Engage your Staff in Self-Controlling Expenses

By EmmaJuly 12, 2018

–This article was last updated on 8 October 2021-

For many businesses, the process of expense management for staff who are “out on the road” can be something of a nightmare. There is a natural tendency for people to maximise personal gain, and when this can be done at the expense of others, it’s a very tempting proposition.

Two office workers sitting at a desk in a coffee shop discussing paperwork and looking at a laptop

Constantly having to beat staff with a stick over the misguided use of their expense accounts is counterproductive. From an expense management point of view, it is tiring and frustrating, and from the spender’s viewpoint, it feels restrictive and like he/she is forever being admonished.

Doing Away with the Ivory Tower Complex

Having policy enforcement carried out by management from their office-bound locations only amplifies the feeling that the control is coming from people locked away in their ivory towers. The introduction of a cloud-based expense management system can change all that.

Not only can utilising cloud technology grant system access to people wherever they might be (as long as they have access to the internet) but it also promotes real-time reporting and the acceptance and use of digital receipts.

The Benefits of Real-Time Processing

Real-time processing has huge benefits. Having to stash away numerous paper receipts for weeks on end is not only difficult and messy, it also gives greater scope for some receipts getting irretrievably lost. Being able to use a cloud-based expense system with its real-time potential deals with both problems.

With the right type of expense management software, digitising receipts is simple and fast. They can be stored for anywhere up to 10-years and are fully accepted by HMRC.

Good expense management software systems can ensure that all of the information that is needed in order to vet an expense appears in one place. This means that those tasked with approving an expense can easily see the category of the expenditure, the amount, who the merchant was, and any receipts needed to back-up the approval process.

Embracing Expense Protocols and Procedures

Familiarising and involving your staff with a cloud-based expense application helps them to feel part of the decision-making process. It promotes responsible expenditure.

When you are looking for a cloud-based expense management tool, you also want to ensure that the product you decide on using allows the expense management team to design and install automated protocols and approval procedures that can be used time and time again by management. These can then also help the people incurring future expenses by enabling their use as a guide as to what is and isn’t acceptable.

Early Warning Flags Errors in Advance

Policies regarding expense expenditure can be used to configure limits and provide working guidelines within certain cloud-based expense management programs. These can include things like the maximum amount allowed for a particular type of claim or the ability to set up and modify the need for receipts.

This enables those who create the expenses to be given an early warning that an expense doesn’t comply with the guidelines and will qualify why it fails. Any breaches of policy can the be flagged for management to investigate.
The right expense management software can not only save your staff time in terms of processing company expenses, it can also save the company money.

Expenses can be paid more quickly, and the number of disagreements and misunderstandings will be drastically reduced. It works for all parties.