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Top five benefits of automating your expense management system for finance teams

Top five benefits of automating your expense management system for finance teams

Digitalize your expense management process

Chelsea Andersson

Some companies continue to struggle with manual expense management processes because they worry about the cost of change, especially the price of new software and the challenges of managing the transition.

However, the benefits of automating your expense management solution far outweigh the costs to your business. Your business can improve productivity and better manage employee business expenses.

In this article, we discuss the top five benefits for finance teams of automating your expense management solution.

Reduce manual processing errors

Manual expense management can lead to costly errors. Repetitive, tedious work such as spending hours filling out expense forms at the end of the month can overwhelm your employees and lead to errors  in their claims. Process automation can eliminate costly mistakes and increase efficiency of your employees.

Even if an error occurs, the finance department can trace it back to where it happened, which is difficult to do with paper documents or if expense receipts have been lost.

Zetadocs Expenses uses receipt OCR (Optical Character Recognition) to extract data accurately from expense receipts. This is done automatically after employees take a photo of their paper receipt, or upload a file containing the receipt, using the Zetadocs Expenses web or mobile app. This reduces the likelihood of erroneous expense claims, therefore reducing the time spent by finance teams chasing up such mistakes.

Furthermore, manual expense management processes often involve finance teams having to enter expense report details into their ERP system, which, again, can result in data input mistakes. Zetadocs Expenses automatically creates purchase invoices in Business Central from approved expense reports, so you don't have to manually add data, which is also a significant time-saver.

Enables faster approvals and reimbursement

Manual filing of expenses requires a lengthy process, as the finance department must carefully check the information contained in each request. The time it takes to manually check expenses, chase employees for additional information about an expense and then manually enter into your ERP system can cause finance teams to miss monthly pay runs . This causes delays in reimbursing staff.

Automating your expense management process solves this problem. Employees can submit expenses on the go, with the software flagging any errors in claims that submitters can fix immediately. This saves finance teams from having check each line of an expense report and question possible errors.

The software can also pull through details about an expense automatically. If it recognizes a provider, it determines the cost type and stores company, project and department codes. As you don’t need to rekey this data,  the payroll process is sped up, reducing the likelihood and stress of missing the monthly pay run.

Reduce the risk of fraud

When you rely on manual processes, it’s easier for employees to commit expense fraud (for example, submitting the same expense twice or inflating the cost of an expense). These fraudulent activities cost UK businesses an average of £223,000 per year. Manual processing makes it difficult to identify suspicious claims and contact staff to resolve the issue.

Automating your expense management system reduces this risk.  A solution such as Zetadocs Expenses can provide a regular reporting feed that collects employee expense data and presents it in a helpful format.

Zetadocs Expenses uses PowerBI templates to generate charts and reports, which can be explored by finance teams in a variety of ways. Digital audit trails of spending and approvals are generated, allowing financial teams to identify any discrepancies that can then be questioned directly (of course, some suspicious expense claims may be completely innocent, but could cost your company money if not identified and questioned).

Better spending visibility

Another benefit of expense management automation is that it provides real-time visibility of spending data. You can use this information to create accurate forecasts and budget allocations. An additional benefit is that you can identify the vendors your employees spend a lot of money with and negotiate with them to get better deals to help your business save money. Centralizing spend information also simplifies reporting on a multitude of performance metrics.

Many companies prefer to allocate daily allowances for employee travel and entertainment expenses (also known as per diem expenses). An automated expense management solution sets the rate that staff or teams may select when submitting allowance expenses, with visibility of all expenses for cost tracking and auditing purposes.

Improve compliance with cost policy

Expense management software can help facilitate compliance with your organization's expense policy. Employees may be unaware of company policy or more likely to submit an expense they know goes beyond spending limits if the process is manual.

When automated, you can set tolerance levels for each expense category to control travel and entertainment costs. Submitters and approvers will be notified of any excess spending, and strict limits you set will prevent employees from asking for excessive bills.

How can Zetadocs help?

Whether you’re looking for a time-saving solution, reducing human error or mitigating expense fraud, automating your expense management solution gives your business a competitive edge over companies that don't use it.

Zetadocs Expenses is an expense management service designed for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central and NAV. It provides centralized control over expense approval, credit card reconciliation and business mileage. Some of its features include:

  • Fast, accurate reimbursements

Once approved and verified, expense reports are automatically exported to Business Central, which saves time currently spent on entering data and improves reimbursement visibility to employees.

  • Better management of corporate credit cards

Export streamlined and relevant corporate credit card transactions to save time re-entering each statement line separately in Business Central.

  • Receipt OCR

Create new expenses by uploading receipts, analyzed with OCR to extract information that is then automatically entered into a new expense.

If you want to learn more about how Zetadocs Expenses benefits you, book your personalized free demo now or check out our Zetadocs Expenses page for more information.

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