Establishing an expense management process is a vital part of managing a business. It helps you track, control, and manage the expenses that your company incurs. Unsurprisingly, the expense management process can be very tedious. This is where automation can come in handy. How can automation help your business save time on this repetitive task while keeping all the necessary administrative processes intact? Keep reading to find out. 

How Automation Can Help Your Expense Management Process

Automation is an essential tool for today’s business world. It can help you reduce the time spent on monotonous tasks, improve productivity and accuracy, and make your processes more efficient. 

Efficiency and accuracy are the two main benefits of automation, but there’s also an element of human error reduction. The fact is, humans make mistakes. We are prone to inefficiencies and errors, and that’s why automation is so beneficial. In the case of expense management, it reduces human error by ensuring that the data is always up-to-date and correct.

Setting Up Automation

There are a number of steps that need to be taken to set up automation. In this section, we’ll look at the steps involved in automating your expense management process.

Step 1: Identify Pain Points

Before you decide on a particular solution, you must understand the problems that automation can solve for your business. To do so, you need to diagnose your current process and identify the pain points in your existing system.

  • Speak to the employees involved: Ask them where they’ve experienced friction in your expense management process.
  • Review available metrics: If possible, review any available metrics or reports to identify inefficiencies.
  • Go through the current process: Look at the process at every step of the way to see if any bottlenecks currently exist.

With this information in hand, it’ll be much easier to determine whether a specific feature or tool will help alleviate these pain points and what features are unnecessary for the automation process you’ve designed.

Step 2: Identify Your Business Needs and Objectives

The next step is identifying the business objective and determining how expense management can help achieve it. Whether your goal is to reduce fraud, improve efficiency, make the process simpler, or all of the above, it’s vital to establish a clear goal for the expense management process. What problem are you trying to solve? What does success look like? If your business objective is unclear, then everything else falls apart because there’s no way for everyone involved in this project (from executives down) to know what they’re working towards.

Step 3: Research Available Technology

The third step is to research available technology options for your business. There are a lot of different software, apps, and other tools out there that can help automate your expense management process. To get a better idea of what you need in software or an app, you first need to list all of the tasks and processes involved in managing expenses at your company. 

For example, if you currently use a paper and pen logbook or are tracking mileage in a spreadsheet, ensure that your solution will have the tools to track the same information. Once you have this list complete, you can use it as a comparison to the features offered by the solutions your review to find what has everything you need.

Step 4: Weight the Benefits & Drawbacks of Each Solution

Once you’ve identified the solutions that meet your criteria and are most likely to solve your problem, it’s time to weigh the benefits and drawbacks of each. Finding a solution that has both advantages and disadvantages is normal, but it’s crucial to assess them carefully before deciding whether or not you want to go with a particular solution.

The key here is balancing risk with reward—while there may be some tradeoffs involved in using certain tools over others, knowing which ones are worth integrating can help determine if proceeding down one path will lead towards success more readily than another would do so.

Step 5: Consider Usability

You can only automate your expense management process so far. There will always be a need for employees to interact with the process. To help ensure that employees buy into the process, it’s important to ensure its usability. Consider the following questions:

  • Is it easy to use?
  • Does your chosen solution have an intuitive interface?
  • Does the user need training before they can use it effectively?
  • Do employees like using it (or does the system cause frustration)?

Answering these questions will help ensure that the added automation helps rather than hinders your process.

Step 6: Assess Employee Response

After you’ve implemented the new expense management system, it’s important to assess employee response. In order to do this, ask your team some questions about their experience with the new system:

  • What do you like about the new system?
  • What would you change about the way it works today?
  • Would you recommend using this tool to others at your company or in your industry?

Having your employees answer these questions can help ensure that the solution you found works well within your organization.

Step 7: Measure Outcomes

After you’ve gone through the previous steps and automated your expense management process, measuring its effectiveness is vital. You can do this by measuring the accuracy of the process, how long the process takes, and employee buy-in and comparing these measurements to metrics from before implementation.

Automate Your Expense Management Process with CompanyMileage

Whether you’re a large, national corporation or a smaller firm with tight budgets, every business on the market seeks ways to reduce costs while increasing efficiency, and automation certainly provides one way of doing so in the expense management field. Automating the management of your expenses is a fantastic way to increase your productivity, save time, promote compliance, and reduce fraud. Thankfully, CompanyMileage makes automating your expense management process simple, especially when it comes to one of the more neglected aspects of company expenses: business mileage. 

Our unique system calculates point-to-point trip distance, ensuring employees report accurate mileage every time. At the end of each day, employees can easily submit expense reports for approval, and administrators have complete visibility throughout the process. Our system is designed to make expense reporting easy and efficient. It automatically sends reports to the next step in the process for review and approval, and it integrates with your payroll or accounting software, ensuring approved requests will always be paid out promptly.

So, what are you waiting for? Reach out to CompanyMileage to start your automation journey and help your company save time and money!