New Year, New Systems
This could be the perfect time to move to an automated expense management system
There’s no escaping the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge negative impact on UK businesses of every size and type. What might surprise many people, however, is the fact that the number of businesses closing during the year was lower than in some previous years.
According to government insolvency statistics there were 889 company insolvencies in England and Wales in November 2020. This was clearly a terrible blow for each individual business, but the bigger picture is that the overall number of company insolvencies was actually down by 41% on November 2019, and this is a trend which was reflected throughout the year.
These numbers can be assumed to reflect the great lengths the government went to in order to stave off the predicted tsunami of business collapses. Measures included the furlough scheme, the business interruption loan scheme and business bounce back loans. The hope is that the money pumped into the business sector, allied to the creative ways in which many businesses reinvented their offer to their markets, will combine to see as many viable businesses as possible surviving into 2021.
Combine this hope with the promise of a vaccination roll-out gradually lifting the impact of the pandemic from all sectors of society and you have two very good reasons to look forward to a brighter 2021.
Whilst the kinds of expenses incurred over the past few months are different compared to pre-COVID (for example, a reduction in traditional travel and entertainment expenses, an increase in WFH equipment), with the advances mentioned above, there is hope that we can shift to some normality during 2021 and that this will then start a gradual increase in traditional expenses being incurred.
If your business is one of those which managed to get through 2020 and is looking forward to exploiting the opportunities of the 2021 return towards normality, then this could be the perfect time to invest in Zetadocs Expenses, an automated expense management system which could revolutionize the way your business works.
What is Zetadocs Expenses and how can it give me the leading edge?
First and foremost, Zetadocs Expenses replaces the time consuming and expensive process of claiming expenses via written submissions. Instead, the process becomes digital, with submissions automated via a range of devices and no matter where employees happen to be working. The advantages include faster reimbursement for employees, the chance to gather and analyse large amounts of data giving an overview of your expense processes, and a simplified approach to your expense policy. Let’s look at what Zetadocs Expenses actually offers and how it could help to transform your business this 2021.
Instant Photo Receipts
The process of entering an expense into the system becomes easy and instantaneous. As an employee receives a receipt, they can simply take a photograph and upload it to the system. This stands in stark contrast to having to keep receipts safely until the end of the month before entering them all into a monthly expenses claim.
The impact of Covid-19 has seen a massive rise in the number of people working from home. Even before that, however, there was a growing trend for businesses to employ distributed workforces. This shift was made possible by the introduction of genuinely seamless digital communications and the same technological shift plays a part in the Zetadocs Expenses revolution. Members of your team will be able to submit expense claims on any device at any time and track the approval of that claim on the same smartphone, tablet or laptop.
One of the worst aspects of a traditional manual expense system is the long gap which often opens between a claim being made and the expense incurred being reimbursed. This can impact on employee job satisfaction and is often seen as one of the drivers of people either inflating their expense claims or – conversely – not bothering to put the claims in at all.
Using Zetadocs Expenses means that the appropriate members of the management team receive automated emails for expense reports which need approval and can then simply click through to approve or reject the claim. The same all-device and all-times access which applies to submitting claims also applies to approving them, so the process is streamlined from start to finish.
The status screen for Zetadocs Expenses enables the finance team of your business to gain a complete overview of the system as it operates in real time. All expense reports submitted to the system can be viewed at any time, and the ability to view multiple reports and cross reference enables the finance department to build a comprehensive picture of how your expenses policy is working. If a particular department or activity is incurring greater expenses than expected, for example, then the visibility offered by Zetadocs Expenses will make this apparent, rather than having it lost in the general tide of expense reporting.
Creating and enforcing an expenses policy can be difficult, but Zetadocs Expenses simplifies the process by enabling limits to be set across the system. These might apply to particular types of expense or limiting expense claims for particular vehicles or, if concerns have been expressed, making it possible for managers to only approve individual claims rather than entire reports.
Any expense system, manual or automated, generates massive amounts of data. With manual systems this valuable data is all too often simply lost in the rush to plough through endless spread sheets and receipts and get on to dealing with the next claim. Zetadocs Expenses, on the other hand, can be set to gather this data and use it to create reports with parameters of your choosing. The insights gained by this kind of strategic overview will enable you to fine-tune your expense policy, eliminate areas of waste, and track exactly where your expenses are going.
All too often employees can categorize expenses incorrectly, leading to them not having the right coding which can stop you reclaiming the VAT you’re entitled to. Where possible, Zetadocs Expenses will fill in these details automatically, setting the expense type and also ‘remembering’ company, project and department codes. When it comes to claiming expenses for mileage driven, the fact that Zetadocs Expenses uses Google Maps to calculate distances will make it more difficult for claims to be made for incorrect mileage, whether by accident or design. If the distance being claimed breaches what the system says is a reasonable amount for the journey, then this discrepancy will be flagged up to relevant parties such as employees, administrators and approvers in the finance department.
Everything which is put through the Zetadocs Expenses platform is automatically sent to the cloud for secure storage and quick and simple retrieval. Processes such as internal audits or external tax inspections are massively simplified when all the relevant documents can be accessed via a single dashboard.
One step ahead
We believe that every business deserves the benefits of streamlining and transformation when it comes to expense management, whether staff are generally working from home or back in their pre-pandemic routine. Why not find out more by taking a look at Zetadocs Expenses Express. This is our FREE TO DOWNLOAD version and it integrates seamlessly with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central online.
It will enable you to take advantage of many of the product’s features while traditional expenses are lower than usual and ensure you are ready for a return to office. Our implementation and support package will also help make the set-up easy for you.
Digitalize your expense management process while your employees are working from home, in preparation for a return towards normality in the future!