What is expense management automation & how to implement it in your organization?

The availability of trailblazing technology in our footsteps has simplified and streamlined many jobs around us. You can automate any part of your business now to save time. But why exactly, expense management automation? Why should expense management system implementation be prioritized over others? 

Accounting is one of the daunting, error-prone, and toilsome tasks that can seem like it’s never going to end. Expense management system implementation can quicken the bill clearing and account closing process, help you make smart, achievable budgets, and keep entire accounting data at your fingertips. 

How to setup expense management automation in your organization?

It cannot happen overnight when you decide to implement an expense automation system. Taking one step at a time will ensure that you don’t miss anything while focusing on the big picture. Here is an eight-step proceeding that will guide you through the automation process set up in your organization.

Set clear business goals

Look into your current accounting workflow and identify problematic areas. There will be tasks that might need human intervention and frequent customization. There will be tasks that scream for constant attention. And then the most lethargically done manual tasks which your employees dislike intensely. A peek into this can clearly picture what needs to be changed and what goals should be achieved. Discuss the plans with the accounting and finance department and include their opinions. This step allows you to review your current process and revise it to the best.

Bring key players on board

The teams that have put up with manual processes and still got the job done are your accounting, finance, and HR departments. They need to be aware of the changes going to happen and how an expense automation system can make them toil less. Define their new roles and responsibilities and how the nature of the workflow. The accounting team will handle admin tasks like monitoring expenses, sending and receiving payments, adding vendors, etc.

The finance team will manage the allocation of funds, make approvals, follow up with accounting teams, and set budgets while the IT team can handle technical aspects of the software implementation process. You can add brief roles to each one of the involved teams and get them on board.

Gather insights into your existing travel and business expense policy

Employees go on business trips which have to be borne by the company management. Typically, there is a cumbersome process that involves carrying the bill around and passing it through HR and accounting teams. Observe how it has been conducted and the standard approval workflow followed for different scenarios.

Collect insights and find how the travel expense reporting process can be shortened and customized to feed into the employee expense management software. Also, revise the expense policy for travel and establish the same set of guidelines with nuances to avoid confusion and police fraudulent behaviors. A clear set of T&E policies can drive your automated travel expense reporting smoothly.

Understand your technology needs

When technology becomes an irreplaceable part of your business construction, you must be aware of where it’s needed the most. Start with storage solutions and analyze your requirements and affordability. You should also inspect the other ledger and accounting applications you use and going to use and if any integration is needed between them.

Identify the scope to introduce cloud-based applications and the security threat that could arise. Is your IT Team equipped and knowledgeable enough to support your employees through this transition and post automation? Supremely, how exactly do you want business expense management solutions to minimize workflow and maximize productivity in your current account management system.

Choose the right expense management application

As you are clear with your expectations and needs, you are now in the right position to choose expense management software that will meet your automation demands. Do your research and line up 3 to 6 providers who offer the best line of benefits at a fair price. Watch product videos and attend demo sessions to clarify your questions and be acquainted with the product. The features of all products might look alike. Get to know their nuances and find what is being offered with each one.

Performing a pilot test to determine the best-fit

Do trial runs once you dig up the internet, find the best service providers for expense management automation, and handpicked the best ones. Without this, it can be challenging to pick one that will serve you for a lifetime. Frequently changing products isn’t good for a productive and healthy work environment.

A trial run with the assistance of account executives can unveil many layers and answer the question if it's worth the money. Pilot tests are essential to perceive the value a brand can bring into your system. Don’t hesitate to check with the provider.

Customize your expense management tool

One size never fits all. You have complete freedom to get the product with modifications per your necessities. New age applications can be customized and modified as per the company’s size, specifications, and workflows. You can feed your policies and workflows and set appropriate administrators, modifiers, approvers, etc.

Additionally, you can use only the features you require and do away with the rest to save money. This way, you can customize your business expense management solution to draw maximum benefits and quick results while saving money.

Post-implementation evaluation

Expense management system implementation is brought about. Your employees are happy now as they can painlessly apply for reimbursement or, even better, have corporate cards at their disposal. The accounting team is catching up with the new norms and finishing tasks before time. This is the right moment for you to evaluate the performance in terms of stats and functionality.

Are the numbers looking good? How much time and resources are being saved? Are there any blockers in the system? Is the performance, speed, serviceability up to the mark? Does that need any improvement? Is the data transparent enough? That’s how your team can analyze and tune the system to produce maximum results.

Who benefits from automated expense management software?

Different teams benefit from Volopay's automated expense management in different ways. This is because their work nature, objectives, and goals to attain are different. What unites them and helps them function together without chaos is a flexible and all-rounder expense management automation system.

Your financial team

The finance team is liable for every expense being made. Oftentimes, finance teams are blindsided and kept on the dark side when expenses are handled manually. There is a poor categorization of costs, which is often labeled under hidden costs. The frustration they get to bear for not being able to look this through is unsurmountable. But when they get access to transparent Volopay's business expense management solutions, they are in the driver's seat where they can monitor and control straightforwardly.

IT managers

IT managers are mostly considered outsiders in finance, despite being a key player in maintaining the company's technical systems. They are bombarded with constant requests from every team. When there is a properly functioning automated expense system, they can support the accounting department effortlessly and ensure a smooth software implementation process. Also, they can focus on the rest of the company as they save time here.

Accounting team

Accounting teams are the frontrunners here. When armed with proper resources, they can do a lot better. Through an expense management system, they can clear bills even before it's due, and your company gets to enjoy the early-bird benefits while strengthening your bond with clients and vendors. With automated expense reporting software, you can pave the way for an agile, active, and well-organized workspace.

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