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It is not uncommon for organizations to see their unplanned spend items like employee-initiated spend on travel and entertainment spiral out of control. There are many factors that lead to this – lax policies, inadequate checks, and general lack of visibility – to name a few. To control expenses, and to make the process of expense management easier and more effective for employees to handle, organizations need technology like online expense management software. The software has remedies for all the ills that commonly plague expense management business functions in organizations, and ensures that everyone can handle their tasks conveniently and effectively.
With spend management software, there is no laxity in the implementation of company travel and expense policies. Indeed, the whole process follows the policy instead of the other way round, as happens in manual expense management.
This means that instead of giving scope for policy violations and taking action later, the software ensures that employees are not given the scope for violations of the reporting of those violations. When you implement comprehensive expense software with all the integrations like travel portals, hotel booking engines, and so on, everything will be done from the same solution by following the right ways. Also, it happens that some organizations do not have effective policies, or are not always vigilant in enforcing those policies. Lack of resources or expertise lead to this, and these can also be remedied with the software. It equips stakeholders in the expense management process, be they the expense makers or approvers or senior management, with the skills they need to manage expenses effectively.
The software also offers scope for complete customization of tasks in expense management. This is especially useful in approvals since different organizations have different ways of routing their expense reports, and have different rules on approvals. Some will need single approvals while some need multiple, and some need the expense reports to be signed off in writing, while some need not. Expense software is flexible enough to meet all these needs.
Lastly, coming to visibility, we already mentioned how the comprehensive solution can be used to manage all aspects of expense management. This means that anyone with the right credentials, as senior management is likely to have, will be able to understand what is going on. Also, the access is secure and will need users to enter their own credentials, which will also ensure that there is a trail that can be audited as and when necessary.
Moving on to one of the biggest factors that contribute to the lack of effective control of spend, expense fraud can be recognized and controlled with the software. Expense fraud happens in a number of ways, often which are very creative and do not allow to be tracked, but there are some factors that contribute to its occurrence, and these can be controlled by using the software. Some of the points mentioned above, like lack of oversight, and laxity in policy enforcement, lead to fraud, and when you already have a handle on the above, you are reducing that much scope for fraud. Further, since all the acts of all the stakeholders are completely visible, and can be audited whenever necessary, employees to shirk from committing fraud as they can be caught immediately.
All in all, expense management functions in many organizations are often out of whack and follow traditional policies that do not really help the organization but in fact, hurt it. In contrast, the organizations that use technology like expense management software will be much better equipped to deal with the different issues that expense management throws up.
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About the Author
Rachel Smith works for SutiSoft, Inc as a web content writer. Rachel covers business, technology and SaaS trends.
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