Not all surprises are good surprises. For finance teams, there is nothing more frustrating than discovering unaccounted for expenses, missing receipts, or even worse, fines. Then, when trying to complete annual reports come year-end, unexpected costs can lead to unnecessary time spent reconciling these issues. Expense-related surprises can be avoided with improved visibility and solid expense management.
Ready to improve your expense process? Use these eight best practices
Take Charge of Employee Expenses
Pointing fingers and pushing blame never helps any situation. CFOs should take charge of the issues at hand, and view expense report errors as opportunities to reevaluate the expense process and training. Open communication is key, so talk to employees about issues they are running into and ideas they have for improvement. Keep in mind the expense process goes beyond the filing employee, and includes the approving manager and the auditor.
Look for patterns and reccurring issues, and lead the way for improvements. Whether it is through email or a training session, ensure that any process updates are clearly communicated to all employees. This helps to ensure that all teams have a clear understanding of expectations surrounding expenses.
Stop Leaks and Reduce Fraud Risks
Tightened-up expense management reduces the chances for unforeseen costs. Employees creating and submitting expense reports will know exactly what documentation is needed for approval and reimbursement. This makes for a more streamlined process saving time, and ultimately money.
For managers who are approving expense reports, having a firm grasp on which expenses are compliant and which are not makes reviewing expense reports easier. This knowledge also helps to minimize the risk of fraud. While many companies do not like to think their employees are taking advantage of them, it does happen on occasion. Holding all teams accountable makes a difference and reduces this risk.
Use Technology to Your Company’s Advantage
Technology, particularly automation, elevates expense management. Using automated expense software not only streamlines the process, but also increases visibility into employee expenses. Having much-needed data at your finance team’s fingertips allows them to better forecast and augment their reporting, reducing the chance of surprises and unaccounted for costs.
Taking it a step further and including mobility into expense management makes capturing expenses that much easier for employees. With more business taking place on the road, it only makes sense to give employees access to expense reporting from their mobile phone. Something as simple as being able to capture images of receipts goes a long way in keeping documentation from getting lost. Not to mention, mobility allows your finance team more insight into real-time expense data.
Now is the time to look into your expense management and fix issues before they get out of hand. Learn more about how to increase visibility into employee spend here.