In the modern business world, there are many challenges to effectively managing expenses. Tax law is always changing, and you have to adhere to the ever changing landscape to avoid the negative consequences of an audit. Running a business is also getting more complicated – and expensive – every day. Integrating technology and automation into your business processes is imperative at this point, especially where all the moving parts of expense management are concerned.
If you have a company that demands its’ employees travel frequently to complete the responsibilities of their jobs, then this adds yet another layer of complexity. A travel expense manager will solve the problems of your inefficient business procedures – the wasteful time consumption, data overload, exorbitant administration costs and so on. However, there are many tools geared towards helping you better manage your business expenses. To help you find the solution that works best for you, here are a few to look for – and avoid – in your travel expense manager.
1. GPS-Based Tracking
It may surprise you to hear you should avoid this feature. GPS systems are great because they’re so easy. You just turn on the app and drive, and it simply tracks wherever your employees go. The issue is that whenever the tool you choose to use tracks mileage via a GPS, it tracks all mileage – and separating the business-related travel from the non business-related travel gets tricky.
A GPS-based travel expense app may make things simple by recording each trip and submitting it for reimbursement, but it’s difficult to know if your company is really reimbursing for the correct amount. Employees can sneak detours and trips totally unrelated to their jobs right past you, and it may be difficult to notice without closer examination.
2. Manual Logging
So, GPS-based systems aren’t the most reliable means of tracking mileage for expense reimbursement, but what if employees just self-report instead? Then, at least you won’t need to worry about them forgetting to close the app when they’re not driving for work purposes.
While manually logging travel into a software application will at least make it easier to submit an expense report for reimbursement, it doesn’t improve the accuracy of the mileage being reported anymore than if they were using a spreadsheet or a journal. It allows for no accountability on the part of the employee – they can round up their numbers, estimate odometer readings or completely fabricate what they’re reporting to their supervisors and managers. In the end, a single employee may not actually come away with much more in their reimbursement check than they would have otherwise, but if you have 300 employees each coming away with a few extra dollars, these costs add up.
3. Offline Expense Approval Process
If your travel expense manager doesn’t aid you after expense reports have been submitted, then it’s failing to address a significant – and unavoidable – part of the process. If you really want to improve the management of expenses within your company, one of the most vital areas of the process you should focus your attention to is the expense approval process. This is where you can nip errors, errant spending and inaccurate reporting in the bud, and automation can be a big help here.
The system you manage travel expenses with should take the onus off of your managers and other administrators to manually review and process expense reports in your company’s approval workflow. For one thing, manual, paper-based workflows are difficult to manage. It’s easy for paperwork to get lost in the shuffle, and it adds a time-consuming process to already strained employees. Plus, it pulls people away from other tasks much more demanding of their expertise than looking over expense reports and signing off on reimbursement payments.
4. Unsecure Systems
Throughout the expense management process, sensitive information can exchange hands many times. Whether it’s personal information about your business, your clients or your employees, it’s important that the travel expense manager you use comes equipped with the kind of security your business requires. Unauthorized parties – both inside and outside of the organization – should not be able to access protected information. No matter how good a system is at managing your expenses, if it comes with security risks, it’s not worth it.
Any application that fails to comply with your industry’s regulations will also cause you serious problems. If your organization provides any kind of health services to your community, for instance, you must ensure that any software you take advantage of does not violate HiPAA regulations concerning your patients’ private information. This can be anything from their name to their home addresses to any other identifying information.
Find What You’re Looking for in SureMileage
The right travel expense tracking tool can do wonders for your business. We’ve watched hundreds of satisfied clients save up to 30% on their travel expense reimbursement expenses through our effective approach to tracking and managing employee mileage. To start recording your mileage with SureMileage, employees simply input their starting and ending locations for each trip, and our software will calculate the most expedient route for them. No more manual mileage recording or unreliable GPS calculations.
CompanyMileage even takes this ease of use a step further. By utilizing our Quick Capture feature or our Quick Capture widget, workers can check in at each jobsite with just a single tap of their finger. At the end of the day, they need only spare a couple of minutes to submit trip reports to their managers for reimbursement. Our system automates the approval process for your company, as well. You have the flexibility to configure it in whatever way meets the demands of your internal structure. SureMileage integrates with all major accounting and payroll systems, so payments can come much faster.
Find what you’re looking for in a travel expense manager in SureMileage by CompanyMileage. Request a demo to learn more about our mileage expense reimbursement solution today.