Employee travel and expense management can be complex and time-consuming. If the system is slow and inefficient, as well as fraught with errors, it’s not an ideal situation. In fact, far from it. There are many disadvantages to ineffective expense management that can cost both the employees and the company in the long run. Read more
In today’s constantly changing corporate landscape, you may be required to travel by your company, whether locally or abroad. This could be due to a variety of reasons, such as meetings, courtesy calls, business development, or project execution, to name a few.
Whatever it is, for every employee who travels for the company, the company incurs costs that could easily add up if you look at the bigger picture. This is why these companies have travel guidelines and protocols in place, especially when employee reimbursements are involved.
Get to Know Your Company’s Travel Expense Policies
Companies of all sizes have expense policies that guide their employees in their travel and expenses for the business. There may be times that you yourself may have been told off regarding a reimbursement, that it is not claimable. You may even have disputed some claims along the way.
The thing is, there’s actually quite a number of guesswork, confusion, and frustration when it comes to misunderstanding these expense policies. This could be due to the system itself, a conflict with the policies, or you may have provided insufficient data to back your claims.
While every company has expense management systems in place, having a dated one can also affect the turnaround time for reimbursements. In the long run, the delays could cost the company.
Follow These Do’s and Don’ts
Whatever system you have in your organization, as an employee, it’s important to know what your privileges and limitations are.
To help you out, here are some Dos and Don’ts for employees when it comes to business travel and expense claims.
- Familiarize yourself with your company’s expense policies
- Save your expense receipts and keep them organized in one place
- Keep a copy of your expenses or receipts at all times, whether as a photocopy or on your phone, if in case you lose your actual paper receipts
- Submit your expense report as soon as you incur your expense
- Don’t ask for reimbursements for personal services or expenses that you may have incurred during your business travel
- Avoid overspending for things or situations that don’t warrant it while you’re on your business trip. If you’re not being conscious of your company’s funds or budget, this will be found out sooner or later
- Don’t hold your expense reports and reimbursement claims for a long time and submit them weeks or months later
Go Digital and Paperless!
These days, there are many expense management solutions that leverage on the latest technology to give you and your company the best features. Just like Gorilla Expense!
With Gorilla Expense, your expense management system will be seamlessly upgraded to address your organization’s needs. Using the latest technology, it makes it easier for company employees like you to keep track of expenses, store receipts, submit claims, and track approvals–all within one app. Whether cloud-based or in-premise, you can be sure that Gorilla Expense takes the hassle off expense reporting to ensure you get your reimbursements–minus all the frustration.
You can even use Gorilla Expense while on-the-go, without having to look for a PC or lugging around your laptop with you. Right within your smartphones, you can use the app to help you be on the move while ensuring that your expenses are tracked.
Today’s dynamic corporate environment is becoming more and more global. Organizations all over the world must keep up with the latest technologies and the demands that go with these. Business performance and productivity goes hand in hand with insights and initiatives that help move the business closer to its goals.
And all these become better when they happen in real time.
And this is where Gorilla Expense comes in. Read more
With our increasingly global business landscape, it’s much more common today for employees to travel for work. Whether it’s for attending a meeting, meeting business associates, pitching for an investor in another part of the world, or visiting a remote branch, travel is part of how a business operates and grows. Read more
A mid-sized organization has its share of challenges especially in this era of technology and globalization. Particularly in business travel and expense management, finance managers in these organizations can find several pain points that eventually trickle its way to company operations, and finally the bottom line. Therefore, it goes without saying that an effective expense management tool is necessary for any organization if they want to succeed in what they do and find this success reflected in their financials.
Enter Gorilla Expense. Read more
How much is it to travel from your main headquarters to your satellite office in another state? When you go around and ask your colleagues, odds are, they would have different answers.
This simple experiment shows just how easy and common it is for employees to make honest mistakes on their expense reports. The question is, however, are these really mistakes or deliberate misrepresentations? Read more
Technology has changed the way we do things–and this includes how we buy. For your organization, you may feel this change as your own employees exhibit a shift in their buying behaviors, which affect spending, expenses, and visibility.
When it comes to employee-initiated spend that occurs as they perform their jobs, things have changed. Like travel and expenses, employee initiated spend also contribute to business operations, and the bottom line. However, due to the changes and technological advances we are experiencing today, visibility becomes a more pressing concern, on top of course of timely recognition and reporting of expenses. Read more
The holiday season can be stressful. When it comes to holiday-season business travel, not many has survived it without a hitch.
The thing is, packing and preparing for a business trip during the holidays is intensely nerve-wracking. You have to make sure you don’t forget anything. Over the many business travels that you’ve done, you may have gathered a few tips and tricks to get you by. However, as experience would tell you, something almost always happens to get you off-track. Read more
If you’re in the market for an expense management solution for your company, then you probably have an idea just how many solutions, technologies, vendors, features, and price points to choose from. All these can be overwhelming, not to add the available deployment options and the total business value each solution can potentially bring.
So, how do you choose the right expense management tool for you? Read more
According to the Aberdeen Group research, surveys based on millions of expense reports submitted by 3,000 companies reveal that U.S. T&E costs are constantly rising. The largest increases were in airfare (up 5.7%), hotels (up 4.5%), and meetings (up 7.7%).
With T&E spend ranging from 7% to 15% percent of the total budget for the average mid-market company ($50 million to $800 million in revenue), the challenge facing CFOs and Controllers in this area is dramatic with millions of dollars at stake! For most companies, travel related expenses remain a significant area of spend – second only to payroll.
Scope of challenge
Fundamentally, most companies struggle to tackle these challenges because of not knowing where to start, when it comes to managing their T&E Expense reporting process, resulting in thousands of dollars of reckless spending and waste. Aberdeen’s report (Expense Management for a New Decade and The Mid-Market Expense Management Program) says that:
* 56% of mid-market companies have limited visibility into T&E spending
* Less than 45% track their expenses via analytics and business intelligence in real time
* Only 33% leverage cloud-based expense reporting solutions and 28% integrate corporate cards
* Just 15% provide T&E data to C-level executives for financial forecasting purposes
Solutions for a new decade
The good news is that cloud-based solutions have significantly brought down the cost of automating T&E expense reporting. These solutions have been shown to deliver huge reductions in expense processing costs. But the big questions is – where do you start?
The Best-In-Class corporations (a term used by the Aberdeen Group to classify the top 20% of companies that manage their expense related processes by creatively blending technology & strategy) combine strategy, core capabilities, technology, a culture that embraces change and a desire to optimize. The objectives of most Best-In-Class programs include cost savings, enhanced productivity, improved efficiencies and better compliance. This is usually achieved by unifying the different processes in the lifecycle.
By advocating a culture that fosters Best-In-Class programs and by investing in a system that ensures achievement of this status, Best-In-Class companies constantly reap gains and realize immediate ROIs.
Here are the 10 Commandments of Expense Reporting that Best-In-Class companies consistently execute on:
1. Centralize the control and operation of T&E expense management programs
2. Automate the process to greatly reduce unproductive manual work and eliminate errors
3. Integrate the front-end expense reporting system to the ERP system to minimize manual data entries and errors (here is a video of automated integration with Dynamics GP)
4. Establish generally accepted corporate-wide policies and processes
5. Educate employees regularly on expense report related policies and processes and appoint a designee for any questions from employees
6. Encourage usage of corporate cards for better accuracy and mobile device applications for convenience to users (read our blog on Credit Card Integration)
7. Leverage and close the loop on expense management data to fine-tune the system and also provide better deals with travel vendors for the company
8. Develop audit mechanisms that capture errant data and provide real-time visibility into spend
9. Invest in the latest technology to maximize efficiency, provide long term ROI and reduce paper usage
10. Provide flexibility and convenience to the end users to improve productivity, reduce inherent delays and to capture expense data immediately after incurred
For some companies, executing on all 10 steps immediately might prove to be a challenge. In those cases, it would be beneficial to select a few and to focus on those, till the desired results are obtained.
Automating T&E processes does more than just reduce costs. It makes it harder for employees to inflate expenses — and far easier for companies to detect fraud. According to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, up to 13% of company fraud arises in this area, so that’s a huge advantage. Expense reporting time is reduced and employees are reimbursed faster which is a major boost to morale. Automation results in an average 28% reduction in expense approval times and 27% reduction in employee expense report creation times according to the latest Aberdeen reports.
To read the complete white paper on ’10 steps towards best-in-class status for expense management’, click HERE
If you have any specific questions that we can help with or need more information, contact us at email@example.com
To calculate savings from automating the T&E Expense Reporting Process, click HERE
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