In a modern workplace, many employees work from home. Likewise, many employees travel to various destinations for business purposes. Work travelers and remote workers incur a variety of out-of-pocket expenses to perform professional responsibilities.
They experience stress and feel unmotivated when the employer delays expense reimbursements. At the same time, employers can prepare budgets, predict cash flow, and make other financial decisions without tracking and managing employee-initiated expenses efficiently.
The best expense management software helps your organization save both time and resources through end-to-end process automation. It promotes corporate employee engagement by reducing expense reimbursement time significantly.
Additionally, it makes it easier for the finance team to track, process, reimburse, and audit expenses incurred by various employees. However, you can automate the crucial financial process only by implementing the best expense management software. Hence, you should use multiple parameters to compare and shortlist the widely used expense management solutions.
11 Parameters You Must Use to Implement the Best Expense Management Software
1. Policy Communication and Enforcement
You must convey reimbursable and non-reimbursable expenses to employees by defining clear expense policies. Also, you need to ensure that each employee can access the relevant rules and guidelines seamlessly. Expense management solutions enable your employees to access organizational expense policies on the go.
However, you should shortlist expense management solutions that support granular expense policy configuration. The feature will facilitate the implementation of different expense policies for work travelers, remote workers, and work-from-home employees. Additionally, it will help your company ensure policy compliance.
2. Pre-Spend Expense Approvals
In addition to defining reimbursable expenses, your policy must allow employees to incur specific expenses after getting the required approval. While making the policy, you must make it easier for employees to send approval requests to the appropriate authority directly.
You can streamline the pre-spend expense approval process by choosing software that allows you to define a custom approval workflow. At the same time, you should check if the employees can send approval requests and approvers can accept/reject the request using the same software.
3. Expense Report Digitization
The best expense management software helps your company abandon paper-based expense reports. Your employees can use the software to generate and submit digital expense reports. However, you should opt for software that automates the expense report generation process.
The feature will enable employees to generate automated expense reports simply by scanning invoices using mobile devices. Further, the feature will help the finance team speed up reimbursements, eliminate data entry errors, and prevent expense report fraud.
4. Digital Receipt Capture
Your organization needs software with a digital receipt-capturing feature. The feature will make the software capture and store digital receipts each time an employee scans invoices, receipts, and bills. The feature will enable your finance team and auditors to access the required receipts in seconds. Also, your finance team can save the time and effort required to manage numerous receipts and invoices.
5. Intuitive Dashboard
The best expense management software comes with an intuitive dashboard. You can use the dashboard to track employee-initiated expenses in real time. The feature helps your finance team to speed up expense reimbursements.
Also, you can analyze expense data using parameters like purpose, department, and employee level. In addition to getting real-time spending visibility, you can use the dashboard to access the required expense data while making important financial decisions.
6. Digital Audit Trail
Auditing is a key step in the expense management process. You must audit employee-initiated expenses regularly to prevent policy violations, expense fraud, and overspending. You can save the time and effort required to audit expenses using software that creates a digital audit trail.
Hence, you should check if the software creates digital audit trails by approvers’ comments when they review expense reports. The digital audit trail, along with digital receipt-capturing, will make it easier for you to make expense audits an ongoing process.
7. Custom Report Generation
You can understand and analyze employee expense data by generating a variety of reports. Hence, your organization needs expense management software that automates report generation and scheduling. You can generate and share reports using various metrics and parameters using the dashboard provided by the software. However, you should prioritize software that optimizes reports using charts and graphs.
8. Multi Currency Support
The best expense management solutions these days support multiple currencies and payment methods. The support makes it easier for your finance team to reimburse expenses incurred by remote and offsite employees. However, you can facilitate direct fund transfers by opting for software that leverages ACH technology.
9. Corporate Card Integration
You can reduce employee financial burden by providing them with corporate credit cards. Employees can use the card to avoid using personal funds. However, you must implement expense management software that supports credit card integration.
The integration will enable employees to generate expense reports automatically. At the same time, your finance team can prevent expense fraud by reconciling the credit card statement while reviewing expense reports.
10. Data Security
While using the best expense management software, employees will share sensitive and confidential information. Cybercriminals can misuse the information to execute identity thefts and financial frauds. Hence, you need to ensure that the software enhances data security using advanced encryption technologies and installing robust firewalls. Additionally, you should check if the software provider enhances data security through security infrastructure monitoring and auditing.
11. Data Analytics
You cannot automate the expense management process successfully without leveraging employee expense data. Your company needs expense management software that collects, stores, and updates expense data automatically.
Also, you should prioritize software that helps you make sense of the data using analytics. The analytics solution will enable the software to share actionable insights that help you refine expense policies and control costs.
The best expense management software helps your company streamline a crucial financial process and boost corporate employee engagement. But you invest in the right software only by considering multiple factors and using multiple parameters.
It is always important to shortlist expense management tools based on their user experience and built-in features. However, you should prioritize software that helps you make informed financial decisions by leveraging employee expense data.