So much of the advice on reducing the time and money spent on the reimbursement of travel expenses seems to focus almost solely on policy. But process is reimbursement’s other cost culprit, especially when the process is based on paper and moved by human hands.

Manual processes, even those based on the best of policies, will cause headaches that can spread pain across an organization:

Accounting that can’t keep up.

Even when the books for a given month seem closed, they really aren’t. The reimbursement of travel expenses often lags behind other processes as expenses come trickling in and get approved when managers have time.

Bottlenecks in the process.

Manager approvals are far from the only cause for delays. Some employees have to be convinced to file their reports. Others have to find that receipt that slipped under the passenger seat.

Approvals that sap energy.

Incorrect codes, other errors and reconciling expense report data is far from rewarding work. It takes precious time that could be better spent trying to grow revenue and better control expenses.

Cost management that comes too late.

Getting an expense report that seems excessive or claims expenses of a dubious nature puts accounting groups on the defensive and forces them to play catch up. Controls must come earlier in the process.

Compliance that takes too long and costs too much.

When outside audits and accountants get involved in travel reimbursement matters, it’s too late. And too expensive.

Functionality plus integration equals savings

Reimbursement of travel expenses is pain-free with SureExpense, which gives managers a straightforward, multilevel approval process and seamless integration with existing accounting and payroll systems. Payment processing is easy with SureExpense’s customizable, web-based software. Employees get a simple and quick way to enter and track expenses. In some cases, expense tracking requires just 1-2 minutes a day.

SureExpense is equipped to handle all Travel & Expense management needs. It is integrated with SureMileage, which takes the guesswork out of mileage expenses with its new approach to mileage tracking. Used in combination, SureExpense and SureMileage save more than $1,000 a year per mobile employee.

Among the features of SureExpense are:

  • Online submission. Employees can upload and store receipts from wherever they are.
  • Payroll and accounting integration. The system works seamlessly with all major accounting and payroll systems.
  • Reporting and analytics. Reports can be customized and exported in various formats, such as Excel.

‘A process that is both robust and quick’

The end result is simplicity, a tenet of travel expense reimbursement highlighted effectively in this recent advice from industry leader Concur:

“When it comes to expenses, the old acronym – KISS (Keep It Straight and Simple) – applies. Keep your process straight and simple, and people are more likely to comply. If your systems are bogged down with layers of administrative complexity such as triplicate forms and pre-approval, it’ll have a demoralizing effect on the your employees and tie up precious man-hours.”

Concur said, “A process that is both robust and quick helps ensure that the right person approves the expenses appropriately, and that it adheres to the corporate governance.”