Ask any sales person what they dislike the most after a busy and successful sales trip? The inevitable answer is the dreaded expense report!
There are no prizes for guessing that in companies around the world, expense reports are still despised. Yet many companies still process expense reports manually and continue to struggle with it. In today’s paperless world, filling out expense reports in Excel, printing them out and attaching receipts using scotch tape is definitely outmoded. And that is where technology and automation come to the rescue.
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The main reason that many companies struggle to take the first step when it comes to automating the expense reporting process is not knowing where to start. Aberdeen Research Group’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
- Only 33% leverage cloud-based expense reporting solutions
- Only 28% utilize corporate credit cards and integrate the data in T&E systems
- Just 15% provide T&E data to C-level executives for financial forecasting purposes
The good news is that cloud-based T&E expense reporting software like Gorilla Expense have made the automation process very economical and easy to manage. The software provides significant reduction in expense processing costs and removes frustrations for the travelers and accounting teams.
To reap the benefits and take the hassle out of this process, here are some areas for companies to start planning and execute on immediately:
– Utilize the latest technology to automate T&E expense reporting and eliminate manual work
Gorilla Expense provides multiple options for companies to automate the T&E process and for users to submit expenses – mobile, web, corporate credit card import and email forwarding. By utilizing the mobile app, the entire expense report can be submitted from the mobile device by the user without having to get in front of a computer!
The advantage for the user is that the expenses are done immediately after incurred along with all the relevant information including expense categorizations and receipts. Since the managers can approve expense reports on the mobile device, their work becomes quick and simple too.
– Send the expense data to Dynamics GP with a click and stop manual data entry
Once the expense report is approved, the most preferable way is to send the data to GP through an automated integration, without having to manually key in the data.
Gorilla Expense’s ‘1-click’ integration can send the data to GP in one single click! The standard and most common integration is to Payables within GP. Here, Gorilla Expense sends expense data as a Payable Transaction Entry within Purchasing.
Gorilla Expense can also integrate the data to the Project module in GP for project related expenses. The project managers can be setup as approvers in the chain so that there is full visibility of T&E spend related to projects.
– Educate and train employees on T&E best practices, policies and processes
Companies that are serious about tackling the challenges associated with a manual T&E process must provide clear guidelines to employees and communicate them consistently.
When it comes to policies, companies must inform and educate employees about what are considered soft violations, what are hard violations and what are the ramifications for breaking policies. Companies must appoint a designated expert who can answer questions from employees and clarify doubts.
In conclusion, by simply following these highlighted steps, companies can derive benefits immediately and make life easier for the road warriors and accounting personnel.
The benefits are immediate and immense – improved productivity for all users involved, greater visibility for the stakeholders, increased compliance, better morale for the travelers and taking emotion out of expense reporting.
Interested in learning more about the benefits of T&E automation? Curious to review the mobile app and manager approval? Want to see the GP integration in action?