Increasing productivity is vital to the success of a business. The best use of your employees’ time is on tasks that actually help your business meet its objectives. If much of their day is spent doing the legwork that can easily be automated, frankly, it’s a waste of their time and your money.
For example, if your finance team is spending the better part of a new month chasing employees for expenses they’ve claimed, sorting through the receipts, and deciding claims, that’s really not the best use of their time.
Remember, they have to do this while also making sure that the approved expenses are correctly referenced in accounting. They need to be in accordance with tax rules and employee allowance regulations. Surely there must be a better way of expense management.
Is it possible to automate expenses?
Let’s first understand why you might need to automate expenses in the first place. If your employees are paying for business expenses out of pocket then you’re legally required to pay them back. If they have access to a company credit card or a prepaid card then that reduces a lot of the paperwork burden.
However, there will certainly be situations where despite that, employee expenses will need to be tracked. If you for instance provide cards to employees, you may save time in the refund process. But as a business, you are still legally required to account for your costs. For example:
- You can’t reclaim VAT if you cannot prove you paid it;
- You can’t properly settle your income taxes if you cannot prove the costs you made were genuine business costs.
To account for your costs you need the receipt and a positive match to an actual transaction you made. So in whatever way employees pay for business expenses, you will always need to collect this info from them. And, what is a better moment to collect it than right after the moment of the actual transaction? That’s where a mobile expenses app comes in.
This all involves keeping track of receipts and providing justification for the expenses. And last but not least, ensuring that employees are paid back for the amounts they have spent out of pocket.
It seems like a lot of companies still do this in an awfully outdated way. Not to mention in an age where we can order everything from groceries to taxis with just a few taps on our smartphone. That’s exactly why mobile expense apps are so vital to increasing productivity for your business.
What are mobile expense apps?
Mobile expense apps allow employees to easily submit expense claims using their mobile devices. They can instantly take a picture of the receipt, provide a justification and submit it for approval. This also protects them against the possibility of losing out on a refund because they lost or misplaced the receipt. Or, failing their duty to submit their receipts.
The finance manager would instantly receive a notification about an expense claim who can then make a decision on it. The app keeps everything tidy for accounting. They can quickly process refunds and costs can be accounted for in no time.
How to submit expenses through a mobile app?
A mobile expense app also helps simplify the justification of expenses made on company cards. Was a purchase made at the supermarket using the company card a personal or business expense? For example, the employee can upload the receipt showing that they purchased items to replenish the coffee station at the office.
Submitting expenses through an app is fairly simple. Once a card transaction has been made, simply take a picture of the receipt through the app and then provide the justification. Select the VAT and cost type to complete the claim and submit.
What advantages do mobile expense apps provide?
Your employees stand to gain with a mobile expense app. They no longer have to worry about losing money because of misplaced or lost receipts. They have the flexibility of submitting expense claims from anywhere at any time.
Finance managers have the advantage of being able to account for the costs much faster. Having done all the work like match up amounts, VAT rates, receipts, transactions, justifications, cost and allocations – they can move more quickly to the analysis of business spend. This makes sure they get better oversight.
It gives a more holistic view of expenses and helps to identify where improvements can be made. Is the employees’ fuel expense goal up by a significant margin compared to the previous month? Are they spending more than their daily allowance on trips?
When all of this data is centralized and presented visually, it makes the job much easier to keep track of where funds are being spent. This allows finance managers to stay on top of it all without drowning them in a sea of paperwork.
We are happy to help you find the right online payment method for your organization.
What to look for in a mobile expense app?
Ideally, the expense management solution you pick should allow you to issue prepaid business cards to employees. This promotes increased visibility for expenses and limits instances where employees may have to use their own money for business expenses. And above all, it eliminates the job of matching up a transaction with a receipt amount.
It should allow employees to effortlessly submit expense claims. The ability to take photographs of receipts is a must. You need to have a chance to add justification information. Ideally not just in free text, but also using predefined labels that match your cost categories. The app should also allow you to make it possible to link receipts to transactions so as to eliminate confusion.
Data security should also be a consideration. It’s your duty to keep your records including receipts unaltered for 5 or 10 years. Imagine an accident in your archive destroying all receipts. In most cases, an expense management system based in the cloud will be far more secure than an on-premise solution.
What you also should look for in a solution is the ability to exchange information easily and seamlessly with your bookkeeping program. Some old expense apps just fire a summary email to the finance team. Who would then have to manually enter all of it in their accounting program? This is far from ideal.
Choose the best expense app for your business
From simple expense tracking solutions to feature-rich apps that allow users to control their company cards, there’s no shortage of expense apps. Choose one that you feel drives the most value for your business. It should help you achieve the objective of getting better control over expenses and increasing productivity across the entire organization.
SimpledCard offers more functionality than most expense management solutions do. It allows businesses to issue bank-independent prepaid payment cards for individuals, teams or departments. The Maestro and Mastercard cards are accepted for payment online and in-person across the globe.
Finance managers can control the budget and spending limits in real time. They can review receipts and justifications from one dashboard. It’s even possible to program specific rules for the automatic top-ups of employee card budgets. All of this is done through the SimpledCard Card Management System that integrates directly into any ERP or accounting system.
For employees, the mobile expense app provides unmatched flexibility. They can install the SimpledCard app on any smartphone and tablet to get instant access to their transaction history. The app provides all details of the assigned card and allows for instant claim submission.
Whenever they make a payment through the SimpledCard card, they receive a push notification on their device. The employee can then photograph the receipt through the app and link it to the transaction. They can then add the justification for each expense, select VAT and the cost type before submitting.
The entire process is streamlined for everyone, thereby increasing the level of control and productivity for your employees when they’re on the clock.
Get your first glimpse of the system. Let one of our experts show you around SimpledCard’s app and Card Management System. Book a free initial consultation and determine together what the advantages are for your organization and employees.