Companies are handing off the reins of many of their business processes to automated software that can do these jobs much faster and with less error. Travel and expense management is one of these processes seeing an introduction to automation.
Managing expenses and reimbursement requests creates a lot of procedures and processes with a high potential for mistakes and mismanagement. Handwritten mileage logs, a paper-based expense reporting process and manual multi-step approvals all lead to a slower reimbursement turnaround time and difficult tracking procedures in the event of an audit. That’s why companies are increasingly seeing the benefits of incorporating technology to better organize and streamline the entire process.
Moving to an automated travel and expense management solution doesn’t just happen overnight. To help the transition proceed correctly, your company must take time to properly research and prepare, or you won’t experience the level of return you could have.
Understand the Process You’re Auditing
Before you can begin the hunt for the kind of solution you need, you first need to understand your current expense management process and how technology can enhance it. Carefully evaluate the process for weaknesses and areas that need improvement. Then, think about how the introduction of software to automate procedures will impact the process. Traditional methods for managing expenses tend to eat up a lot of costs and time out of the work week; software can improve many of the tasks required.
Once you understand how travel and expenses are managed within your company, you can take a closer look at costs and time associated with your current procedures and processes as well as those of a software solution. Automating your travel and expense management doesn’t come cheap, but ultimately, it could be a money-saving move for your company.
In our experience, CompanyMileage customers save 20-30% by introducing an automated system that reduces instances of fraud or errors and expedites the review and approval process.
Before you can begin implementation of a new system, you need to establish a level of consistency for the procedures and processes employees handle on a daily basis. These tasks can include expense report collection, supervisory review and approval and submittal to accounts payable for reimbursement. Technology relies on a rules-based system of controls. That means you need to clearly map out your expense management functions for automation to work appropriately and successfully streamline the process.
Depending on the industry you work in and the types of data your company stores, any software solution must be able to meet the standards of the laws and regulations you are beholden to regarding security and privacy of information. Not just any system will do in these instances where you must abide by strict protocols.
Moving to a cloud-based, automated system may streamline your travel and expense management by centralizing data and integrating with your payroll and accounting systems, but this move could also put your company at risk. Be aware, for instance, that if you work in home health care or hospice care, you must make sure that your software meets the standards of HIPAA and its handling of ePHI. Moreover, any type of sensitive information is subject to a hacking or malware attack once it is imported into a web-based system. As you consider how to transition to an automated method of management, make sure you are staying aware of security requirements. You always want to keep moving towards a more secure environment for your company’s information.
Do it Right the First Time
Onboarding your expense reporting and reimbursement processes onto an automated system is a complex process that can’t happen in one fell swoop. Rolling out these changes to your procedures should be organized into stages.
First, you need to import your data including employee files, addresses and supporting information. Then you should take the time to validate all of this data for accuracy. You wouldn’t want to be far into the process before you discover a problem and need to backtrack. After your system is all set up and ready to go, you need to make sure your employees are given the knowledge and training to use this system to its full potential. If employees find it easier to stick with the old way of doing things, you’ve made this investment for nothing. Lastly, you’ll need to integrate your accounting and payroll systems. This will significantly accelerate the reimbursement process for your company.
Introduce Automation with CompanyMileage
Moving your travel and expense management processes to an automated system is an important move for your company that will save your operational costs and shave hours off of employees’ work weeks. It needs to be handled responsibly, though. With CompanyMileage, you can be assured you’ll have an experienced partner who can walk you through the transition with ease. We’ll work with you to determine proper procedures and back-end processes that work best for your business, and we’ll manage the import of your data, reducing strain on your end.
When the time comes, we’ll train your administrators and supervisors so they’re comfortable working on your new system and are prepared to assist your employees when needed. Our software, SureMileage, brings accuracy and automation to the whole process from trip logging to reimbursement, reducing the time spent managing expenses to just a few minutes a day for your mobile employees.
Join hundreds of other organizations that are reducing their travel and expense management costs through our automated reimbursement solution. Request a demo with CompanyMileage today.