This blog post is part one of a series on T&E best practices for manufacturing companies. You can check out our free eBook on the topic here.
Imagine a world in which you don't have to wait four weeks for paper receipts, input them painstakingly through a manual system, and then have your employees wait even longer for reimbursement.
According to a Certify study, 27% of enterprise companies and 44% of mid-market companies are still using manual systems for expense reporting.
But manufacturing companies are beginning to see the vast array of benefits of switching from clunky manual systems to automated, paperless systems.
Switching to digital-friendly systems that allow for faster expense reporting will make the process easier for both parties — especially when many manufacturing employees are on the road or working remotely.
Here are different ways company leaders can integrate field staff-friendly systems and relieve headaches for everyone:
Adopt paperless, instant software
Going paperless means faster reports, less processing time, and faster reimbursement time. Both finance teams and employees on the road directly benefit from evolving to a paperless system. Teams like Pharmacists Mutual Companies have even saved nearly $2,000 a year in postage costs by eliminating manual processing.
Paperless systems also better support distributed workforces. Having a cloud-based tool allows finance teams in multiple locations to quickly and easily access company spend. Switching to user-friendly expense reporting software makes everything simpler.
Capture receipts with a smartphone camera
It's easy for employees to misplace a receipt while on the road. Look for expense reporting software that allows for receipt capture with a smartphone camera, so employees can capture receipts immediately and not worry about losing or misplacing them.
Software like Certify's also auto-populates information from the receipt. That means that neither employees nor finance team members will have to add receipt information line by line, saving everyone time.
Track mileage on Google Maps
Submitting mileage through manual processes is inaccurate at the very best of times. Find expense management software that allows employees to track their mileage through Google Maps.
This feature will allow you to get a more accurate report and prevents employees from having to log their miles manually. Mileage tracking also helps finance teams control fraud in case employees log extra miles to receive additional money. Having a built-in feature helps eliminate this problem.
Create expense reports on mobile
Manufacturing companies should look for software with a mobile app that enables their employees who are on the go and not always near a computer. Employees who can create quick and easy expense reports on mobile will have less reason to delay their expense reporting.
Take VitaPlus, for example, an agricultural food manufacturer that now reimburses employees 14 days sooner after switching to Certify. Mobile expense reports mean finance teams can process and approve those reports faster, while employees will be happy to have cash back in their pockets sooner than before.
Control spend with virtual cards
Virtual cards allow employees access to a company card without actually needing the physical card itself. Financial administrators can create and fund virtual cards on demand, which are accessible through a mobile app.
This allows finance teams to distribute cards based on the company's T&E policy, allowing better control over spend. That means it's easier for employees to purchase compliant expenses on the company card and easier for finance teams to issue them.
Streamline purchasing and punch out
Manufacturing organizations have to source supplies from new partners when supply disruptions occur. With manual expense reporting handled in separate systems, there's no way to keep track of new requisitions and partners.
Finance teams can have more control and oversight with a single purchase requisition system. Switching to an automated system also gives employees peace of mind, knowing their purchasing from an approved vendor won't be out of policy compliance later.
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