With business travel on the rise in the last few years, companies across the globe are finding heaps of challenges in managing their business travel expenses. And if a company is using the traditional method of managing expenses, they can find themselves stuck in handling various aspects of their business operations or processes.
One way travel managers or finance managers can automate this process is by investing in expense management software.
An expense management software is designed to optimize your organization’s expense management process, thus saving time, money, and effort. The software makes filing easier for your employees, creates better approval workflows, and makes expense reimbursement quicker. However, most companies have a tough time choosing the right expense software.
Mentioned in this blog are some key features that travel managers or finance managers should look for before investing in the right software:
1. Digital Receipt Capture
The traditional method of managing expenses involves your employees collecting and preserving physical copies of numerous expense receipts. The finance team, on the other hand, must enter all the data from these receipts on a spreadsheet.
This can be very stressful for the finance team and employees as they have the additional responsibility of managing all these small pieces of paper apart from completing their work and meeting deadlines. This method is highly inefficient and can lead to employee dissatisfaction.
Hence, the expense management software that you are looking to invest in should have a digital receipt-capturing feature. With this feature, employees can easily scan and capture their expenses, even while they are on the go. The software quickly and accurately captures all the fields in the expense report, saving a lot of time and effort for your employees.
2. Interactive User-Interface
Imagine having every employee enter their expenses into a spreadsheet manually often. This method is not only time-consuming but also very tedious. You must look for ways where employees can quickly file their expenses and leverage the remaining time to work on important tasks.
Hence, you must switch from the traditional spreadsheet-based system to an automated one so that your business travelers have a convenient expense filing experience.
Hence, while investing in expense management software, you should ensure that it has an interactive user interface for employees. A user-friendly interface is crucial for ensuring widespread adoption and ease of use for all employees.
A visually appealing and well-organized interface will enhance user experience, reduce training time, and encourage employee compliance with expense policies.
3. Mobile Application
Presently, if your organization does not have any expense software, then employees must physically collect and store all the expense receipts. During this process, there may be chances that they can get lost or misplaced. This can create problems if there is no mobile expense reporting.
Hence, look to invest in software that provides mobile expense reporting feature both on iOS and Android platforms. This way, your employees can use the software anywhere at any time and can easily file their expenses without any hassle. Additionally, they also get notifications if their expense reports have been approved or rejected.
4. Intuitive Dashboard
If your company is using the manual expense management system, then your finance team must juggle multiple spreadsheets and search through heaps of paper receipts. This can be a huge hassle, especially during expense audits, as it can leave room for more errors and is also a time-consuming process.
Look to invest in corporate travel management software that offers an intuitive or customizable dashboard. Such kind of dashboard helps your finance teams to access employee-wise and department-wise spending, all on a single platform. This saves them a lot of time as they don’t need to shuffle through multiple paper receipts.
5. Credit Card Integration
The new-age business travelers prefer cashless and quick modes of payment. Hence, they use company-provided credit cards for all their transactions during their business trip.
Hence, invest in an expense solution that offers credit card integration. When you integrate your corporate credit card into the expense software, then it becomes easier for your employees to make payments while they are traveling. It also helps detect any bottlenecks or expense fraud by reconciling card statements with expense report entries.
6. Approval Process Workflow
One of the main reasons that employees don’t receive their expense reimbursements on time is because of the ambiguous approval workflow. Every expense claim has to go through multiple approvers until it is finally approved. In cases where the nature of the expense is unclear, it can also result in disputes between the employee and the approver.
Therefore, you should look for an expense solution that has multi-level and well-structured approval workflows. The software will help you define workflow according to employee, department, nature of expense, destination, etc.
7. Multi-Currency Support
If your organization operates globally, then your employees will often have to travel internationally. They may incur expenses paid in the respective country’s currency during such international business trips. Noting down each of these expenses involves manually converting each international transaction into local currency.
To avoid this problem, you should look for expense software that supports multi-currency functionality. This feature allows various currencies to be compiled into a single expense report. Moreover, the software automatically converts foreign currency into local currency, helping them help save time and avoid manual conversion errors.
8. Advanced Reporting and Analytics
Business travel isn’t just about employees traveling to various countries and carrying out business travel activities. It also includes reducing travel costs, ensuring policy compliance, and preventing fraud. However, to reach these goals, you need to have insights into the spending habits of your employees.
Look for software that helps you classify expenses and reports, analyze employee spending behavior, keep track of policy violations, get department-wise spending, visualize key expense data, and many more. Having such features can help you make informed financial decisions and prevent any cost leakages.
9. ACH Payments
Your finance team may find it burdensome and monotonous to complete expense reimbursement for the entire organization. Therefore, they require expense software that facilitates ACH payments.
ACH refers to a financial network commonly utilized in the United States for electronic payments. It allows you to transfer funds to a bank account, paper cheques, cash, or wire transfers.
By implementing ACH-enabled business travel expense software such as ITILITE, you can effortlessly reimburse employees by simply clicking a button. This adoption will decrease your dependence on ERP/accounting software and provide additional benefits.
10. Data Security
Expense management is not a piece of cake. It involves storing confidential and sensitive information about employees, invoices, and employees’ PII (Personally Identifiable Information). Hence, it becomes crucial for travel managers or the finance department to handle these data with utmost care.
Invest in a business travel expense management software that implements a robust data security infrastructure with the help of clearly laid-out policies, access controls, and best-in-class technology. You can also look for certifications like ISO 27001, PCI-DSS, etc. Moreover, look for a cloud-based security solution that stores all the data in highly protected data centers.
Choose the Right Expense Management Software for your Business
Investing in the right expense management software can revolutionize the way your organization handles expenses. By considering the features discussed in this blog, you can ensure that the software you choose aligns with your specific needs and brings maximum value to your business.
Our business travel and expense management software, which supports ACH payments, streamlines your expense management procedure by combining expense filing, approval, and reimbursement into a single platform. Additionally, you receive instant notifications for any outstanding expense reports and benefit from advanced fraud detection capabilities.