Here are 4 reasons why a manual, spreadsheet-based approach to expense management is not a good idea:
1. It’s nearly impossible to get a holistic view of spend. Expense management needs to form part of the overall management strategy of the business, not taken in isolation. For example, an employee (or group of employees) may appear to be spending more than the norm on travel, accommodation, meals, entertaining clients, fuel, etc., but may also be bringing in sales and new business that are well above the average.
If these expenses could be directly compared to revenue generated, and also automatically checked for compliance with company expenses guidelines, a more holistic picture would emerge. However, this type of cross-comparison is not easy or practical with a spreadsheet approach to expense management.
2. Compliance is hard to manage. Manually checking each item on every claim is not always possible due to the time it takes, and there is often pressure to finalize the claim as soon as possible. As a result, claims are often not scrutinized as carefully as they should be, and non-compliant items can slip through the system. Once certain employees realize this, they will try to sneak unnecessary, personal or non-compliant items through.
3. Too much time is spent on admin. Having to re-capture expense claims into an accounting system, cross-check items against policy, assemble supporting documentation and get approval from management ties up valuable time in your finance team.
4. Wasted time leads to employee frustration. If employees feel that the admin processes involved in making a claim are too cumbersome, especially if it’s to the point where they end up preparing claims after hours, they are likely to try to bypass or speed up the process by cutting corners, not disclosing all relevant information, etc. This can damage the integrity of the entire claims process.
A far better way to handle employee expense claims in your company is to move to a digital process and control expenses via the PocketBuyer™ app, a comprehensive, efficient and easy to use expense management tool.