What CFOs Need to Know Now about Expense Reporting

The economy is starting to wake from its sleepy slumber. Thank goodness! As jobs start to become available and hiring picks up, so, too, do the number of clients that companies will have in locations distant from their own. What does this mean? Well, as the hiring budget starts to loosen and increase as revenue from clients increases, the amount of travel will steadily rise, as well.

Whether the travel is domestic or international, the fact is, it all costs money. Flights, dinners, hotels, and rental cars add up. Many companies diligently work on their annual budgets, and they create bottom lines that are intentionally developed (at least in most cases) to be conducive to the travel of their employees without being too overzealous in allowances. What is usually not considered is the work that is necessary to monitor the expenses ongoing. Sure, someone or someones sign-off on each expense reports. The receipts may be reviewed. A signature or two makes its way on to the submitted sheet. And a check is issued. But how many companies have stopped to think about the inefficiencies in their expense reporting process that could actually save even more time and frustration after the flights are booked?

Here is a quick overview of how expense reporting systems can boost a company's bottom line:

  • Business travel costs will be increasing. As the costs of sending employees out into the field go up, it will become ever more important to have systems in place to proactively regulate the expenses, rather than reacting to things that have already happened. Hotel rooms alone are expected to rise by an average of 5 to 6 percent.
  • Fraud happens. And although it is inevitable that a certain population of employees will always be creatively trying to get an extra dollar, cohesive expense reporting systems help identify fraud much quicker than the average 24 months that CNN reported a couple years ago.
  • Expense reports don't have to be boring. When CNN Money interviewed Steve Singh recently, the Concur Technologies CEO was quick to explain that the expense reporting industry is keeping up with the times, offering apps that work with the traveling employees, on user-friendly platforms that make reporting easier.

Learn how having better visibility into your business can improve your company's bottom line.

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