Many small businesses believe managing their expenses manually is feasible because of their limited workforce. However, this assumption is far from accurate. Manual expense management is a tedious and time-consuming task. This is because you must often track receipts, categorize expenses, and manually enter data into spreadsheets. 

And this manual process can lead to various issues, such as errors, fraudulent activities, dissatisfied employees, and difficulties with data management. However, you can automate your expense management process with technological advancements such as cloud-based expense management software. 

With the help of this software, small businesses can streamline their expense management process and save a lot of time and money.

Let us see some of the advantages cloud-based expense management software has to offer for small businesses:

1. Aids Accessibility

One of the biggest advantages of using cloud-based expense management software for small businesses is its accessibility at anywhere anytime. Traditionally, managing expenses involved manually entering data into spreadsheets or using installed software on a desktop computer. This limited accessibility as you can access the financial data only from the specific device it was entered on. This could be a problem if small business owners were on the go and needed financial information from outside the office.

However, opting for a software solution solves this problem by allowing you to access your expense data through any device, anywhere at any time, just with the help of a stable internet connection. This includes smartphones, tablets, and laptops. Hence, small business owners can manage their expenses from home, the office, or while they are on a business trip.

2. Reduces Costs

Another major advantage of using cloud-based software for small businesses is that it can reduce costs associated with traditional expense management methods. 

Traditional expense management methods can be costly for small businesses. For example, you must manually manage expenses by entering the data on paper. This involves purchasing and storing paper, ink, and printing equipment. Alternatively, if you use spreadsheets, you have to enter each expense data point into it manually. This process is very time-consuming and prone to errors, leading to additional costs associated with rectifying errors.

A cloud-based software eliminates the need for paper receipts and manual data entry. It provides a digital platform for managing expenses, which reduces the cost of purchasing paper and printing equipment. It also automates the data entry process, reducing the time and effort required to enter expense data into spreadsheets or accounting software.

Furthermore, the software reduces the need for expensive hardware and software. All the data is stored in the cloud, eliminating the need for software installations, upgrades, and maintenance costs. 

3. Increases Accuracy 

Manual expense management methods can be prone to errors. Human errors, such as data entry errors or miscalculations, can lead to inaccurate expense data. This can affect the accuracy of financial reports and impact your business decisions. Additionally, manual methods can lead to lost or misplaced receipts, making it difficult to track expenses and comply with tax regulations.

Cloud-based expense management software automates the expense management process, reducing the risk of human errors. It also allows real-time tracking of expenses, ensuring that all expenses are accurately recorded and accounted for. This, in turn, helps to ensure that financial reports are accurate and up-to-date, thus providing you with reliable expense data that you can use to make informed financial decisions.

Moreover, the software can help small businesses comply with tax regulations by keeping track of receipts and other important documents. It also provides greater visibility into your expenses. With the software, you can view all your expenses in one place. This allows you to identify any unusual spending patterns or discrepancies quickly. 

4. Streamlines Approval Process

Manual expense approval processes can be slow and cumbersome. The process often involves sending physical documents to various departments for approval, which can take days or weeks. For instance, employees must first send their expense reports for approval to their managers, who then review and send them to the finance department. On the other hand, finance departments receive thousands of such approval requests daily. Hence, the manual process of approving expenses gets delayed and can lead to employee frustration. 

You can streamline your approval process with the help of cloud-based software. When an employee submits an expense report through this software, the approver is instantly notified. The approver can then quickly review the request and either accept or reject it with just a few clicks. Moreover, the software can also be configured to automatically route expenses to the appropriate department or individual for approval, reducing the need for manual intervention and streamlining the process.

Furthermore, the software can provide real-time visibility into the status of expense approvals. Employees can easily check the status of their expense submissions, and travel and finance managers can view all pending and approved expenses in one place. This can help small business owners identify bottlenecks in the approval process and improve the business travel management process. 

5. Enhances Security 

Data security is a critical concern for businesses of all sizes. It is especially important for small businesses if you don’t have the resources to identify expense frauds or data breaches. Manual expense management methods, such as paper-based processes or spreadsheets, are inherently insecure and can be easily lost, stolen, or tampered with.

Cloud-based expense management software provides enhanced security features that can help small businesses protect their financial data. Cloud-based solutions store data securely in remote servers, and all data transmissions are encrypted, ensuring that sensitive information is protected from unauthorized access. 

Additionally, the software provides you with better control over user access to sensitive data. The software can be configured to provide different levels of access to different users. This ensures that employees only have access to the data that they need to perform their job functions. This can help prevent unauthorized access to sensitive financial information and reduce the risk of data breaches. 

6. Allows Mobile Receipt Capture

One of the biggest challenges in traditional expense management processes is managing expense receipts. Employees must collect all the physical receipts, store them carefully, and create an expense report for the reimbursement process. During this process, there is a high chance that these receipts can get misplaced or lost. Moreover, some employees can make fraudulent attempts, such as submitting incorrect bills, duplicate receipts, or manipulating expenses. 

Expense management software that is cloud-based offers a solution to this problem through mobile receipt capture. By using their smartphones, employees can easily scan their expense receipts with the help of Optical Character Recognition (OCR) Technology. The software extracts the relevant data from the receipt, such as the amount, date, etc., and automatically populates the expense report. This eliminates the need for employees to enter data manually and reduces the risk of errors.

Mobile receipt capture simplifies the expense capture process, making it easier for employees to submit expenses in a timely manner. This also ensures that expenses are processed and reimbursed quickly.

7. Improves Scalability

As your small businesses grow, expense claims increase; hence,  the expense management process also needs to expand. Traditional expense management processes can become increasingly complex and time-consuming as the volume of expenses and employees increases.

You can overcome this issue with expense management software. Cloud-based solutions are designed to scale up or down, at no additional charges, based on the needs of the business, allowing small businesses to adapt to changes in their expense management requirements easily.

One way that cloud-based expense management software can improve scalability is by adding or removing users. As the business grows, more employees may need access to the software to submit expenses and manage their expense reports. Cloud-based solutions make it easy to add new users and provide them with the necessary access and permissions. Furthermore, if the business needs to downsize or reduce expenses, the software can easily be scaled down by removing users.

Cloud-Based Expense Management can help Enhance Expense Process for Small Businesses

Cloud-based expense management software can increase accuracy and reduce the risk of errors in expense management. By automating the expense management process, you reduce the risk of human errors, ensure compliance with tax regulations, gain greater visibility into expenses, and ensure accurate financial reporting.

If you are looking for the best expense management software in the market, look no further than ITILITE. Our expense management software helps you automate all your expense processes as it includes advanced features such as mobile receipt capture, expense tracking, expense fraud detection, tailored dashboards, and many more. 

To know more about the advanced features, get in touch with our experts now!