Many companies struggle with the issues of timely expense submission. Employees are often slow to file expenses, causing frustration on the side of finance managers. Based on various studies, a single expense claim can take up to 20 minutes to file, including filing approval and review. On top of that, 19% of claims are filed incorrectly and it can take, on average, another 18 minutes to fix those errors, causing significant delays in the reimbursement process. A Conferma report showed that 2 in 5 employees have experienced their own cash flow issues due to slow reimbursement processes.
In this article, learn about some of the main reasons for a slow and stressful cycle and how to resolve the core issues.
Why do employees delay their expenses submission?
Wondering why your employees aren’t filing their expenses on time? Here are 4 of the main reasons and what you can do about them!
Reason 1: Lack of clear information about your travel and expense policy
One of the main obstacles holding up the process of expense filing is the lack of clear information when it comes to the company’s travel and expense policies. As with many internal company documents, the information may be difficult to access or complicated to understand, i.e. with complex language and various clauses and subclauses, prompting employees to drag their feet when it comes to organizing and filing their expenses. They may not even be sure whether they need to submit original receipts or how to file properly to ensure that they get reimbursed.
The solution to this is simple: Establish a clear, comprehensive travel expense policy and communicate about it effectively. It should be easy to read and understand (even if your employees simply skim it, and let’s face it, they probably will). Use clear language and easy-to-understand headings; and make sure there’s a detailed table of contents so employees can easily find the specific information they need.
The policy should be detailed, answering the 5 W’s: Who can file? What can they file for? When must reports be submitted? Where can they get help or ask questions? And finally, Why does the policy exist?
In other words, make sure employees know what they can and cannot expense; how to file; and who they can turn to with questions.
Reason 2: Manual expense reporting process
Another main reason for slow expense reporting is that the expense management processes in place are often cumbersome and manual. Keeping print receipts, categorizing and organizing them, calculating per diems and limits — all of this slows down the process making it a tedious task.
The solution here? To digitize and automate the expense management process, making things simpler for employees and finance managers. By automating tasks like itemizing and tallying expenses, creating full reports, calculating rates and taxes, you’ll streamline the process both for those submitting the claims as well as for those reviewing them. It’s easy to understand how companies that use automated software save time and money on all sides.
Reason 3: Using separate software or tools
An additional reason that employees may find expense filing to be a drag is that they already have so many software systems to use, and having to master yet another one for expenses, well, that can be one interface too many.
How to resolve that? Use an integrated solution that allows you to connect all of your systems, so employees can access and manage everything from one place. This provides a much better user experience for your teams, with a smooth, single onboarding journey, saving them time and frustration.
Reason 4: Lost receipts
The final reason for slow filing may be the simplest: receipts, receipts, receipts! Keeping paper receipts for weeks or months can be a pain, and let’s face it, they’re easy to lose, or lose track of.
There’s a solution for that: Choose an expense management app to help simplify (and digitize) the process for you and your employees.
Thanks to OCR (optical character recognition) technology, certain software can revolutionize the way you manage expenses. It makes digital or paperless archiving a cinch: Employees can simply scan receipts, submitting and downloading documents digitally. What else will make your employees happy? Quicker submission and processing also means faster reimbursements.
If any or all of these reasons ring true for your company, consider an expense management solution like Jenji that can help you: establish a clear policy when it comes to expenses; automate and digitize the process; integrate with your other tools (thanks to JenjiConnect); and resolve the issue of lost paper receipts forever!
Learn more here.