LUTZ BUSINESS INSIGHTS

 

Why You Should Automate Expense Reporting, and How to Do It

KRISTEN CURTIS, CLIENT ACCOUNTING SERVICES MANAGER
$26.63. That’s what it costs—on average—to produce a single expense report, according to a report from PayStream Advisors. Add some automation, and the cost goes down to $17.31. Automate the entire process, and the cost will average $4.85. Like so many other applications, expense report automation obviously saves money. It saves time, so you can attend to more productive tasks. And automation reduces errors, which can save more time and money.  

Targeted Assistance

There are other benefits that apply specifically to online applications that are designed to simplify and streamline expense reporting, for example:

1. Built-in policy controls

How many times have you gotten an expense report that includes something like a $179.63 restaurant receipt when you had set a $150 limit for two-person client dinners? Or an airline ticket in Business Class when you had specified coach only? You can detail your company’s policies as you set up your online expense reporting solution, so employees always see them.

2. Capture paperwork

Everyone loses receipts – and sometimes, entire expense reports that took too much time to create. Your employees can use a smartphone app to accompany these applications to enter expenses and snap photos of receipts that can be attached to reports. Some will even “read” the receipt—even emailed receipts—and create categorized entries. Your staff can also upload credit card transactions.

3. Easier, faster troubleshooting

You may have had employees complain that they weren’t reimbursed the amount turned in on their report. Rather than digging through papers stuffed in file folders, you can easily and quickly retrieve the electronic record to explore the discrepancy.

4. Integration

How do you transfer expense report data to your accounting system? If you and your employees manage expenses on a dedicated website, your numbers can move easily into accounting software like QuickBooks.

5. Smarter decision-making

When you need to cut costs by minimizing travel expenses, you’ll have easy access to historical data that can help you spot problem areas.

6. Centralized control, and notifications

You are the hub of your expense management solution. Reports come in and are automatically checked for policy violations and duplicate data, then are submitted for payment. Reminders may be sent when an expense report is due, has been submitted for approval, or has been approved.

7. Happier employees

Instead of calling or emailing you to check on the status of a payment, employees can track their expense report’s status to see where it is in the pipeline. In addition, expense report applications accelerate the payment process.

 

Several Options

There’s more than one provider of expense management websites; each has its own set of tools and support. All provide a user experience designed for simplicity, speed, and ease. If you’re struggling with expenses and need help tracking them (or minimizing them, to improve cash flow) we’d be happy to help. Connect with us, and we can advise you on managing your expenses in more efficient ways.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kristen Curtis

402.827.2060

kcurtis@lutz.us

KRISTEN CURTIS + CLIENT ACCOUNTING SERVICES MANAGER 

Kristen Curtis joined the firm in 2000 and serves as a Client Accounting Services Manager. She has significant experience in small business accounting and advisory services; new business consulting; and software implementation and training.

AREAS OF FOCUS
AFFILIATIONS AND CREDENTIALS
  • American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Member
  • Nebraska Society of Certified Public Accountants, Member
  • Certified Public Accountant
EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND
  • BSBA in Accounting, Iowa State University, Ames, IA
COMMUNITY SERVICE
  • Presbyterian Church of the Cross, Session Member, Christian Education, Committee Member
  • P.E.O., Philanthropic Educational Organization, Member

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