Key Questions You Should Ask on Your Expense Management RFP

How you can get more out of the expense management RFP process

As organizations evaluate their opportunities to streamline overhead operations, expense management automation is a clear solution. 

And while it is often considered a tactical-level solution, the reality is that today’s expense management automation software can support your company-wide plans for digital transformation.

When issuing an expense management RFP, you should be keeping your strategic goals in mind. This will help you identify the vendors that best align with your business objectives, from reducing manual work to automated fraud detection. 

 

How you can assess expense management vendors

One of the greatest challenges teams face when issuing an RFP is determining how the available vendors can support your organization’s digital transformation strategy. 

If you’re not including strategic-level goals on your expense management RFP, you’re missing out on an opportunity to form a partnership that can supercharge both your front and back-office productivity. 

When you issue an expense management RFP, it’s your moment to think big. You might end up forming a partnership that can go far beyond what you initially expected.

 

Important questions you should ask on an expense management RFP

There are several key questions that you should be asking on your expense management RFP. 

First, you should have internal discussions around the strategic opportunities presented by onboarding an automated expense management solution. 

Questions you should ask yourself include: 

  • What are the company’s goals for leveraging digital and automated tools?
  • What are our goals for expense management?
  • How do our expense management goals align with the broader organizational objectives? 

Once you’ve answered these questions, you’re ready to start drafting your expense management RFP. 

Your document should include the following questions in addition to any others you’ll need: 

  • What business problems can your expense management software solve?
  • What existing systems can you integrate with? 
  • What are the costs of your service? 
  • What is your timeline for onboarding and implementation? 

Invoice management

Invoice management between business units and the finance team often creates bottlenecks on both ends. 

Depending on your company’s needs, your expense management RFP might also inquire about the comprehensive invoice processing features offered by the vendor. 

 

Status updates on vendor invoices

Vendor invoices need to be paid on a timely basis. This requires business units to submit invoices early and often. This also requires finance teams to have an efficient process to review invoices through the lens of company policies as well as facilitate payment. 

Many large organizations see up to 60 days in lead time from when an invoice is submitted by a business unit until the final payment is made. In this period, the people responsible for invoice payments sometimes require a status update, if not more than one.

Your expense management solution should be able to address this common bottleneck for you. Consider including a section of your expense management RFP related to invoice management — and whether status updates are accessible from a portal by concerned parties. 

 

Online availability of invoice information

Sharing files back and forth represents another time-consuming aspect of invoice management. 

This is another problem that your expense management solution should solve for you. Include questions related to the online availability of invoice information to explore your options. 

 

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Cost management

Managing costs is a critical task for finance teams as well as business units. Your expense management solution should make cost management easier. 

Transparency is key. It enables business teams to easily understand what they’re approved to spend. Transparency also speeds up the approval process for finance teams. 

Travel and expenses (T&E) are frequently incurred at high volumes. This creates a mountain of work for finance teams to review and approve. 

Automation is helping to alleviate this burden for many teams. But it’s important that automation doesn’t stand in the way of policy enforcement or overlook errors. 

 

How can you identify billing errors?

If you work with an automated platform, you need to be able to identify billing errors with ease. Find out if your list of vendors offers AI-driven scanning to identify duplicates, omissions, or other processing errors.

Better yet, you should investigate whether your potential vendors can leverage AI to enforce your organization’s expense policies — without taking up more of your finance team’s time. 

Jenji OCR

 

Technology

When working with new technology for your business, it’s critical to find out whether your new partner will be at the forefront of product development. 

Make sure you ask questions about the frequency and nature of product releases. As operating systems and privacy laws evolve, these particular questions will help you build expectations about the viability of the technology over the long term. 

 

Assessing the frequency of product releases

We suggest you ask the following questions to assess the impact of product releases on your organization. 

  • How often are product releases and patches made to your
    current platform?
  • Are new releases optional or mandatory? 
  • Are there any fees associated with updates or their installation? 

  • How are users authenticated/authorized?
  • How is data protected during transmission and storage?

 

Are you launching an expense management RFP soon?

For many reasons, Jenji should be on your shortlist of expense management vendors during your proposal review. 

Jenji delivers a data-oriented expense management platform with automated analysis, control, approval, and processing of expenses. We integrate into your global IT ecosystem using our modern API and fully elastic platform. Find out how Jenji can support digital transformation for your organization by requesting a free demo today.

Maria Khizhniakova

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