How to Submit and Approve Expenses Stress-Free During Lockdown

By Linda RoperNovember 10, 2020

Each year, the Collins’ dictionary identifies the most popular words used across websites, books and newspapers and unsurprisingly, the global pandemic was dominating the choice in 2020. Coronavirus, social-distancing, keyworkers and furlough were included in this year’s shortlist, but today the word “lockdown” was announced as the word of the year, a few days after England entered its second national lockdown and Wales has just come out of it.

In this blog article we’ll discuss how expense management software can support remote working employees and their managers.

Table of Contents

What Are the Challenges Around Expense Management During Lockdown?

Laptop on desk with Work from Home message on illuminated shield Image: ©Maridav via

According to the UK Office for National Statistics, on 25th October 2020, 29% of adults worked from home exclusively, which is the highest figure since the beginning of July 2020. Keeping track of expenses and ensuring that they are submitted, reviewed and approved in a timely manner can be a tough job at the best of times without the added difficulties and restrictions from a global pandemic. Whether employees make one-off expense claims for computer and office equipment or submit monthly broadband invoices and office stationary receipts, inefficient processing of expenses can lead to a loss of goodwill and stress for both employee and employer – which is why expense management software is such a good system for remote workers.

How Does it work?

There’s no need for receipts to be brought or posted into a central location – employees can just scan their receipts using a simple app and upload them wherever they have internet access. The app automatically extracts key data from the receipt, allowing expense claims to be made in seconds.

Rather than forgetting about the claim, losing the receipt and losing out, employees can keep on top of their expenses on a day-by-day basis. Perhaps previously they had submitted expenses once a month – now they’ll be able to submit them daily, as they occur, reducing the likelihood of error or omission.

Once a receipt is uploaded, a manager can approve or deny it. This allows them to see what their remote-working employee is claiming on a regular basis, and flag up any inconsistencies or problems as soon as they spot them – rather than waiting weeks until a huge batch of expenses is submitted.

Not only that, but keeping on top of expenses on a daily basis also ensures that managerial workload is made more achievable – rather than processing many tranches of expenses at a time, they can spend a few minutes each day staying on top of the situation.

Keeping Employees Happy

The global pandemic has drastically changed the way many employees are working and  it’s easy for them to feel less valued or appreciated by their employers, because they can’t see their line-manager or benefit from as much social contact with other colleagues. It’s important to ensure that little steps which contribute to employee wellbeing are taken – and expenses is an easy area in which to do this.

If expenses are approved and paid quickly, that employee knows that their needs are being considered – but it’s always worth thinking of other ways to keep remote working employees happy too. Line managers could schedule regular video call catch-ups to keep them in the loop with new developments. All of these steps will help make sure your remote working employees feel happy, secure and appreciated during uncertain times like the once we’re currently living in.