Those big guys have it made. Large companies have the ability to invest in consultants and analysts to streamline their accounts payable automation and expense management so they can process much more volume in a short amount of time. If only there were ways for fast-growing firms and mid-market companies to take advantage of the same capabilities. It would level the playing field and more than likely reduce some operating expenses in the process.
Believe it or not, small and medium-sized businesses do have virtually all of the same expense report software tools and techniques available to them—and at rates that are within a small or medium-sized company budget. But first, these organizations must get past bottlenecks in their current practices.
AP and expense reporting processes are often some of the most time-consuming steps in an organization. Sadly, these processes also tend to have the highest error rates and most quality issues. Some of the bottlenecks that are commonly found with AP and expense reporting processes include
- Multiple vendors with a variety of billing and invoicing techniques without any organized validation or processing systems
- Manual steps to review each invoice or expense report and either approve, reject or question it
- Awkward data entry and payment processing methods that are susceptible to errors and delays
The big-company processes for streamlining AP and expense reporting are now available to small and medium-sized businesses. Your business can
- Enforce compliance so that authorized expenses and invoices are assigned to the right GL codes
- Set business rules that are specific to the type of invoice or expense so that the transactions are routed to the right departments or people for processing
- Manage international taxes and various currencies using compliant financial controls
- Implement reliable workflow processes that make approvals easier with email notifications and links to relevant documents that are scanned and stored digitally
- Integrate into back-office and accounting systems so that the transactions transition smoothly from one area of responsibility to the next
- Provide secured transaction information that is reliable and easily accessible for reference
- Utilize cloud technology so that transactions can be accessed safely and processed regardless of the location of the employee or manager
- Analyze and report on trends to evaluate your business AP and expense spending habits
Small and medium-sized businesses no longer have to rely on antiquated methods for their AP and expense reporting processes. Businesses of all sizes can take full advantage of the same technologies as the large corporations and compete with the big guys to grow their business.
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.