Expense reimbursement can be a time-consuming and error-prone process for businesses of every size. But expense management software can automate each step, saving organizations money, streamlining their operations, shifting resources toward more strategic initiatives, and empowering employees to make critical business decisions instead of performing busy work.
Selecting and implementing an expense management platform can profoundly impact an organization’s culture, processes, and bottom line.
Why do businesses need an end-to-end expense management platform? How can finance teams benefit from modern spend management? And what are the key factors and functionality to look for when selecting an expense management and corporate card provider?
Let’s start by taking a step back.
What Is Expense Reimbursement Software?
Expense reimbursement software is a digital tool that automates expense tracking and the reimbursement of business expenses. It allows employees to submit expense reports through a mobile app or website so managers can approve or deny those expenses. The software then processes approved expenses and reimburses employees accordingly.
Why Businesses Need Expense Management Software
Expense reimbursement is an essential part of business operations, but the process can also be a significant source of frustration for everyone involved. Without proper tracking and management, reimbursements can spiral out of control, leading to unnecessary expenses, errors, fraud, and other headaches.
One of the main reasons businesses need expense management software is to streamline and simplify the reimbursement process. Employees can quickly submit expenses by scanning receipts via a mobile app, eliminating the need for paper receipting management.
But not all expense tracker apps are created equal. Some receipt scanning software may fail to capture important details or even freeze. The right product, however, can be a game-changer — like OCR receipt scanning was for Carta on its expense management app.
In other cases, systems can assess expenses when an employee swipes a corporate card, enforcing policy in real-time and eliminating the approval process for employee spending altogether. The ability to identify policy violations at the time of swipe has completely transformed the expense management process.
In addition, expense management software helps businesses save money by identifying areas where companies can reduce expenses. By tracking expenses in real-time and providing detailed reports and analytics, the software helps businesses identify trends and areas where expenses are high. Real-time tracking also promotes compliance with company policies and regulations. Businesses can establish clear, customizable policies and guidelines for expenses, which helps to ensure that employees know what expenses are allowable and what is out of policy.
Expense management systems help improve a company’s overall financial management. By automating the reimbursement process and providing real-time analytics, businesses can gain greater visibility into their expenses and make more informed decisions about their financial operations — a practice that can increase efficiency and improve financial outcomes.
By streamlining the reimbursement process, identifying areas for cost savings, ensuring compliance, and improving financial management, businesses can save time and money, reduce errors, and improve overall performance.
Benefits of Expense Reimbursement Software
- Increased Efficiency. Expense reimbursement software streamlines the entire expense reimbursement process, saving time and reducing the chance of errors. Eliminating the need for manual data entry frees employees to focus on more critical business operations.
- Improved Accuracy. Expense reimbursement software uses automated tools to ensure that all calculations are accurate and consistent, reducing the chance of errors. This accuracy also ensures that employees are reimbursed correctly and promptly.
- Better Compliance. Expense reimbursement software allows businesses to establish a clear expense policy that employees must follow. This policy ensures that expenses are within the company's budget and meet specific requirements. It also makes tracking and auditing expenses easier, improving compliance with company policies and regulatory requirements.
- Cost Savings. Expense reimbursement software can help businesses save money by reducing errors and fraud, eliminating paper-based processes, and providing insights into expense trends. These savings can quickly increase and improve a company's bottom line.
How to Choose Expense Reimbursement Software
When choosing expense reimbursement software, businesses should consider several factors, including ease of use, integration with other software, customization, and pricing.
Here are some key factors to remember:
- Integration. One of the most important factors is whether the expense management software integrates with your existing financial, accounting, and ERP systems. Integration can streamline the expense reporting and reimbursement process.
- User experience. A user-friendly interface is crucial — it should be easy for employees to navigate with intuitive, consumer-like features. One of the most challenging parts of getting employees to use outdated software solutions like NetSuite and SAP Concur is a clunky, time-consuming experience.
- Mobile accessibility. If the platform doesn’t have a standalone cloud-based mobile app, consider it outdated — especially for employees accessing it on the go. Expense management software should eliminate the need for receipt management. Team members will no longer need to retroactively file expense claims for employee reimbursement long after a trip ends. Employees should also be able to receive notifications regarding their card transactions and travel expenses as they happen.
- Automation. Expense management software can automate many aspects of the expense reporting process, from capturing receipts to submitting expense reports and approving reimbursements. This streamlining can save time and reduce the risk of errors and fraud.
- Security. The security of your company's financial data is of utmost importance — and even more so in a time of virtual cards and audit trails. Look for features like data encryption, secure cloud-based storage, and user access controls.
- Cost. While investing in a quality software solution that meets your needs is important, choosing a cost-effective solution that offers a good return on investment is important.
By considering these factors when choosing expense management software for your business, you can ensure that you select a solution that meets your company's needs, improves the expense reporting process, and saves time and money in the long run.
Software Solutions to Consider
From accounting software startups to decades-only institutions, plenty of legacy companies and new players are looking to help organizations manage expenses and streamline their bookkeeping.
Below are a few companies they will likely encounter in their search. However, each lacks a key feature — combined travel and expense for all-sized businesses — to truly be considered the best expense management software available.
- Certify. An easy-to-use expense management software solution.
- Emburse. A suite of expense management and accounts payable automation solutions.
- ExpensePoint. A cloud-based travel and expense management software solution for mid-size and enterprise-level organizations.
- Expensify. An expense management software platform that automates the expense reporting process for businesses and individuals.
- FreshBooks. A cloud-based accounting software for small businesses and self-employed professionals to manage invoicing, expenses, and time tracking.
- Fyle. An AI-powered expense management software that helps automate expense tracking and reimbursement.
- NetSuite. A cloud-based ERP software that provides business management tools, including financial management, inventory management, and e-commerce.
- QuickBooks. Accounting software designed for small and medium-sized businesses to manage their finances, including invoicing, expense tracking, and payroll.
- Rydoo. A travel and expense management software that simplifies expense reporting, reimbursement, and travel bookings.
- Xero. Accounting software designed for small businesses to manage their finances, including invoicing, expense tracking, and payroll.
- Zoho Expense. An expense management software that automates expense tracking, approvals, and reimbursements for businesses.
While many of these companies do indeed streamline operations and even offer multi-currency transactions, they’re missing a giant piece of the expense puzzle: combining expense and travel management tools for all-sized businesses under one provider.
Why Select an All-in-One Tool for Expense and Travel Management
Navan is the only modern, all-in-one travel, corporate card, and expense management solution, providing thousands of customers around the globe with time savings, cost savings, and real-time visibility over spend.
Selecting an expense management software that also serves as travel management software can benefit your business. Here are some reasons why choosing software that can handle expense and travel management is a good idea:
- Streamlined Processes. You can streamline your expense and travel management processes into a single workflow by choosing an integrated solution. This technology can save time and reduce errors since you won't have to manually transfer data between different systems.
- Better Visibility. A single platform for managing travel and expenses can provide greater visibility into your business spending. You can easily track expenses related to specific trips and analyze travel data to identify patterns and potential cost savings.
- Improved Compliance. With integrated expense and travel management software, you can ensure your company's travel policies are consistently enforced. You can set up approval workflows to ensure expenses are only reimbursed if they meet your company's guidelines.
- Greater Savings. You can easily identify cost-saving opportunities using expense and travel management software. For example, you can use travel data to negotiate better rates with vendors or identify overspending patterns.
- Enhanced User Experience. Employees can enjoy a seamless experience submitting expenses and booking travel with an integrated solution. They can use a single platform to manage all aspects of their business travel, including booking flights, hotels, and ground transportation and submitting expense reports.
Selecting an expense management software that also serves as travel management software streamlines processes, provides better visibility into spend, ensures policy compliance, identifies cost-saving opportunities, and provides a better user experience for employees.
Contact the Navan team today to get the most out of expense, travel, and spend management for your growing organization.