Roadblocks in processing expense claims

Posted by  Elise Toulman

In a study conducted by Unit4, in association with Ruigrok | NetPanel it was revealed that many professionals must wait for more than a month before their expenses are paid by their employer. Unsurprisingly, this results in frustration, and ill-feeling toward the company on the part of the employer, with some employees believing that the process benefits their employer financially in some way.

It’s easy to understand that a slow and inefficient travel and expenses solution will potentially leave employees short-changed - and therefore short-tempered - but the organisations also suffer with frustrated finance teams and overwhelmed accounts departments.

What stalls the processing of expense claims?

The research also revealed that at least two out of five employees feel their employers’ expense claim process is time-consuming, with professionals spending anything from two and a half to five and half hours a year submitting expenses claims. So what’s the hold up? And what’s stopping employees from learning to love their travel and expense reports?

Slow Submission

Perhaps the most obvious barrier to an efficient Travel & Expenses solution is the time it takes for staff to log their paperwork. From road warriors to accounting, busy employees don’t want to have to use their free-time to file their reports.

A snappy solution: A cloud-based expenses tracker helps employees keep track of businesses expenses as and when they are incurred. A simple system via an app, that requires little-or-no training and relies on intelligent automation will track routes, store cost calculations and create receipts; all by storing photos of receipts submitted by employees.

Sluggish Sign-Off

Workload, annual leave, absenteeism… there is a multitude of reasons that the approval of expenses gets delayed, but a manager not being familiar with the process, or the regulations as to what is and is not allowed to be claimed will also stall the entire process.

Getting rid of guesswork: Managers who are using an expenses app won’t need to know the rules of compliance for expenses inside out. With built-in checks and policies, they’ll no longer be confused by claims, and able to sign-off reports quickly and with confidence.

Manual Handling

No matter the process, when there is an element of manual checking, you will find delay. From navigating complex spreadsheets and unreliable data, to inconsistent or missing claims, people inevitably get detained by detail.

Untangled automation: Save hours of time by eliminating manual checks. An expenses solution via the cloud standardises all data and unifies systems allowing for faster processing of information. Complicated-yet-repetitive uploading tasks are no longer the responsibility of employees, and managers no longer need to trawl through spreadsheets populated with conflicting data.

The Payroll Bottle-Neck

Even when all is submitted, filed and approved, the final step in the reimbursement of expenses is also cause for delay. Whether employees are repaid through the payroll process, or separately into their account, the extra administration is yet another manual stage in the expenses process.

Pre-approved payments: Automatically directing payments that have been pre-approved straight into the relevant employee’s account again removes any unnecessary manual effort.

How does your Travel & Expenses processing compare?

Communicating best practice, providing support and ensuring compliance in expenses reporting is necessary but time-consuming. Automation will reduce the amount of time and resource assigned to the expenses process, and will offer a real-time view of what is being claimed and when, benefitting your entire business model.

Learn if your Travel & Expenses system is a roadblock and how it can impact your business with Unit4’s Travel & Expenses Checklist.

Elise Toulman