Do you know what your expense policy says? Do you know where it is? Having an expense policy is important but it’s only effective if people can find it, understand it and use it. We’ve talked about how to get easy expense reports that give you real time information, but automating expense reports can also help improve compliance with a policy that’s built into the software.
The importance of an expense policy that works
The challenge is not just having an expense policy – it’s creating an expense policy that works for everyone at every level of the organization. Although nine out of 10 small and medium-sized businesses have an expense policy in place, those without expense management software see only a 36% compliance rate. That means nearly two thirds of spending in those organizations has some kind of problem, and is likely costing money the leadership doesn’t mean to spend.
A recent Concur small business survey shows that six out of 10 employees have filed at least one incorrect expense report and one-third of employees have submitted reports that contained at least five errors. That’s a lot of potential for waste, or worse. For example, one of those errors could violate a key regulation and end up costing a lot more. And if those expense reports are done on an old-fashioned, manual spreadsheet, or a system that’s only a little automated, the errors might never be caught until they have ballooned into big problems.
Automated policy built right in
But the right automated online expense management solution lets you build your policy right into the software. Suddenly, that policy is clear and easily accessible to employees. That makes it easy for them to spend within policy and submit complete expense reports. Every time employees spend on behalf of the organization, they enter the expense into a mobile app to find out if they need manager approval or a copy of the receipt. The system automatically alerts a manager if an employee spends out of policy. Research shows that policies which are built into expense reporting software improve compliance by 44%.
A clear T&E expense policy, built into the software, helps make filing complete, compliant expense reports easy on employees. It also says the organization wants to help them do things right. That’s just one way the right automated expense reporting software, like Concur, makes employees happier, more engaged, and more likely to stay. We’ll talk more about some of the other ways in our next installment.
Need help crafting an expense policy that’s easy for everyone? Check out “11 Tips for writing a policy that employees will follow.” If you want to know more about how you can say hello to complete, compliant and connected expense reports with Concur, download the eBook, “Welcome to the World of Easy Expense Reporting” today.
 Concur Technologies, Inc., “Grayling SME Study – Expense Management,” November 2014
 Aberdeen Group, “The Travel and Expense Management Guide for 2014: Trends for the Future,” May 2014
 Aberdeen Group, “End-to-End Visibility into T&E Expense Management: Mobile Comes to the Table,” April 2013