How to process expense reports faster for a business?

As employee size and business travel requirements continue to grow so will the complications that come with employee business expense reporting.


Subsequently, with the increase in business expenses, there will also be an increase in expense reports and related woes.

 

In today’s day and age, a major requirement for finance managers is a solution on how to process expense reports faster. They need a solution to reduce workload and speed up the system of processing expense reports.

 

However, before this issue can be addressed you must also get an idea of what the challenges are and how you can go about solving them.

Challenges with the processing expense reports


Given below are five of the most common challenges that finance teams face when processing expense reports.




1. High number of expense reports

Individually processing expense reports can be challenging, especially when your company is in its growing stage.


Finance teams often have to deal with a high volume of expense reports, and often these expense reports come from a wide variety of channels. Going through each and every one of these reports can really be quite a daunting task.




2. Lost supporting documents or incomplete expense reports

Expense reports that come incomplete or without supporting documentation present another significant challenge to finance teams.


In cases like this, your teams will have to do a lot of back and forth to locate the missing information, which means that the process will suffer. As a result of this, the expense reporting process will get prolonged and in turn delay reimbursements.




3. Ineffective expense approval workflow

Ideally, you should have a clearly laid out workflow for your expense approval and reporting process. In the absence of an effective expense report process flow, your teams are bound to suffer from indecision and confusion.


An ineffective expense approval workflow is bound to delay the process. That is why it is very important to have an automated expense approval workflow.



4. Absence of expense policy

While the expense policy itself does not have a direct impact on the expense reporting process, the discrepancies that arise due to the lack of clear-cut policies will hamper the process.


Finance teams will have to spend hours correcting errors in expense reports if you do not have a clearly laid out expense reporting policy.



5. Working with an outdated expense management system

If you are still using outdated, paper and spreadsheet-based expense management systems you should brace yourself for a host of issues related to expense reporting.


Manual data entry errors, missing information, and scrupulous reporting are some examples of issues that arise due to outdated expense management systems.

How to cut down time on processing expense reports for business?


1. Eliminate paper-based expense reporting

Traditional, paper-based expense reporting systems are infamous for being slow, labor-intensive, and expensive.


Manual data entry errors, lack of visibility, and control are only some examples of why you should forgo paper-based expense reporting. Instead, use automated solutions like Volopay to have your expense reporting done.




2. Use smart tech stack for making business spending

The technology you work with for making business spending must be equipped with a full stack of tools. Ideally, this should include corporate cards, expense management, business bank account, AP, accounting automation, and integrations.


With the help of solutions like Volopay, which comes equipped with these tools, you can significantly cut down on the time required for business expense reporting and processing expense reports.




3. Digitize workflows for Expense Reports

Inefficient workflows are usually the ones that are maintained on paper or enforced manually. To make your workflows more efficient and, therefore, faster you must digitize them.


By digitizing your workflows with Volopay spend controls are enforced automatically and this can save you from wasting time on doing the back-and-forth that is typically required in manual workflows.




4. Rely on digital audit trails

Digital audit trails are far easier to track than paper-based ones. Paper-based audit trails are easy to lose track of and are always susceptible to errors and discrepancies.


Instead, using a digital audit trail will let you track expense reports effortlessly and in much lesser time.


Related read: What is an audit trial and why you should automate it?



5. Single platform for spending, reporting, and accounting

Disconnected systems are often the reason why expense reporting processes are slow. Without a consolidated system, it is difficult to keep track of all the processes that are taking place.


Using a platform like Volopay, however, can solve this issue because Volopay is a comprehensive expense management platform that provides spending, reporting, and accounting facilities all on the same system.



6. Automate reconciliation

Even a task as simple as matching the ledger entries with an actual account and card statements can become a daunting task. This is especially true when your company is growing and so is the number of expenses you make on a daily basis.


To make this process of expense reconciliation easier for your finance teams consider automating it with the help of an expense reconciliation software like Volopay.

Best practices to effortlessly process expense reports


1. Avoid out-of-pocket expenses

Avoiding out-of-pocket expenses is the best way to get rid of expense reporting woes. If employees don’t end up making any expenses with their own money the question of expense reporting won’t arise in the first place.


The best tool to do this with? Employee expense cards. Use corporate cards for employees for any business expenses you need to make.


These cards are specially designed to be highly secure and easily trackable from one uniform dashboard.




2. Emphasize immediate submissions

You should encourage employees to submit expense reports as soon as an expense is made. This is made much easier when you’re working with an expense reporting solution that is connected to a mobile app.


Using the app employees don’t have to waste any time creating expense reports, they can simply enter the details on app.


By encouraging employees to submit expense reports faster you can reduce errors and lost receipts, have faster reporting, and track finances in real-time.




3. Customize clear expense policy


A clearly outlined expense policy is essential to the proper expense report process flow.


Without clearly mentioned guidelines employees will never know what procedures to follow and what to avoid in terms of business expenses and reporting of the same.


Ideally, you should create a clear expense policy that is customized to the needs and requirements of your organization.

Simplify and process all your expense reports with Volopay


All your expense reporting woes can be tackled by one solution - Volopay. Volopay is an expense management platform that is designed to manage the end-to-end process of accounts payables.


The platform is equipped to process invoices from the point of receiving them to the point where the expenses have to be reconciled and integrated with your accounting platform.

 

Volopay also comes with highly customizable approval workflows, an essential need for faster execution of expense reporting. All you have to do is set up the controls and let the system handle the rest.

 

Additionally, Volopay also comes with corporate cards with credit. Using these cards will help your employees avoid out-of-pocket expenses and you to control and track business expenses with greater ease.


Employees can make expenses using these cards and record it instantaneously with Volopay’s mobile application.


All details are automatically extracted and the rest of the expense reporting process is automated while all you have to do is press a few buttons.

 

Expense reporting automation is your best friend and with Volopay your entire expense management system can be automated with this this feature.

Volopay helps streamline every aspect of the expense reporting process