It goes without saying that keeping track of travel and expenses (T&E) is crucial for your college or university. However, this isn’t always so easy to do in a campus setting. Generally, higher education institutions waste significant time and resources tracking T&E through manual based processes. This often leads to a lack of visibility into the data—data that’s crucial to make strategic decisions. Here are five benefits to having a fully automated T&E process.
1. Eliminate paper
Traditionally, higher education travel and expense management has been heavily paper-based. With all of the copying, auditing, scanning, and hounding your travelers for crumpled paper receipts, it makes sense that paper is a naturally inefficient, error-prone process. On top of that, the amount of manpower required is overwhelmingly high.
The good news is that automation can eliminate all paper. Expense data is entered directly into an automated system and imaged receipts are matched to those transactions. Reports are then routed automatically for approvals and reimbursements, making data easily accessible.
2. Decrease reimbursement times
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could easily eliminate the inquiries such as, “Where is my money?” Automation helps to significantly decrease reimbursement times, for your faculty and staff, by eliminating the need for manual re-keying and reducing the need for additional human intervention in the process.
Some universities have seen reductions of 50% or more to their reimbursement times.
Travelers are happier, administrators are happier, and finance is happier.
3. Gain visibility into actionable data
Automated, accurate data provide answers for those questions like, “How much did we spend on T&E last month? Or on this vendor?” With automation, these types of questions can be answered within minutes rather than weeks or months.
4. Increase adoption/compliance via user-friendly tools
Change can be scary and difficult in some institutions, for fear of the unexpected. However with T&E automation, you can expect the user experience to be-- do we dare say? -- delightful. Happy users are often vocal users, so they are essential to making change management a breeze.In fact, higher education travel and expense automation is actually embraced by end users, including travel arrangers and expense delegates. The days of interoffice mailings, overflowing envelopes with stacks of taped receipts and manually entry into expense reports are over forever.
5. Reduce Errors
Employees misusing the T&E process for personal gain are an unfortunate reality. A survey conducted by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) revealed that employees, across all departments of an organization (“All Cases”), account for a total of 13.8% of expense reimbursement fraud cases.
And whether or not mistakes are intentional, they do happen. Without a streamlined solution and process, you are counting on users to do both “what’s right” and make no mistakes in all situations. By automating, you now have a vast access of data to fully understand the decisions your travelers are making on behalf of the institution.