Why You Should Upgrade To Automated Expense Management

4 min read
Jul 7, 2021

Companies everywhere are looking to transition their processes into the realm of paperless. Maybe yours is among them, and you think expense management is a good place to start. You’d be right: paperless expense management improves efficiency, saves money and accelerates your digital transformation.

And yet, 43% of companies relied on manual expense processes in 2019 and countless others still use outdated solutions.

If you already have an expense management solution, you may think you are set. But if your solution is dated, think again. Old technology could be costing you more than the cost of upgrading.

Below, we look at the cost of using an outdated solution vs. the benefits of using a modern, automated one.

Costs of a manual or outdated expense management solution

Processing employee expenses with your existing solution may seem like a good idea for your bank account, but it is actually a costly practice. And while the costs of using an older solution appear to save you money, a modern solution doesn’t just save you money, it improves your profitability.

Outdated technology is less efficient

Outdated technology is slower and tends to chain you to your computer. It most often does not come with a mobile app and also lacks many of the automations and integrations which are a part of more modern systems.

For your employees, this means more time spent waiting for programs to load and entering expenses at work, long after they have forgotten who they had dinner with. The lack of mobility of older solutions leads to lower accuracy for your accounts, and lower efficiency for your users.

The productivity costs of such an expense system will impact employees at every level in your organisation. From travellers, to managers, and even controllers, everyone suffers from a system lacking in mobility.

No visibility on spend

If you cannot measure your spending, you cannot manage it.

Outdated systems do not offer the tracking and analytics possibilities of a newer expense management solution. They rely on humans to remember and do the math. They create the need for complex spreadsheets to analyse hard to get data.

With such poor visibility on your spending, there is no way for you to manage it. If you don’t know where your money is going, you can neither track your results, nor make cost control decisions.

Higher risk of fraud

The Association of Certified Fraud Examiner’s 2022 report found that organisations lose on average 5% of their revenue to fraud each year.

Companies that rely on outdated expense technology are more likely to detect fraud only after it has been going on for a while, resulting in higher losses.

Without a modern automated system, detecting and preventing fraud is a full-time job. One that you would likely prefer not to have to pay someone to do.

Benefits of a modern, automated expense management solution

The benefits, both financial and on your serenity, of a modern expense management solution far outweigh its costs. While you can put on a number on increased productivity, employee satisfaction and happiness are a lot harder to price, yet just as valuable.

Increased productivity

Modern solutions such as Mobilexpense allow your employees to focus on their added-value tasks. Built-in integrations such as currency converters, a link to your ERP and automated VAT recovery make expense processing a breeze.

Managers see at a glance whether an expense is in policy or not, rather than wasting time looking up said policy. And they do not risk approving non-compliant spend, creating issues for themselves and the financial department. Controllers’ lives are also simplified with automated controlling, leaving them only the tasks of checking non-compliant spend and sample checking.

Better visibility

Tracking spend with the help of an automated solution takes the pain out of spend analysis and optimisation.

Modern analytics do the math for you and produce reports you can use to increase efficiency. If you want to see which business unit has the highest expenses, you can do that. And if you want to know which of your salespeople has the highest spend, with Mobilexpense, you can do that, too.

Knowledge is power and knowing where your money is going and the effect it is (or isn’t) having empowers you to make better decisions, based on facts.

Additionally, an automated system makes documents accessible anywhere, at any time. Expenses and their supporting documentation become easy to look up and audit. In turn, this process becomes more efficient and less error prone.

Fast Approval Makes Employees Happy

A mobile app is not only great for remote employees to easily submit expenses, but also for managers to approve them. With online and mobile approval, managers approve expenses in just one click over their morning coffee or from the back of a taxi.

In Mobilexpense, approval is fool-proof thanks to the automated control features which visually display whether an expense is compliant or not with the company policy. There is barely any thought required, leaving more time and energy for the tasks that matter.

And fast approval means faster reimbursements, meaning employees are happy to see the money back in their account where it belongs.

Fraud detection and prevention

In times like these, identifying cash leakage is more important than ever. Whether your cashflow is being affected by well-intentioned errors or wily fraudsters, you need to have it under control. And you cannot let that cash leave your account unnecessarily, as once you do it is much harder to retrieve.

Automated security and compliance such as those provided by Mobilexpense will save you hundreds of thousands of euros, and a few headaches. Avoid out of policy expenses with spend limits, prevent “I pay, you sign” scams with attendee registration and ensure easy control powered by OCR (Optical Character Recognition).

Expense management software at a glance

Whether you manage expenses with excel or with an older system, consider upgrading. The best time to upgrade is now, when global travel restrictions are creating less expenses, as it means less interruption for your users.

Not only will a modern solution give you better spend visibility and allow you to deep-dive in the data, it will also improve your employees’ efficiency and their productivity, thus increasing your bottom line. And they will be much happier not having to chase approvers and controllers to move things along, benefitting instead from quick reimbursements.

Finally, a modern system shelters you from the risks of human error and fraud, both reducing cash out and increasing cash in.