Expense processing is a very time consuming and manual task; often weighed down by data entry, paper storage and distribution problems. However, an expense processing solution, such as Documation’s expense application, can automate the process, removing a lot of the paper distribution, speeding up the process and making it less open to error. The solution makes expense processing easier for the claimant, the approver and the department processing expenses as well.
According to the Aberdeen Group, the average organisation spends 8%-to-10% of its yearly budget on expenses. This means that many Accounts Payable departments are faced with a large volume of internal expenses to process and spending to track. Implementing an expense solution will help to speed up the process, reducing the time it takes to manually enter data.
Key benefits of automated expense processing include:
- Data entry carried out by the finance team drastically cut: Claimants complete form online themselves
- Reduced costs of handling and distribution: No movement of paper throughout the business; expense forms are automatically posted to the finance department
- Reduced risk of fraudulent claims: Ensures all business rules are adhered to, as forms have to be approved by the correct person
- Completion of expense forms is easier: Default options are provided, automatically populating many of the standard fields
- Automated escalation and notification: Ensures claims do not get mislaid or forgotten
- Reduced number of chasing calls from claimants: Claimant can check the progress of claims online
- Automated posting to finance/line of business system: Ensures payment is made swiftly
- Claimant is notified of rejections immediately: Errors and rejections can be resolved quicker
- Instant online retrieval and full audit trail
Expense processing software can also help organisations by providing high-level intelligence on the trends and behaviour of expenses across the organisation as a whole. It will be easier to identify problem areas sooner thereby allowing managers to take timely action. Expense processing software can reduce the risk of fraudulent claims and bribery as the solution will ensure claimants adhere to corporate derived rules and regulations. Expense processing can also offer secure online retrieval and a full audit trail which means organisations are able to actively work towards preventing corporate bribery. According to the National Fraud Authority’s report, Annual Fraud Indicator, the NFA estimate that expense fraud costs £98 million a year. This is an astonishing amount of money to lose, but how can a company stop this happening within their organisation? While there are no guaranteed mechanisms to prevent an employee from trying or wanting to commit fraud, investing in an expense solution can help organisations to reduce the risk of fraudulent activity within their business.
Aside from Expenses, investing in an invoice management solution for the Accounts Payable department could also help to further protect a business from fraud, as this type of software provides many controls that simply do not exist with a manual process. For example with an invoice management system as part of your wider invoice processing solution, you can enhance security so access can be granted on different levels; only people with the right level of security can gain access. Setting up approval rules in an invoice management system can also help to catch or halt non-compliant purchases, thus improving your chances of spotting fraudulent activity.
Software solutions such as these can provide a business with the means to significantly help improve their expense processing; helping to reduce costs, improve efficiency and detect suspicious activity within the company.