Automated Expense Tracking: How It Improves the Finance Accounting Processes

automated expense tracking

Nobody finds expense reports enjoyable and fun. Not the employee, who spends hours figuring out how to group expenses. Not the bookkeepers, who have to manually submit all expenses in the accounting program or spreadsheets. Not the financial director, who tries to control the budget, but at the end of the month, suddenly finds the numbers don’t add up. If you still suffer from such problems, then your company is probably not familiar with automated expense tracking.

Expense reports can be overwhelming if you work with them manually. But there is a great tool to make this process less painful. Let’s see how automated expense tracking software can help your business.

  1. What is Automated Expense Tracking?
  2. Can Automated Reports Work in Real-time?
  3. Are Automated Reports Faster to Submit?
  4. Why Automate Expense Management Is Great for Businesses?
  5. What Keys Should You Look for in Automated Trackers?
  6. Conclusion

What is Automated Expense Tracking?

Automated expense tracking drops the most painful steps of submitting and processing expense reports. It releases you from paper or spreadsheet statements that most workers are all too familiar with, typically with an expense management app that leads the employee through each step.

Automating expense management also means using analytic tools to make smarter spending decisions by accurately tracking and reporting all expenses. By following the company’s expense policy, the software also helps guarantee that the company does not spend too much on unapproved spending areas.

Are Automated Reports Faster to Submit?

automated expense report tracking

Even if you live in the ideal universe where all your employees can submit their manual reports with no mistakes, it still takes too much time. The precious time, which they can spend on doing their best in another business area. Each team member must stick to the report template (if it exists), fill it out, attach receipts, check every detail a few times, and only then submit it.

Judging from the fact that 99% of employees don’t want to do it, automated expense tracking software is the best friend for any business. With automation, employees simply submit each expense on the go and the job is done.

Automation completely removes paper and most of the world-known companies have already chosen paperless vector. It also removes unnecessary spreadsheets and work duplication.

Can Automated Reports Work in Real-time?

According to the statistics, 57% of surveyed company CFOs and finance managers are faced with the problem of lack of transparency in company expenses. And this is largely due to the asynchronous nature of claims for reimbursement – you don’t know how much you spent until the claims are received.

The automation tools allow employees to report spending in real-time. It helps finance managers always know what amount of money has been spent. This makes budgeting and forecasting more flexible and easy.

Why Automate Expense Management Is Great for Businesses?

Good spending automation follows a classic structure. And most modern tracking applications have a whole arsenal of tools to help your company out and save both time and money. Let’s take an Expense Sensei application as an example to show the way, through which a user goes when submitting an expense report in a tracking app.

An employee spends money on business travels, meetings, courses, or coworking. After that, he immediately submits this expense in the automation tool. Most modern tracking apps have both web and mobile versions, so team members can upload a receipt right on the go.

Workers check the details and submit the request. Depending on the company policy, a manager is notified immediately and can approve or deny the new report. Expense Sensei application allows approvers to leave a comment on the report if it is denied. It also shows a comments history, where all team members can leave their own message and communicate with an accountant and CFO.

When the report is approved, it’s sent to the team member, responsible for reimbursements. He can decide whether to approve it at the moment or wait until he has a batch. 

What Keys Should You Look for in Automated Trackers?

The process, mentioned in the previous paragraph, is smooth and easy with the right list of tools. Take a look at the most important features you should search for in the expense tracking app:

  1. Easy installation. Although the process of setting up depends on the size of your company, some software is too complex and takes months to set up. Choose the one with a simple set-up.
  2. Scalable system. It should always be easy to add or remove users and set their roles, no matter how many employees you have.
  3. Different roles and permissions. Ideally, you should have one account owner for the entire platform. This is usually a financial controller or sometimes a financial director.
  4. Integration with bookkeeping software. Last but not least, the tracking app has to be flexible enough to provide all the information, as many companies have a platform for accountants.

Conclusion

Most automated solutions equip you with multiple tools to track spendings, maximize the flexibility and timeliness of reimbursements, and provide a great user experience. You can go completely automated or put together a workflow with accounting packages. Overall, the main aim is to save time and effort. With automation and modernization of this area of your business, you will save your employees from stressful situations and let them focus on important tasks.