How to scale expense reporting with smart technology

April 22, 2021

6 min read

Picture of Certify Team

Certify Team

According to the Global Business Travel report, it takes an average of 20 minutes to complete one expense report. However, 19% of expense reports have errors or missing information—and consequently, an additional 18 minutes are then spent correcting the claim.
Additionally, paper receipts often get lost—costing finance teams even more valuable time. To put this into perspective, for a company that handles around 7500 expense claims annually, this process takes up to 500 hours and costs nearly $100,000 in salary alone.

As a result, employees are spending more effort than needed which takes them away from more valuable work. It also makes it difficult to determine the true cost of managing employee-driven spend. The key to organizational growth is creating scalable processes—ones that adapt to your organization’s structure and don't act as a barrier to growth.

Manual expense reporting is not compatible with a growing organization’s aims. Here’s how you can use a software solution to bring scale to expense reporting.

1. Streamline and centralize expense reporting

Electronic expense reporting solutions allow you to centralize all of your expense processes under one roof. With information being tracked digitally and audit trails being established, your finance teams will never again have to dig through mountains of paper to reconcile expenses. Solutions such as Emburse Certify also automate many expense reimbursement tasks.

For example, expenses submitted by employees can be automatically reconciled with credit card statements to validate entries. Instead of chasing receipts and performing clerical work, your finance employees can focus on monitoring compliance and detecting patterns in expense reporting. Analytics are a part of most software packages, and can detect problematic reporting patterns.

You’ll be able to identify and monitor potentially non-compliant employees or groups, and reroute their claims for enhanced manual auditing. Certify’s configurability allows you to change business rules depending on your organization’s state. Growing organizations need more scenarios built into their processes, and configuration is key to building scalable processes.

You might need different workflows to approve the same item in different locations. Some organizations experience this as a consequence of local regulations differing from one place to another. For example, if you operate internationally, you will need to record and itemize VAT reimbursement claims differently depending on where the expense was filed.

Having a centralized solution that automates data capture and allows you to change workflows endlessly is the key to growth. As your organization grows exponentially, you won’t need to grow employee headcount at the same rate. Your automated process will simply adjust to your new business reality.

2. Use a multi-platform, cloud-based solution

Infrastructure plays a key role in defining an organization’s growth. The days of running and maintaining endless rows of servers are long gone. Thanks to the rise of infrastructure as a service (IaaS) companies, the cloud has become the go-to choice for software solution providers.

Some organizations might hesitate to store sensitive data on third-party platforms. However, cloud-based platforms allow you to tailor your infrastructure needs depending on your organization’s size and provide their expertise as an add-on. Implementing best practices becomes easier as a result, and infrastructure doesn’t stand in the way of growth.

A cloud-based solution also makes it easier for you to deploy your expense reporting solution across multiple platforms. A lot of business is conducted on mobile platforms these days, and your employees will demand solutions that help them do their jobs better. Many solutions offer stripped-down desktop versions of themselves as mobile apps.

This leads to a poor user experience that will only increase non-compliance through filing errors. Instead, opt for a solution such as Certify that uses web apps to deliver seamless product experiences. Your employees won’t need to download special software or learn any new workflows. Expense reimbursement stops being a lengthy process, and as a result finance teams also benefit from enhanced accessibility.

As your organization grows, the combination of using a cloud-based solution that stretches across platforms will help you bring employees on board faster, and make it easier for them to help you remain compliant. Thanks to robust international capabilities—including back-end language translation and dynamic expense reporting fields—Certify is a perfectly scalable solution for your organization.

3. Enhance compliance

Compliance is essential for organizations of all sizes. Fall into non-compliance and the reputational damage might be permanent. An electronic solution automates compliance since it’s hard to fake or question a digital record. Solutions such as Certify integrate with solutions that can help you remain compliant with local regulations.

Additionally, with a cloud-based solution, you have access to historic records with a complete audit trail. You can see every detail from the number of dinner guests and even grab a copy of a receipt.

Scale your expense process as you grow

By digitizing expense reporting, finance teams can eliminate rigid processes and provide quick approval for reimbursement. Rather than opting for even more paperwork to manage the books, use Emburse and Certify to boost the efficiency and organization of finance teams. These modern expense management solutions can help drive operational efficiency and provide data-driven decisions for managing your organization.

Contact us to learn practical ways to maximize the value of company-wide spending.