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Covid-19 leads to higher degree of acceptance of expense management systems by organisations

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By Raj N

Covid-19 has disrupted normalcy in every sphere of our life and is also impacting the business and investor community around the world. With countries in various stages of lockdown or loosening confinement periods, it is becoming clear that the virus has particularly impacted small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). In the given circumstances, a solution that companies are effectively adopting is an expense management platform. An expense management platform ensures reminding, recording, reimbursing, recompensing, or remunerating on time. The pandemic had already caused massive disruption among small businesses around the world in just weeks after its onset and almost 43 per cent of businesses had temporarily closed due to Covid-19.

Real time payment systems and card-based payments are expected to grow rapidly during these times. About 38 per cent of consumers are likely to move to contactless payments setting new norm for payments. Expense management solutions are now becoming holistic with the seamless integrations with human resource management tools. Paper bills and spreadsheets are slowly becoming a thing of the past and approvals are far easier to get online. Traditional means of managing expenses come at a cost, a quantitative and qualitative cost that can dampen the pace of business.

Use of traditional expense management is now an old way of keeping a track of expenses. With an automated expense management, admins and finance teams are likely to spend less than half the time they spent while using traditional methods. Employees can simply upload images of receipts, where the expense management software can automatically extract specifics reducing unnecessary efforts of creating expense report manually, collecting and verifying the receipts of each expense. It can eliminate all these non-value adding activities – reducing the expense reporting time by 90 per cent and increasing the productivity by 70 per cent.

Here are few benefits of expense management solutions:
• Reduces the processing time:
Travel and expense solutions can help reduce time and effort of a person who is associated with managing expenses. Employees can now capture receipts and attach them to the appropriate claims using their mobile device. Expenses can be recorded as they happen so that managers can quickly review and approve claims. This method of recording expenses reduces the time spent on analysis and reporting so that you can focus on other activities.

• Enhances productivity:
Time spent by the employees in creating and submitting reports on a manual maintained expense system is something that has hampered productive working time. With the use of expense management solution there is no need to fill out long forms and attach a lot of documents to travel expense reports. All one needs to do is take a snapshot of the receipt, confirm a few bits of information, and then forward it to the manager for approval.

• It streamlines processes:
In manual work, confusion can take place and the process will get delayed when the stakeholders are not clear about the process. If these things are not written in stone, employees will have to wait until someone on the upper echelon intervenes and resolves the issue. If the process is not clear, approval of expense reports can be disastrous. With the help of expense management solution, it becomes easier for the managers to keep a track of the expenses easily and there is no need to wait for longer time for the approval.

• Reduces processing cost:
The cost for manually processing reports is 100 per cent more than doing it with an automated expense management solution. If a company processes hundreds of reports per month, the cumulative cost to the budget is substantial. Mobile expense management solution allows to snap a photo of receipts, reducing manual entry and input errors associated with it. There is also a lesser chance that a non-compliant report will pass through the system, once guidelines are set for the software to follow.

• Employees reimbursement:
It takes time to get employee reimburse on the time by getting approval from the manager or because of an inefficient and outdated expense management system that can’t handle multiple requests at the same time. With an automated expense system, they have visibility on the status of their reports and receive notifications if there are any missing information that needs to be validated.

Considering expense management solution which helps in installing robust policies and limits while managing expenses in combination with other features such as the OCR tool that automatically captures the information of the receipts/bills and the ability to carry out audits to check adherence to policies has been very well adopted by organizations who have adopted its spending goes a long way in improving the overall financial discipline in an organization.

(The author of this article is Raj N, Founder and Chairman, Zaggle)

If you have an interesting article / experience / case study to share, please get in touch with us at [email protected]


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