Why Successful Charities Need an Expense Software

By Linda RoperApril 7, 2021

The UK has a long history of supporting charitable causes, with the earliest charity dating back to the 12th century. Originally, charities were founded by religious groups or wealthy individuals to support the poor. At the end of March 2019, the Charity Commission for England and Wales had more than 168,000 charities on their Central Register of Charities with an annual income of £79 billion. In this article, we discuss 5 reasons why a charity benefits from an expenses management software.

The image shows a heart with the word charity written in it.

1. Keep Better Control of Expense Claims

The charity sector not only employs hundreds of thousands of part-time or full-time staff, but they also rely heavily on the work of volunteers to support their causes. However, the process of expense management for volunteers who claim travel expenses to help for free in the local charity shop or who are “out on the road” on fundraising events can be a bit of a nightmare. A simple expense management solution that works from a mobile phone or tablet can provide the answer.  As expenses are accrued, the ease of scanning a receipt with a phone or tablet camera has a clear advantage over manually collecting and submitting paper-receipts.

2. Real-time Processing for Quicker Reimbursement

Whilst there are some benefits to paper receipts, the use of digital receipts provides far more. There is no clutter with digital receipts – they are stored in an easy-to-use cloud-based system, which allows for a more efficient way to search, filter and process receipts. In the end, your finance team will not have to spend time chasing unclaimed charity travel expenses or lost receipts, and staff as well as volunteers can be reimbursed quicker, creating a happier charity workforce.

3. Reduce the Amount of Tax you are Paying to HMRC

It may be a common misconception that charities do not have to pay any VAT. On the contrary, charities are not treated any differently when it comes to standard-rated goods and services. Charities have to pay VAT when they buy from VAT-registered businesses. They can only claim the VAT back on their purchases if they themselves are registered for VAT. Getting your employees & volunteers to use an expense tracking app on their smartphones ensures that they can keep track of each purchase as they make it and that the expense is automatically uploaded to the cloud and ready for your annual charity tax return.

4. Real-time Reporting for Better Decision-Making

Instead of waiting for finance data to be gathered, processed and analysed, real-time reporting in a cloud-based expense management solution allows charities to create strategies and approaches based on financial information that is delivered instantly. By having real-time reporting, any anomalies or abnormalities within the data can be noticed at once, allowing for quick investigation and the solving of problems before they escalate.

5. Fulfil your Environmental Responsibilities

And finally, taking a green, paper-less approach to your charity will not only have a positive impact on the environment, but also help improve the brand of your charity. Research conducted by HR specialists Adecco shows that roughly 50% of all adult, full time employees believe that their employers could be doing more to protect the environment. Employees are also more likely to remain with an environmentally friendly business, allowing for higher retention rates and more dedication and hard work from staff.