Employees Are Your Most Expensive & Most Valuable Asset

3 min read
Jul 3, 2023
Employees Are Your Most Expensive & Most Valuable Asset


Looking at your P&L sheet every month, what is consistently one of your (if not the) highest costs? We’re fairly certain it's your employees' salaries.

On average, 15% to 30% of your gross sales are going to payroll costs. And this number can be up to 50% in labour-intensive, service-driven industries.

Why, then, are you wasting your employees’ time?

They are both your most expensive and your most valuable asset in the company. Wasting their time capturing, submitting, approving, and controlling expenses manually or in an outdated system is the last thing you should be doing for their wellbeing, and your company’s.

A week of time wasted in the expense process

Picture this: it’s the last Sunday of the month and your Sales executives are getting ready to submit their expenses. They’re rummaging through laptop bags, jacket pockets, cup holders and drawers, trying to make sure that every expense is accounted for.

Then, at their laptop they start entering dates, purchase types, amounts and more in a spreadsheet. Line by line. It’s a tedious job.

Finally, once every expense has been entered, they send you the spreadsheet to approve and drop the receipts on your desk the next morning.

Monday afternoon you open your inbox and it’s full of spreadsheets. You have to spend time verifying every single expense line against the pile of receipts. Was this expense justified? If not, why? And so it goes.

The pièce de resistance in this monumental waste of time is your Finance department. They have to check every claim against company policy. Does the amount entered correspond to what is on the receipt or invoice? Is the VAT correct? Do invoices have the company’s details to allow for VAT recovery?

By Friday, each person in the expense process will have wasted up to 30 minutes per expense report. Multiply that by the average number of expense reports your company processes every month, and you’ll have an idea of the time and money you are diverting on expenses. That’s not even including the time spent by your HR department encoding the payments to reimburse your employees!

Each of you would rather be spending your time elsewhere, doing higher value tasks that you enjoy. Your salespeople should be selling, not doing admin! Your management team should be helping your employees achieve their goals, coaching them, opening doors for them where needed, not doing admin! And your finance team should be analysing the budget, making strategic decisions backed by data, not doing admin!

Get time back with expense automation

Think of all these senior employees whose time is being wasted completing low level tasks that could be automated. They could be wasting up to 5% of their work time on expenses. Imagine, instead, saving that 5%, giving that time back to them. How, you ask? It’s easy: by automating your expense process.

With a digital expense management solution, your salespeople have access to a mobile app that allows them to take a picture of their receipts as they receive them. That simple act of taking a picture does two things.

  1. It saves the receipt digitally, making for better accounting and cleaner records.
  2. It extracts the receipt data automatically with OCR, reducing the risk of manual error. This also speeds up the expense process.

From spending hours every month on expenses, your employees go to spending a few seconds at a time. And when they’re ready to submit a report? All it takes is a few more clicks, and it’s done! No more stapling receipts, forgotten invoices or delay in accounting and… no out of policy items!

The automated solution handles expense report compliance. It also ensures compliance with any regulatory requirements your company may be subject to such as local mileage rates, VAT rates, daily allowances and more.

And when the expenses come to you for approval? A quick look will tell you whether there are any out of policy or conflicting items, and if there aren’t, you can approve expenses in one click!

It’s just as easy for your controllers. Our green light/red light control solution highlights out of policy or discrepant items for easy manual control, and the rest can be automatically validated. In fact, automated expense management saves your controllers up to 95% of the time they spend controlling expenses!

Savings potential

But what does it mean, getting this time back?

Industry studies have calculated the cost of manually processing an expense report to be between €25 and €55 - regardless of the amount of the expense itself. In contrast, a digital expense report costs €5 - €6 to process, and with higher accuracy than if it were done by hand. That’s a savings of €20 to €50 per expense report!

Yet, the benefits aren’t only monetary. Because by saving your employees from spending time on tedious, manual admin work, you’ll be improving their satisfaction. This reduces churn rates and improves efficiency, in turn improving the company’s profitability.

Happier and more engaged employees are a net positive for both HR and management. So the question is, why aren’t you contributing to your employees job satisfaction and efficiency with a digital expense solution? What is holding you back?