Traditional expense accounting and management is often a multi-step, manual, and time-consuming process. From gathering receipts to completing the required paperwork to applying for reimbursement, the process can be lengthy for employees. In some cases, it can take weeks for an employee to make and submit their expenses and then receive approval and reimbursement. That’s why more and more companies are switching to digital solutions. But how do you choose the right expense management tool? What are the must features you should know about? Let’s discover it in this article!
Expense management in 2022
You may ask, but what is exactly “expense management”? It is artificial intelligence-based software that automates expense reporting, making it easy to track, manage and reimburse your employees' business expenses. Automated expense management software also excludes the human error of expense reporting and reimbursement processes.
Today, 37% of companies are currently utilizing AI within their organizations to manage their expenses. Those companies that are able to leverage the power of this technology to drive their organizations forward are the ones who will be able to adjust and adapt to our fast-changing business environment.
What to look for in an expense report application?
The expense management software features you need depend on the unique demands of your business. However, there are a couple of core features that are a necessity for any quality solution. Keep these 6 features in mind to make sure you choose the solution that will most benefit your business.
Easy-to-use platform for employees
An expense report has several moving parts. Staff members need to submit receipts and create expenses. At the same time, managers must validate or reject expense reports and reimburse employees.
All of these processes make an intuitive centralized dashboard a must-have feature of the software. An intuitive centralized expense dashboard can overcome obstacles that prevent businesses from effectively tracking, monitoring and reporting.
The valuable dashboard shows:
- The status of each employee's expense report
- Missing or rejected expense reports
- Policy violations
- Expense limits
Automatic expense updates, validation and reports
According to a HRS study, it takes about 20 minutes to fill out an expense report manually and another 18 minutes to correct errors. Once an employee submits an expense report, each auditor must approve it. Waiting for everyone to manually fill out, correct and validate the expense report can take a long time.
To avoid this long process, look for expense management software with automatic approval. Automated expense management software often has workflows that speed up the processing of each report .A standout solution will allow you to set up notifications that automatically alert auditors when it's their turn to approve or reject an expense report.
Compliance with travel policies
Employees who frequently travel to different countries can find it very difficult to remember their daily expenses in each country. And for companies with different expense allowance levels or different policies in different countries, best-in-class expense management solutions are essential.
Due to this, companies should look for expense management tools that allow unlimited customization of business rules. For example, Jenji makes it very easy in this case to clarify corporate spending rules by automating foregin currency. Each user will immediately see how much they can spend in each country and what expenses are outside the rules. They can then add an explanation for expenditures that don't comply with the rules or remove them altogether.
OCR (Optical Character Recognition) software automates the traditionally laborious process of extracting data from printed or written text, such as receipt. The OCR software converts the text - such as scanned documents or image files - into machine-readable data within editable computer files that can be used for efficient data processing.OCR technology provides businesses with the tools they need to quickly process large amounts of data as well as put that data into actionable insights that can improve their business. This eliminates hours of wasted company time spent on crawling through tons of information on certain dates or pertaining to specific keywords. OCR technology makes data gathering more efficient by scanning documents, receipts, or invoices, turning them into searchable data that can be used to improve your business. OCR also works to eliminate the risk of human error when it's used to collect data from surveys and questionnaires.
Undoubtedly, legal electronic archiving is especially important while choosing an expense management software. Today, organizations need to have their electronic archive, where thousands of different papers go through the organization every day because it not only streamlines the work but also helps save time for employees. We can say that an electronic archive of documents is an integral component of the IT infrastructure of a modern company. However, an electronic document archive is a winning solution for businesses of any size, including small businesses. Even though small firms do not need comprehensive control of document flow, an electronic archive will be a guarantee that all of the company's papers are in order. You should start small, and if you develop your organization to the scale of a medium or large business, the experience of maintaining an electronic archive of documents will play its role for the benefit and profit of the company.
Advanced data analytics
To make better financial decisions, companies should be aware of their current expense workflow. Here comes such a feature as a data analytic tool. For example, Jenji has Studio, which enables organizations to have a real-time tracking view and analysis of all their spendings.
The software uses this stored data related to expense transactions of the business to find out spend patterns and trends. The machine learning algorithms then evaluate these patterns and prepare expense reports.
Using these reports the organization can not only identify the present expense scenario of the business but also forecast probable financial patterns which will enable it to check other avenues of cost reduction and achieve business objectives.
The best expense management applications gather them all
All listed features not only can save you money, but can also improve the security of your data and make it easier for you to track expenses. When choosing expense report software, you will want to consider the submission process, the pricing model, and how well the software adapts to your needs.
Jenji is the best choice when it comes to choosing software that can adapt to your business's needs. With its flexible and customizable system, Jenji is the perfect solution for any business. Request a demo today to see how Jenji can help you streamline your expense reporting process.