As the post-pandemic world gradually looks to return to normalcy, in-person events, business travel,summits, and conferences once again become the norm, creating the need for a transparent expense management system. Forbes predicts business travel to surge in the next 5 years as businesses resume their normal course. Organizations are looking to invest in expense reporting software to manage and keep track of all travel-related expenses in the coming years.
There are numerous expense management applications available in the market. The key lies in
identifying what works best for your organization. In this article, we look at some benefits of having an expense management application and what essential features to look for in them before investing.
If you’re considering an online expense management system, but don’t know where to start or what to look for, this blog will help you identify key features you need to get the most out of your expense management application.
What is expense management?
An Expense management software or application streamlines and automates activities like approval and expense reporting, making it easier to track, manage, and reimburse business expenses. It also helps eliminate any possible human error involved in these processes.
9 Key features to look for in an expense management application
Here is a list of benefits of having a robust expense management application:
- Swift and Simple Process
- Faster Repayments and Minimized Deadlocks
- Minimal Delays and Errors
- Enhanced Efficiency and Operations
- Improved Visibility
- Optimized Fraud Prevention Simplified Reporting
- Better Compliance
What are the benefits of having a robust Expense Management Application?
Let us take a closer look at some key features an expense management application cannot do without. We have curated a list of 9 features that we believe are critical in any expense management application.
OCR – Read, Recognize, Record
Given the fast-paced world we live in, nobody has time to type out details from a receipt, even so, there’s always the possibility of human error. Expense management applications with OCR can process receipts by just scanning them. This functionality enhances the user experience when creating expense reports. Primarily, the OCR feature helps extract the merchant’s name, date, and total amount from receipts.
Credit Card Import
Expense management application allow the import of details of credit card transactions into the application. Employees can bypass the hassle of manually entering the value of transactions along with other details. Alternatively, if preferred, the transactions can be logged manually as required.
If your Expense Management Application does not support all of these functions, it’s time to switch to PeopleHCM.
Automatic payment is a common feature found across most expense management applications that initiate payments on time to avoid repeated requests. The function automatically disburses funds upon approval clearance.
A popular management mantra goes, “You can’t manage what you can’t measure.”; That is certainly true when evaluating any management metric. While there may not necessarily be any hard limits when it comes to defining expense limits, soft limits allow improved visibility and tracking.
Defining soft expense limits is also a unique feature that prompts for approval beyond a defined limit. This actively helps in:
- Defining and setting travel cost allowances and limits
- Reimbursing employees for costs
- Visibility into employee spending
- Defining and enforcing expense policy
- Alerting employees during irregularities in compliance the policy
- Analyzing data to flag irregularities and identify opportunities
Defining and setting up expense categories help segment and categorize expenses and offer a clear view of the nature of costs. It would provide clarity and intelligent insights into the expenses incurred. For instance, a business lunch can be clubbed with other expenditures under Meals and Entertainment. Categories clearly show your business expenditures when you run analytic reports.
Privilege Functions (VIP)
Privilege functions enable the creation of a category of employees who may not require approval. This feature offers convenient flexibility for the higher-ups and other select employees.
Project routing allows approvals and claims of personnel assigned across different projects to be routed to the appropriate approver of the concerned project. For instance, an employee who contributes to three different projects can seamlessly get his requests serviced across the projects without the hassle of running from one project to another.
Imagine having an expense management application that allowed input of different currencies and calculated using the exchange rate.
How many of these features does your Expense Management Application Support?
If your Expense Management Application does not support all of these features, it may be time to talk a hard look at it and explore possible options.
However, if you are still confused or uncertain about how to decide what’s best for your firm, you could start by mapping out your firm’s expense management processes in detail. You could then carefully look into what is currently working well and the areas where you can use some improvement. The insights you draw from this study will help you prepare a list of features of integrations that you may need to empower your expense management process.
We looked at some key features that empower an Expense Management Application. If you’re still confused or perhaps uncertain about how to decide, you could map out your firm’s expense management processes in detail. Then, carefully look into what is currently working well and the areas where you can use some improvement. The insights you draw from this study will help you prepare a list of features of integrations that you may need to empower your expense management process.
PeopleHCM is a human capital management suite of applications that offers a rich user experience loaded with flexible configurations for functions like timesheet management, expense management, onboarding, payroll integration, performance management, and many more.