The business transformations driven by the digital revolution are helping accounting-related functions evolving towards greater control of flows. Expense report management is undoubtedly an interesting field for introducing automation in business.
A More Accurate Understanding of Business Expenses
Accounting is a very complex and ever-changing field. Up until recently, accounting tasks were only understood by professionals in the field. In addition, these specialists had to carry out an often tedious legal monitoring.
Simplified Accounting Duties for All Employees
Each member of a company is affected by accounting matters. This is particularly the case for employees claiming business expenses. Yet, traditional accounting management leaves no room for non-specialists. With a paper receipt system, where claims sometimes occur long after the expenses have been incurred, employees have no insight into expenditure policy.
Accounting teams face another difficulty with the processing of business expenses that were not on the reimbursement plan, but have been incurred due to a misunderstood business expenditure. Fraud attempts are also particularly high when the management of expense reports does not include a clear explanation to employees and when expense reports are controlled long after the expenditure.
An expense reports management software with an application for employees allows the company:
- To involve employees and provide them with information to improve compliance with the expense report management policy
- To empower employees with better visibility of their business expenses
- To anticipate fraud attempts with automatic detection of irregular receipts
- To speed up reimbursements and increase employee trust.
Compliance Facilitated by AI
When changes in legislation take place, affected specialists must implement them in their processes. For example, the entry into force of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in 2018 affected accounting professionals. Also in 2018, a new regulation introduced mandatory use and compliance of accounting software for some professionals using accounting or management software and cash register systems. This new regulation was difficult to implement for some professionals.
In addition to changes in legislation, a company may find itself faced with a new unfamiliar situation for its accounting manager. Unfamiliar situation can lead to errors, including tax errors, which can be costly for the company.
Today, accounting management software provides up-to-date information on legislative and regulatory changes. The software will also detect any anomalies that pose a compliance problem.
Optimising Expense Report Accounting at All Levels
With traditional expense reports management, it is difficult to get things into perspectives. Paper management is time-consuming, with many low-value tasks. These tasks are performed by a highly qualified manager and represent a significant cost to the company.
With the right automation tools, the accounting manager can focus on optimisation. Thanks to new technologies, accounting is dematerialised. No need to manually enter the data of a receipt and then file and store it. Data relevant to accounting is directly scanned and extracted.
Accounting managers now have a real-time view of business expenses. With tedious tasks performed by AI, managers can oversee spending more efficiently. Compliance with the expense report policy and Chart of Accounts is facilitated. Reaction time to expenditure issues is reduced.
Bringing Expense Report Accounting to the Core of Expense Management
Redefinition of accounting strategies is one of the most important contributions of AI to corporate accounting. Today's software allows companies to rethink the management of business expenses, thanks in particular to enhanced data.
The reports provided by the software are accurate and allow the desired data to be highlighted with a clear visualisation. With practical solutions available to the company, the accounting management team and executive management can identify and redefine problematic processes.
With AI, the expense policy can be designed based on data extracted from the company's practices. Large expenditure items and unused budgets are easily identified for redistribution of accounting credits. The advising role of the accounting teams is strengthened.
Finally, digital solutions for accounting are also accelerators for the dematerialisation of financial flow management and other processes. The software is perfectly integrated into the company environment and contributes to furthering digitalisation.
What Are the Benefits of Management Software for Expense Report Accounting?
There are numerous benefits with smart, digital management of expense reports. The basic tasks such as recording and classifying data are delegated to software. However, AI does not replace the accounting manager, who retains full control of management, while freeing himself from low value-added tasks that are now automated.
A More Mobile Expense Report Accounting
SaaS solutions bring a new dynamic to accounting. Now, the dematerialised data is mobile as soon as the expense report is generated. Management systems with a smartphone application allow each employee to record their expenses.
With the combination of OCR (Optical Character Recognition) and ADR (Automatic Document Recognition), a technology based on deep learning, a photo of a document can be used to extract and classify all the data relevant to accounting. The following data is directly integrated into the expense report:
- Date of expenditure
- Vendor identification
- Amount including VAT and excluding VAT in case of applicable VAT
- Currency used
- Category of expenditure
Controls are facilitated because of this data mobility. As soon as the expenditure is made and recorded by the employee, the supervisors and accounting managers have access to this information. Thanks to the instant expense, control is carried in real time by several entities.
The application developed by Jenji is compatible with iOS and Android systems. Continuous development of the tools allows for efficient accounting, increased mobility and simplified accounting of expense reports.
The Integration of Accounting Management Within the Digital Environment
For a new tool to be effective within a company, its integration is paramount.
The new solutions for accounting management focus on integration into the company's digital environment. Thus, expense report accounting must allow for integration with:
- Accounting ERPs (SAP, Oracle, Cegid, Sage, etc.)
- Payroll management
- Staff input/output (HCM software)
- Meal ticket systems (Sodexo, Apetiz, etc.)
- Travel systems
- All related systems
Thanks to this integration, the back-office management teams operate with a full processing chain and no longer fragmented over several tools. The risk of error is significantly reduced. Reports and analyses are directly accessible, and cooperation between services is significantly improved.
A Solution Tailored to Each Company
New expense management tools are modular. Unlike the first generation of management software, the new solutions provided to companies are fully customisable according to their needs.
Computer software sold to businesses used to be one-off solutions. Licences were distributed on a large scale, and not adapted to specific sectors. Companies were adapting to the software and were relying on inadequate customer services.
Solutions are now offered according to sector, company size and market types. A local family business does not have the same accounting needs as a multinational company exporting products to several continents. The strength of the new solutions lies in a combination of innovative and ever-changing technologies that can be adapted to the needs of each company.
With plans subscribed to according to the company, the accounting teams benefit from the tools they really need, without additional costs for unnecessary and unusable modules. With a suitable solution, the software is easier to manage, for an efficient and agile digital transition.
Security and Compliance of Accounting Data
Another important benefit of management software is the security and compliance of accounting data.
Security of Expense Report Accounting Data
The security of the company's accounting data is fundamental. The digitisation of data allows for better security. Data hosting and storage technologies use encrypted protocols.
The data is only accessible by the companies generating the said data. The conditions of use of the data are compliant with the GDPR. In the event of a data security incident, there are protocols in place to handle the incident.
Compliance of Expense Report Accounting Data
SaaS solutions ensure accounting compliance. Numerous errors can occur throughout the expense report accounting process.
AI enables automated processing of complex accounting flows:
- Transmission of journal entries to the accounting system: recording on expense accounts, allocation by nature and types, VAT calculation, determination of the refundable/non-refundable part.
- VAT recovery: nationally and internationally, in accordance with local legislation.
- Processing and storage of supporting documents: when the tax authorities carry out an audit, evidence and other reports are archived and quickly accessible. Archiving is carried out in accordance with the legislation in force.
Thus, new technologies and AI provide simplification, automation and security of accounting data. Expense report accounting is now more agile and occurs in real time. Employees are integrated into the process and are accountable for business expenses. Accounting managers can use their most advanced skills and advise team managers on accounting guidelines. Finally, executive management can rely on renewed accounting expertise for proactive spending decisions.