Expense Reporting and the Big Picture

For finance teams, expense reporting remains a small but important component of the overall accounts payable (AP) process. But in actuality, expense tracking is perhaps the most important function after accounts receivable (AR). Because without proper expense management and spend visibility in place, overspending and fraudulent reimbursements can become commonplace. All of this saps a business of its growth potential.

And as any AP or expense reporting professional knows, this process is more than collecting and logging receipts. But due to the repetitive nature of collecting and analyzing financial data, expense management often gets reduced to data entry. However, empowering your accounting team translates into several benefits, among them being reduced costs, improved transparency, and more informed decision-making.

To unlock the power behind business expense reports, a few steps need to be taken.

Fine-Tune Your ERP

If your team is still working in Excel, your first step is actually to shift to an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. But if you’ve already made the transition, then it’s important to add customizations to your platform.

All major ERPs, including Microsoft Dynamics, Sage Intacct, and Lawson INFOR, all support integrations. These third-party applications can further automate and streamline your processes. 

And the time saved is well worth the expense. In some cases, you may find yourself saving money. This is especially true of payment and financial management integrations.

For AP, a proper expense management integration will provide seamless and tailored reporting, allow employees to upload their own receipts, and offer access to in-depth expense data.

While each integration is different, the Gorilla Expense reporting takes only a few weeks to set up and is intuitative to use.  

Break Down Silos

Expense management processes essentially deal with employees from nearly every department. Thus, when each team is siloed and communication is limited, creating and filing expense reports becomes a hassle for both the employee and accounting. It also increases the likelihood of delays and mistakes. 

While ERPs and digitization solve some of these problems, a devoted expense management software can reduce friction. For example, the right solution makes it easy for employees to digitize their receipts via photo capture and submit it with their reports. This process drastically reduces time spent in compiling and submitting expenses and makes it easier for accounting to verify the information.

In other words, the fewer barriers between departments, the faster and more accurate expense reporting will be. 

Make Expense Policies Easy to Access and Validate

It helps to also have a solution that outlines expense reimbursement policies, as well as validates them against your submitted reports. Employees may forget what counts as a business expense. Or they may not even know. But accounting will have to review each and every case to ensure it matches the policy.

The best expense management integrations will include an alert for expenses that violate company policies. This makes it easier for the team to spot potential issues rather than searching through the details of each specific document.

At the same time, it’s vital for expense reporting professionals to be able to match expenses against corporate credit card information. This ensures that the right person is using the right payment method for expenses and also makes reports easier to verify and track.

Invest time in Strategy

Finally, AP shouldn’t be focused on manual tasks. They should have their attention on financial management strategy. Whether they are looking at reducing travel expenses, building relationships with vendors, or procuring additional resources, it’s challenging to do anything when the data is murky.

Automation and digitization offer the first step to providing ample data. The next phase is to be able to easily slice and dice the data and interpret it. 

This information makes it easier to strategize cash flow, plan for growth, and reinvest in the business. 

Do More with Gorilla Expense

Empowering your team means giving them the right tools for the job. Sound expense management software can boost your team’s productivity and morale—without adding to their workload.

Gorilla Expense is an easy-to-use expense reporting automation software that integrates with all major ERPs. The learning curve is low, so your finance department can focus on work instead of learning new software. While at the same time, your customized expense reporting solution can log and track employee receipts and expenses, automate corporate card reconciliation, and auto-calculate taxes, including VAT and GST. 

To learn more about how Gorilla Expense can streamline your expense reporting experience, book a demo with us today. To learn more, visit our expense reporting best practices blog

 

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