Expense Report Software Buyers Guide
Last updated: June 07, 2023
Managing your cash flow is one of the most important aspects in your company. It can make or break you if you don’t monitor this asset. You don’t want to be forced to use your overdraft, right? So, get yourself dynamic software to manage the different variables.
Your expenses are huge role players and money spent by employees on business travel & expenses can quickly add up to large amounts. Having a streamlined system providing expense reports will make it easier to keep an eye on the details. After all, you can’t have just anyone spending your hard-earned money.
It can also help you manage this aspect of your business effectively so reporting doesn’t rob you and your employees of too much time.
Getting expense report software is a justified expense to consider.
Now how do you make the best decision when planning this expense? Let’s guide you through it.
Understanding Expense Report Software
Technology is supposed to improve how you do business, not make it more complicated. Your expense report software should help automate and therefore simplify a process that usually requires many role players.
Usually, in the handling of expense reports, four factors apply:
- Someone submits a claim: This can be for employees’ expenses and travel costs. The claim must be reviewed and approved by managers.
- Process the numbers: The details of the claim must be added to your accounting system such as QuickBooks.
- Payment of claim: When employees are reimbursed quickly it ensures they stay positive about the system you use.
- Analysis: You want to know where your money is being spent so getting feedback is essential if you want to help employees spend wiser. You’ll also get data to use to budget accurately for the future.
A high-end expense report software package can automate many of these tasks and prevent human error from causing problems in your accounting system. Effective management can even help you prevent fraud in your company. That’s a good reason to invest in this, right?
What Will Your New Software Do?
So, how does the software do what you’re battling to streamline each month? Most expense report software will have these features and it’s important that you invest in a package that provides you with as many tools as possible:
- Reporting made easy: Make it easy for employees to keep to your expense policies by giving them an easy way to submit receipts—taking photos of receipts and documents. For this it’s also important to have a mobile app so anyone can submit no matter where they are. Your software should allow you to categorize expenses and having an option for non-deductible expenses is handy. This can help you for easy allocation once tax season comes around.
- Integrated features: Your expense report software must make it easy to channel data between your accounting system and your new software. This means manual entry isn’t necessary.
- Compliance and approval feature: Let your software look for discrepancies on your behalf. If someone didn’t attach the appropriate receipt your software can flag it and so make sure a claim aligns with your company policy before it gets reimbursed. It also makes it easy for managers to review a submitted claim and then approve when they deem it prudent to do so.
- Analysis: Get data about expense trends to help you budget effectively. Every business is different so make sure you can download a customized report containing the data you need.
- Deposit options: The easiest way to manage reimbursements is if your software allows you to connect with employees’ bank accounts and make direct deposits.
- Import options: For credit cards and other accounts, the software can enable a user to pick which transactions to add to an expense account. Have it imported for quick processing instead of wasting time on manual tasks?
- Ensuring control: Your software should give you an overview of how your money is being spent. This leaves an owner or managers in control to prevent fraud or abuse of company funds.
Questions to Ask Before Buying Expense Report Software
As with most software, it’s not a one-size-fits-all purchase. If you ask the following questions you’ll narrow down which software vendors and products will best meet your needs.
How Big is Your Company?
Products are often designed with a certain niche in mind. A small business has different needs than a big corporation. For one thing a SMB has fewer employees’ accounts to manage. Make sure the software is scalable to your unique business and don’t spend money on features you’ll probably never use.
A small business requires simple features such as easy submissions. It’s still relatively easy for managers to stay in control of expenses, so you won’t need advanced features like spending limits. A corporation may have more software packages in use already, so integration is essential. You may need to ensure your expense report software also communicates with your ERP (enterprise resource planning software).
What Type Do You Need?
The market gives you options of cloud-based systems which are handy. It makes information accessible wherever you are. You must also decide if you need both travel and expense management—not all packages empower you for travel management.
What Does Expense Report Software Cost?
The cost will always remain a major consideration. Luckily many expense report software packages can be tested out for free before you buy.
This is one expense you don’t have to doubt: it’s worth it. With the right software, you can increase productivity since fewer manual hours are spent on reporting. This software can also help you stay compliant with tax laws and keep your books error-free.
All of this means less effort and more time to focus on your business. Simply pick the right features so your money is well spent.
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