From being constantly connected to the process to having a flexible and customized approvals process to enjoying absolute visibility to implementing automation in all aspects of expense management, there are many good reasons for you to adopt cloud-based expense software.
Cloud-based expense report software or online expense software can be very useful for organizations in multiple ways, and as such, there are that many good reasons to adopt this solution. This post touches on some of these reasons but there are many more that it warrants an entire post on the same. So, let’s see some good reasons for you to adopt this software.
In expense management, one of the biggest reasons bottlenecks occur in processing is because some of the stakeholders do not complete their tasks on time. There might be various reasons for it, but whatever the reason, when stakeholders do not have constant access to the data and tasks they have to perform, processes suffer.
With the online solution, this is no more a worry as everyone is constantly connected, and even if someone were on a vacation, it is simply a matter of opening the mobile app and clicking a button to complete the task.
With the online expense software, you will have no worries about having a rigid process that gets your stakeholders in line. On the contrary, the software does not expect your stakeholders to follow its processes but lets you to define and implement your own processes and workflows.
It is completely flexible, and whichever aspect of expense management you need to customize as per your needs, you can. From approvals to delegations to a variety of other tasks, you can implement everything in a flexible manner with the software.
Multiple and simultaneous approvals
With the expense solution, organizations can enjoy the scope of implementing multiple and simultaneous approval systems easily and effectively. Gone are the days when expense reports had to be sent without approvals since the approval system is dicey – now, a working process can be implemented easily with the solution.
Let’s say you want to implement a system where multiple approvals would have to be obtained before an expense report could be processed. Say you need these approvals from an immediate supervisor and one from the department head. With manual processes or spreadsheets, you would have to wait forever for these approvals to complete. And if one of them is not available, then the expense report stays where it is, without much headway.
However, with the software, these approvals can be obtained much more easily. Further, you can also design the flow to accommodate simultaneous approvals or sequential approvals. Basically, any approval system you want to implement, and you have the software helping you out.
We already showed you how the software will keep everyone connected so that the work can be completed in time. However, there is another way the software will ensure that tasks do not stop – delegations. By delegating tasks to others, stakeholders can take breaks or vacations without affecting the process.
The software has a feature wherein they will delegate someone to complete their tasks in their absence, and the software will route these tasks to them. This feature is very helpful for tasks like approvals. While you do not want to hold up the process, you do not want expense reports to be submitted without any approval either – so, you simply delegate the approval task, and everything will carry on as before, no harm done.
One of the most important aspects of expense management is visibility. When the expense management processes are set up in such a way that they do not allow for visibility, no one really understands what is happening with the process, and therefore, there can be no adequate control.
In expense management, fraud is easy, with stakeholders often inflating their expenses, and when there is no visibility, these inflated expenses are simply aid out without much validation. This lack of visibility hurts the entire process, and all aspects of it like approval, audit and reconciliation, and analysis.
With its centralization and accessibility, expense management software offers total visibility so that organizations do not have to suffer lack of it. It goes one step further and provides stakeholders with the scope to get reports delivered to their mailboxes periodically so that they can be kept in the loop without actually having to go check themselves.
Communication is one of the key aspects of a sequential process like expense management where each one will be able to complete their tasks only when the preceding task has been completed. Managers can’t approve reports that have not been prepared properly, and finance people can’t release reimbursements if approvals are not done effectively.
However, simply completing a task is also not good enough – the next one in the process will have to be made aware of it, or the task just sits in his or her inbox without completion. Current systems place the imperative of this communication on the individuals, with each stakeholder having the responsibility of notifying the next in line regarding the same. However, this communication chain is not absolute, and can sometimes break, leading to the process being stopped.
In contrast, this communication is made seamless and effective with expense software. Notifications and alerts are released automatically; so, the system takes on the responsibility of this communication, and does it effectively. Never again will stakeholders have to miss deadlines simply because they did not know that it was their turn. The software also has the ability to send reminders, egging stakeholders on to complete their tasks in time.
Now we come to perhaps the biggest reason why you need expense software. There is nothing quite like automation to improve your stakeholders’ productivity and make the process flow efficient and effective. We already mentioned how communication is automated – other aspects like approvals and expense report preparation can be automated too.
Automation is helpful for all the stakeholders alike – it improves their productivity and reduces the scope for errors in processing. Take approvals for example. Now, we all know that approvals involve one human at least. But, what if you have a system that amounts below a certain threshold are normal, and there is no need for approval. In that case, these reports can be processed directly without any human intervention. Also, you can program the software to highlight any anomalies or inconsistencies, so that you can take remedial action.
Data management and analysis
The other major reasons to use the software is that you will significantly improve the way you manage and analyse data. Now, data management is not something all organizations are familiar with, nor do many of them have a prevalent system to handle it effectively. it is a lot of work, and might not seem to yield immediate results, and therefore, they stay away from that.
However, data management and analysis is no more a luxury in today’s world. Whether or not you do it, you can be sure that your competitors are, and they are that much the better for it. Management and careful analysis of data can help unearth patterns that will show whether the process is running as expected or if there are any gaps that have to be filled. Further, it will show the performance of the stakeholders, and where they are lagging.
The analytics used in expense management are pretty generic, and can be understood by all the stakeholders. Instead of waiting for a separate BI function to handle this for them, each stakeholder can launch his or her own necessary analytics and be more aware.
Expense management software is a big help for all organizations in managing their expenses – with it, many of the pains in the process will be eliminated.