Streamlining the expense reimbursement process is crucial for all companies. When reporting process becomes overly complex, it tends to generate confusion among employees. This may leave them uncertain about which expenses are eligible. Furthermore, delays in payment can impact their monthly cash flow, resulting in frustration. 

Additionally, the finance team may struggle to manage the workload effectively when dealing with many expense reports without a proper procedure in place. To ensure a smoother workflow, you can implement the following steps in your reimbursement process.

Create an Effective Reimbursement Policy

Creating a well-defined policy is the first step to simplifying your expense reimbursement process. Some of the things that you must include in your expense policy are:

  • Eligible Categories – This helps employees understand which purchases can be claimed.
  • Spending Limits – Expense limits prevent employees from overspending or claiming a higher amount than the limit.
  • Report Submission Deadlines – Setting deadlines is crucial to ensure timely processing and prevent the accumulation of unreported expenses.
  • Reporting Procedure – It is important to explain the process in a step-by-step manner to prevent employees from facing confusion while filing expenses.
  • Documents Required – Documents needed for expense filings, such as receipts and invoices as proofs of expenses.

Further, it is important to ensure that the policy is easily accessible to all employees. This helps them refer to it when needed and prevents them from filing non-compliant claims. As a result, the finance team can efficiently process reimbursements without the need for extensive reviews.

Simplify Receipt Management

Receipt management is a crucial step of the expense reimbursement process. Employees are supposed to collect receipts so that they can submit them to their employer as proof of business expense. 

However, managing receipts is cumbersome for employees as they are already burdened with multiple work-related tasks. Moreover, paper receipts are usually prone to getting misplaced or damaged. 
To simplify receipt management, you can use expense management software. The software allows employees to click a picture of the receipt and upload it to the cloud. After that, it uses optical character recognition (OCR) to extract relevant data from the receipts. This not only saves time but also ensures that receipts are legible.

The main benefit of digitizing receipt management is accessibility. Cloud storage offers the advantage of easy access from anywhere, allowing employees to retrieve receipts when needed. It also facilitates the seamless sharing of receipts with the finance department. This way, the finance department can search for any receipt in just a few clicks.

Simplify Reporting Procedure

Streamlining the reporting process is important to ensure a smooth reimbursement workflow. When the process of submitting expense reports is confusing, employees may face problems in submitting reports on time.

To simplify the reporting process for employees, provide them with clear guidelines on how to submit expense reports. You can offer user-friendly platforms for submitting expense reports. This may include a mobile app or email option that is easily accessible. Simplifying the submission channels enables employees to submit reports conveniently.

Issue Corporate Credit Cards 

Issuing corporate credit cards is another way to make reimbursement simpler. With corporate credit cards, employees do not have to spend money from their own pocket while making business purchases. This eases the process for both employees and the finance team, as there is no need for paperwork associated with reimbursement.

Additionally, these credit cards also offer deep visibility into employee expenses. It allows for a more efficient review of purchases and ensures compliance. Moreover, increased visibility also streamlines the auditing process.

Further, if you are concerned about employees taking unfair advantage of the card, you can put a spending limit on it. This empowers employees to make responsible spending decisions while still benefiting from the convenience of a corporate credit card.

Automate Expense Reimbursement Process

The most efficient way to simplify your reimbursement process is to automate it. With the help of an expense management software solution, you can automate multiple tasks that your company might be performing manually.

From directing approvals to managers to policy checks, you can leave it all to the software. The software also makes expense submission hassle-free, as employees can simply capture and upload receipts along with relevant details. 

Some major ways in which automation helps in expediting reimbursements are:

Streamlined Approvals

Once an employee submits an expense report, the software automatically routes the report to the appropriate manager based on the workflow hierarchy. The system ensures that the expense report lands in the hands of the person with the authority to review those expenses. Further, managers can access the reports online and approve or reject them with just a few clicks. 

Improved Policy Compliance

Using expense management software can make it easier for everyone to follow company rules and policies. When an employee submits an expense report, the software checks if any expenses are against the company’s guidelines. 

If something doesn’t fit the guidelines, the software flags it and lets the employee know right away. This means employees won’t accidentally submit wrong expenses, and travel managers don’t have to spend lots of time checking each report manually.

The best part is that this software helps speed up the expense reimbursement process. When all expenses are within the policy, the system can quickly approve the report, and employees get their money back faster.

Seamless Data Transfer 

You can integrate your expense management software with accounting software. The direct connection between existing accounting and ERP software with the expense management system eliminates the need for accountants to manually cross-reference and reconcile every single expense report. 

Additionally, the integration ensures that data from expense reports seamlessly flows into the accounting system. As a result, the chances of human errors in manual data entry are greatly minimized. Consequently, financial reports are more reliable and can be produced faster.

Faster Deposits

After the expense report passes all checks and approvals, the software initiates a direct deposit to the employee’s designated bank account. This means that the reimbursed amount is directly transferred into the employee’s account without the need for any paper checks or manual transactions.

Fast-track your Reimbursement Process

These steps can help you simplify your reimbursement process. However, to optimize your expense management system multifold, you can opt for the expense management solution.

ITILITE is a SaaS-based expense management system that can help you accelerate your reimbursements. With ITILITE, employees can easily submit expense reports from anywhere on their mobile app. It also simplifies approvals and policy compliance, ensuring that you can manage your employees’ expenses easily. Furthermore, you can track mileage, minimize errors and reduce cost leakages.

To know more about the benefits, book a demo now.