Control Company Costs
6 Expense Management Considerations for Small Business Owners
For small business owners who've decided to make the switch from spreadsheets to an expense management solution, the process can seem daunting. How do you ensure your new solution meets the needs of your business, and that the transition is as seamless as possible?
While it can be daunting to wade into the world of finance software, there are benefits to be had for the savvy small business owner. Check out these six considerations to keep in mind when shopping for your T&E solution.
1. Policy compliance. A good business expense management solution will make it easy for you to apply your policy to it, setting limits on what can be expensed and sending you an alert when someone is outside those policy limits. You can even set caps so your employees can’t submit expenses above a certain amount. Look for a solution that automates policy checks so you can quickly see whether any policies have been violated without having to check every charge.
2. Reporting and visibility. It’s important to know how your business spends its resources, and a good solution will make this easy on you. Look for solutions that offer dashboards with preconfigured reports, so you can quickly see what you need to without having to pore over raw data. For example, if you can separate expenses by project or client, you’ll see clearly which clients are most profitable.
3. Cloud-based. One of the great things about the cloud is that you don’t have to pay for a bunch of hardware to run your solution on—and you don’t have to pay hundreds of dollars for a boxed set of software. With a subscription-based solution, you can automatically get the most up-to-date version of your solution without having to apply patches or go through a lengthy update process.
4. Integration. This is what separates the good from the great : the ability to integrate the new solution with the rest of the applications in your environment. A solution that offers an ecosystem of partners can help you maximize your investment. For example, one SAP Concur partner offers tax-back services, which helps SAP Concur solutions users reclaim VAT tax.
5. Migration. Look for solutions that offer an implementation team to help you set up the features you want, get started using the system, and transport your data into the new system. In short, look for a company that doesn’t make you set up everything from scratch and is there to assist you along the way.
6. Ease of use. Make the most of a new solution by finding one that automates rote tasks and makes it as easy as possible for you to do what you need to do. For example, capturing receipts—look for a solution that offers optical character recognition, so that just by taking a photo of your receipt with your smartphone, you’ll capture all the text in that receipt and it’ll automatically be logged as an expense.
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