For many fast growing companies, the first step is to automate manual processes and graduate to a streamlined solution. Yet not just any expense management software will do. Kugel suggests that expense management shouldn’t be viewed as simply a way to record employee expense reports, manage the approval process, and process requests for reimbursement.
“Organizations need to also have visibility into spend and a friendly consumer interface that employees will embrace using,” he said.
First, it’s important to make expense reporting easy for employees, which keeps them engaged in the process and helps companies track expenses soon after they’re made.
“Mobile capabilities are enabling employees to process reports on-the-go using their smartphone cameras, which automatically attach receipts to electronic expense reports,” said Kugel. “By streamlining the process, employees can get reimbursed sooner for out-of-pocket expenses.”
City Year, an education-focused nonprofit organization that partners with public schools to help keep students in school and on track to graduate, saw a huge improvement in expense reimbursement after streamlining their expense management in Workday, and was able to reimburse employees for expenses 88 percent faster.
It’s also a huge advantage to have expense management, financial management, and human capital management in a single system, with all applications working seamlessly together and all related data in one place. Kugel explained how having one system provides deeper insight into expenses and makes it easier to ensure employee compliance.
“Data captured by the expense system is immediately reflected in the accounting system, providing finance with clearer and timelier visibility into these expenses,” said Kugel. “Having this insight makes it easier for finance to analyze spending trends, and executives and managers to track outlays and have better control over costs.”
Expense management and HR in the same system, can also help with employee compliance, said Kugel. “All aspects of an employee’s record are ‘known’ by the system and are kept up-to-date, which means that role-dependent travel and expense policies are always applied properly.”