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Key considerations for choosing the right expense management solution

Key considerations for choosing the right expense management solution

Rachel King

The procedure of streamlining expense management processes within a business usually focuses on aspects such as inflated expense claims or fraud. 

There are very good reasons for this, of course. 

Statistics on business expense spending can be pretty mind-boggling. For example, it’s predicted that global annual spending on business travel will rise to as much as $1.6 trillion before the end of 2020. 

Meanwhile, in the UK alone, combined national business travel spending in 2017 reached £38 billion. 

Both of these figures mark an upward trend which isn’t likely to slow down any time soon. According to Oxford Economics, every dollar invested in business travel generates $12.50 in value. 

Even with the push for greener business practices getting stronger each year in virtually every business sector, it seems that spending on travel at this scale is here to stay. 

Another driver for the adoption of efficient expense management solutions like Zetadocs Expenses, however, can be found in statistics on expenses not being claimed

According to research carried out by Barclays in 2018, the average worker fails to claim £123 in expenses every year, adding up to a total of £962M, based on a massive 60% of workers who didn’t make any effort to claim expenses at all. 

Put these two trends together and you have a potential recipe for disaster – ever-rising travel expenses which could spiral out of control if not monitored correctly as well as – on the flip side – the damage to staff morale of systems and processes which aren’t fit for purpose. 

Opting to use an expense management system is one thing, but choosing the right system is another thing completely. 

So, to ensure you are in the best position to select the most appropriate expense management solution for your business, and bearing in mind the number of tools and systems available, it’s vital to consider the options and ask yourself the following questions;

Will the system work for our business?

Ask yourself…how large is your business and how many employees generate expense claims? Are your employees based in a single location or across multiple locations, and will employees need to be able to access the system – i.e. to submit claims – while they are out on the road? 

Will the system you’re looking at scale and evolve as your business does? If you’re planning on expansion to other territories, for example, you may need a system that can be rolled out quickly and easily.  

What features should our expense management system have?

A system, such as Zetadocs Expenses, comes with a huge range of features, all of which have been designed and tested to streamline the expenses process across every interaction. 

The features to look out for should include the ability to submit receipts quickly via a photograph using any smartphone device. 

From your point of view, as the employer, useful features will include standard mileage being calculated via Google maps, the ease with which limits can be set on specific types of expense and department, and the creation of regular reports enabling a strategic approach to be taken to expense policy. 

Ask yourself which features you need today and which you might need in the future, and make sure that the system you’re considering offers them.  

Which platform does the system use?

As more and more computing shifts to the cloud, you may prefer an expense management system designed for use in that environment. 

The cloud offers a degree of scalability and flexibility which on-premises solutions may struggle to match. 

As the bulk of the software and services which your business uses become cloud-based, a cloud-optimized, cloud-based expense management solution may be more compatible. In addition to this, cloud-based technology will keep infrastructure costs down.  


Take the time to ask questions of your expense management provider to ensure that the system will be compatible with your other business systems. 

Even the best expense solution is only going to cause problems for your business if it clashes with the other tools you use. 

Factors such as documentation, storage, and security, for example, will need to be compatible to ensure smooth day to day running.  

How easy is it to use?

Ease of use is at the heart of a good expense management system, or employees and even accounts teams will simply not use it.

As highlighted earlier, many expenses are never claimed because employees can’t be bothered with the time and effort involved in making claims. 

In addition to checking that your potential system has the kind of strategic features you need, road test it for ease of use; ask the vendor for a run through or demo of the system, such as that offered by Zetadocs Expenses.

What kind of support is available?

Any system is only ever as good as the support network in place if things go wrong. 

Does the provider you’re looking at offer a technical support helpline, expert advice and easily accessed support? 

Check the contract details carefully to establish the level of support on offer for the precise package you’ve opted for, as it’s often too late when things go wrong to find out that the support you have is not fit for purpose. 

Business credibility

Our last word of advice concerns the track record of your potential provider. The market for expense management solutions is fragmented and varied, and it’s important that you select a credible provider.

Look for case studies and reviews outlining how effective their system is in practice and read up on real-world clients and testimonials.

No amount of research or full-scale demos will ever be able to take the place of businesses like yours explaining what kind of impact an expense system had on their efficiency or operations, how easy it is to use and whether the investment involved was reflected in an improvement on the bottom line. 

If you want to work with an expense management system that’s designed for the cloud and can enhance efficiency across your wider business, check out Zetadocs Expenses today and ask the questions we’ve presented here.

Discover how Zetadocs can tick all your boxes here.

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