By: Warwick Haycock- Accounting software specialist
As we know many businesses plan to move to hybrid working long term, although from a finance point of view, there are new challenges this may bring – especially when tracking expenses.
Pre Covid, it would have been easier for financial professionals to track and predict likely outgoing expenses month-to-month with workplace routines typically consistent. But with remote working, employees’ work patterns are much harder to predict and follow as many employees have been given the freedom to have more say over how and where they work.
Travel costs were the top employee expense to claim, but now finance pros are managing claims for home-office expenses, laptops, office chairs, business stationery maybe through to broadband upgrades to meet the demand. Plus, the upcoming travel and hospitality expenses may raise once again as we see more people valuing those face-to-face business meetings.
The importance of an expenses management system
Finance teams are often stretched for time, and more than one in ten of respondents in The Access Groups financial pain points survey believed that expenses management was their least efficient function. With the move to remote working, it is clear more needs to be done to modernise the claims process.
Paper documents, scanning receipts, spreadsheets – risks of fraud as well as time consuming tasks for the finance teams, technology and automating expenses opens a world of opportunity freeing up significant time and resources for finance professionals, but also enables them to pull off valuable insights at the touch of a button.
It’s also worth considering the security aspect behind automated expenses management systems. Scanned receipts, mileage tracking through Google Maps and built-in spending limits (often grey areas once used to commit expense fraud) help to put a stop to fraudulent claims. Backed up with a modern technology solution and an up-to-date expenses policy that meets the demands of the workforce and a new working model, the risks of getting stung are much lower.
With so much money coming in and out of the business, it’s important to track costs and these are bound to fluctuate daily. Real-time reporting tools, however, could be a useful companion for any finance pro. Live dashboards, which can be tailored to your needs, will provide a real-time view of expense costs to monitor spending no matter where claims were submitted.
With the right automated tools at their disposal, finance professionals will be well-equipped to manage the influx of expense claims that are sure to come in as their teams bed into a hybrid working model.
The Access Group’s expense management software enables employees to digitally capture their expenses for faster paperless processing and they can also complete and submit every type of expense online.