Spreadsheet expense reporting can be overwhelming, stressful and downright confusing for everyone involved. With so many people playing a role in the reporting and accounting process, some expenses may be recorded twice, while others may never be documented at all. Fortunately, you can break the usual spreadsheet cycle with a single tool: the online expense reporting program.
Benefits of Online Expense Management
- A simpler process. An online expense management program eliminates the confusion and disorganization that often comes with stacks of expense reporting paperwork. Instead, all reports are generated and stored electronically.
- Centralized information. With an online program, all data is available in a centralized location and updated in real time. When an employee makes a change to the database, everyone will see it immediately.
- Always available. Online programs are always available, even when the office isn't open. If you have employees who telecommute, they can even access the program from home.
- One-time data entry. Once an expense is entered into the system, everyone will see it, thus preventing dual entries and inaccurate reports.
- Quick reimbursement. The entire accounting process, including reimbursement, is faster and more efficient when you use an online program.
Tips for Choosing the Right Program
- Choose a program you can trust. Make sure that your online program is secure. You don't want the wrong person accessing your company's sensitive information.
- Make sure the program integrates with your accounting software. Some programs will convert your data into a format that is compatible with your accounting software, saving you another step.
- Look for programs that allow receipt snapshots. Organizing and storing paper receipts can be very frustrating and ineffective. Thankfully, some online expense management programs will allow you to take a snapshot of your receipt with a smartphone and upload it into the system.
- Choose a program with credit card integration. Many programs will allow you to feed data directly from a credit card. This feature will simplify the entire process and save everybody some time.
- Look for automatic data population. When choosing a program, make sure that it offers the ability to automatically populate subsequent data fields after information has been entered once. Not only will this save you time on entering your most frequently used data, but it will also cut down on typos and other errors.
For most businesses, spreadsheet expense reporting is a necessary evil. Fortunately, it doesn't have to be painful. By choosing a high-quality online expense reporting program and implementing it effectively, you can create accurate reports without the usual misery.
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Our choice of Chrome River EXPENSE was made in part due to the very user-friendly interface, easy configurability, and the clear commitment to impactful customer service – all aspects in which Chrome River was the clear winner. While Chrome River is not as large as some of the other vendors we considered, we found that to be a benefit and our due diligence showed that it could support us as well as any large players in the space, along with a personalized level of customer care.
We are excited to be able to enforce much more stringent compliance to our expense guidelines and significantly enhance our expense reporting and analytics. By automating these processes, we will be able to free up AP time formerly spent on manual administrative tasks, and enhance the role by being much more strategic.