comes to expense report processing, the incorporation of an automated system can greatly reduce the cost of generating said reports. An automated expense management solution not only streamlines the process, it helps maximize employee productivity, eliminates paper and postage costs, the need for storage space, and cuts down on office supply expenses. In fact, in PayStream Advisors found that in 2016, the cost to process a single report through an automated system was just $6.85 as opposed to $17.31 for a partially automated system and $26.63 for a manual process.

#2 Lack of control over T&E spending
As business travel is leveraged more and more by companies worldwide, the need for control over expenses has become critical. By using manual processes or aging software systems, employees are often relied on to book reasonable travel and accommodations, but there is a sliding scale of what that may mean to each employee. With an automated system, compliance tools such as category spending limits, hard and soft policy controls, and corporate card tools all help employees make the right choice. With these built in tools and limits, automated expense management solutions will help your company gain control over T&E spending and stay on budget.

#3 Poor visibility into expense data (spending, compliance, etc.)
Another shortcoming of manual processes and out of date software systems is that tracking expense data is either cumbersome or nearly impossible. Without having insight into how effective your spending is then no meaningful goal or metric can be attached to travel expenditures, resulting in wasted funds and missed opportunities. With expense management software, accountants and administrators can see expense data in real time and gain a view into how your company's travel spend is being dispensed.

#4 Frequent instances of non-compliant travel/ expenses
A common problem with pen and paper or Excel-based processing is out-of-policy bookings that can run rampant through an organization. With automated expense management solutions, built in controls that block non-compliant charges are a valuable tool to have in hand. But tools like Certify go one step further with integrated travel booking and mileage tracking as well. Certify users will no longer be in the dark about what is in policy and what isn't, so the need for difficult conversations and denied bookings are a thing of the past.

#5 Lengthy reimbursement times
With more manual processes, there are a lot of checks and balances that must take place before reimbursements can be issued. Now, this can create major issues for employees who have been traveling for extended periods of time, as the charges certainly add up. Delayed payments can lead to employee frustration and disappointment, particularly when there are substantial charges involved, but with automated systems in place these headaches can be easily avoided. With options for ACH direct deposit, payroll integration and process automation, reimbursements can be issued easily and quickly with just a few clicks.

Now, as we all know, having goals and achieving them are two very different things. So, the question is, did you meet your expense management goals for 2017? Check out the full 2017 Annual Expense Management Trends white paper, or to learn more about all the ways Certify can help you achieve your expense management goals.