In today’s economic climate, the requirement to achieve an immediate, meaningful and sustainable ROI on IT investment is paramount.
Deploying an automated expense management system can deliver returns in a matter of months through:
- Enforcement of corporate expenditure policies.
- Adherence to expense taxation guidelines.
- Improved workflow efficiencies.
- Negotiating supplier contracts based on detailed expense report data.
In our experience of deploying expense management solutions, we have observed first hand the ways in which organisations have achieved exceptional and sometimes unexpected results. ‘unexpected’, because the extent and nature of the benefits achieved in some organisations were much broader and deeper than originally anticipated.
With the minimum cost of one expense claim put at around £50 it’s easy to see the considerable scope which exists for achieving rapid ROI through automation.
Before you make a decision about implementing an expense management solution, we can prepare a tailored ROI based proposal which will provide a detailed breakdown of the savings your organisation can achieve through implementing [email protected] software.
For many organisations, cost savings are, surprisingly, not one of the primary reasons for implementing an expense management solution.
Often the decision is forced due to organisational changes such as a takeover or merger, however in many instances the drivers are external factors such as investigations by HMRC or local tax authorities.
These enquiries which are time consuming, expensive and stressful often unearth lax expense management policies, poor enforcement and inaccurate or incomplete postings and analysis.
In practice, this is becoming one of the primary reasons for choosing an automated system as the penalties for ‘getting it wrong’ can far outweigh the costs of ‘putting it right’.
Of course time savings, the reduction of paperwork and the elimination of tiresome, expensive and error prone re-keying of data to the finance system are also key reasons for implementing expense automation.
“A properly implemented Expense Management Solution should deliver a 100% ROI within 8 months of go live”[email protected] Limited
Staff dislike submitting expense claims. They find it boring and time consuming. They do it irregularly and often submit many months of expenses simultaneously.
Employees often have a poor understanding of company expense policies and invariably complete inaccurate expense claims as a result. These are often missed by Management or lead to difficult confrontations if spotted.
VAT rules are difficult for employees to understand and are either ignored or inaccurately completed forcing the Finance Department to spend time correcting and errors that they spot.
All of these factors contribute to make the process of claiming expenses an unpleasant one for employees. For organisations the implications are even more serious due to claims being filed late, VAT reclaims being missed and wasted employee productivity.
Managers dislike the time and effort it takes to review expense claims and if under time pressure will invariably just scan the form, often missing mistakes or ‘inaccuracies’.
In many organisations, expenses are booked against departments, projects or cost centres whose manager has no direct responsibility for approving the expense (marketing is a good example). Using manual systems makes these allocations difficult to review and control.
Increasingly frequent audits from HMRC highlights the importance of well managed and enforced expense policies. The consequences of getting this wrong affect many aspects of corporate compliance; from P11D returns to incorrect P&L analysis (tax deductible vs. non tax deductible expenses for example). The financial penalties for incorrect returns are substantial.
Communicating queries and rejections of expense claims can be a stressful and time consuming process. “I want the system to force the employee to enter the correct information in the first place” as one FD observed.
The manual re-handling of expense claims by employee, manager, finance and finally the data entry clerk is expensive, time consuming and error prone.
Like with employees, these factors contribute to make the process of reviewing and approving expenses an unpleasant one for management. Poorly reviewed claims can lead to wasted expenditure, inaccurate reporting and compliance issues.
In bringing our solutions to market our objective was to provide a service which would enable our clients to reduce or eliminate these problems and consequently achieve an ROI which was definable and immediate.
This was achieved by:
Ease Of Use
Making the system easy to use for employees, managers and the finance department. Expense claims could thus be created, approved and posted to the finance system promptly and accurately.
Credit Card Integration
Interfacing to external Credit Card systems thus facilitating prompt and accurate reconciliation.
Ensuring seamless integration to the finance system thus avoiding the re-keying of data and ensuring the accurate posting of information against the correct cost centres.
Making the system accessible from anywhere, either inside (Intranet) or outside (Internet) the organisation via browser or mobile app (subject to security policies).
Providing a sophisticated reporting engine which enables the rapid production of meaningful management information and identifies key expenditure points by employee, department, project, supplier and period etc (over 400 levels of analysis).
Provide full multi-currency, multi-company and multi-language support.
Deliver all of this using robust, scalable standards based technology and architecture.