Like most businesses, you probably have policies and procedures in place to control spending; however, it can be difficult to see what your people are spending money on until you get the monthly credit card bill. The more employees you have, the more difficult it can be to keep an eye on travel and other expenses.
It can be very time-consuming for employees to put together their travel and expense reports each month, a usual cause for procrastination on this task. Because of this, by the time the data gets entered and submitted for approval, you could be on the verge of late credit card payments as well as late payments to important vendors. Besides expensive late fees, you risk losing valuable business relationships with those vendors. You can speed up the process by integrating expense reporting with your ERP (enterprise resource planning) and letting your people enter expense data from their laptops, tablets, and smartphones when they're in the field.
Not only will your team enter the information more promptly, you will be able to monitor real-time travel and expense data. The added insight will make it easier to control unmanaged or discretionary spending, for example. Real-time expense data can also be compared against customer contracts or budgets, so you can take quick action to make sure that contracts and budgets are being adhered to or limit spending if they are close to being exceeded.
Integrating travel and expense reports with your ERP will also reduce the number of times that data is being handled and reviewed. You can use workflows that trigger automatic emails to managers when an expense report needs approval, streamlining vendor and employee payments to reduce the chance of late payments. Adding automation not only shaves time off the process, it reduces the chances of forgotten or delayed reports – whether they are being submitted by employees or approved by managers.
Far too often, travel and expense reports are late because they are burdensome for an employee to complete and low on the priority list for managers to approve. Make it easier for employees and managers to handle expense reports and remove common bottlenecks by integrating expense reports with your ERP.
By Ariett, a Travel and Expense Solution Provider in Massachusetts