Companies who choose not to automate their travel and expense (T & E) processing could not only be missing out on potential savings but also losing the opportunity to cut down on travel and expense claim fraud – so says a PayStream Advisors’ survey.
Recent research from the financial process market authority shows that 36 percent of companies in the US now automate their travel and expense processing and that implementation of T & E management solutions is on the rise.
Traditional manual paper expense processing is time-consuming and laborious – with data entry prone to error, it’s heavy on storage requirements, and authorisation bottlenecks and distribution problems are common.
And yet it is a process businesses cannot do without – few organisations do not require employees to travel at some stage.
Business T & E costs rising
It is also a growing cost for businesses – almost 60 percent of the PayStream survey respondents reported that expenditure on travel and expense had risen over the last three years.
Travel (fares, petrol, etc) and associated costs are going up – and the amount of business travel itself is also set to grow.
This rise in cost associated with T & E has also seen many more businesses moving to require receipts for all expenses rather than for reimbursements over a certain financial limit. More than half (52 percent) of PayStream’s surveyed companies say they now need receipts for all expenses, up on the 44 percent figure of the previous year.
Which all adds up to even more T & E paper, greater processing time, and higher T & E processing costs.
Automate T & E: remove the paper, speed up the process and reduce the costs
An expense processing solution removes the need for paper distribution and streamlines the whole reimbursement process:
the claimant creates an expense form online, with an option to electronically attach through scanning relevant receipts
the form (and receipts) are routed directly to the appropriate individual for authorisation
once authorised, financial data is posted to the company ERP for payment.
The expense form and receipts are available for instant access 24/7, and audit trails and management and information reports mean the whole process is now far more transparent.
Expense processing has just become easier for the claimant, for the approver
and for the expense processing department.
Additional benefits of automating T & E:
no more data entry by the finance team – avoiding mis-keying errors and getting rid of their time commitment
completing the expense form is easier – default options are provided and many fields can be automatically populated
no more lost or forgotten claims – in-built automatic escalation and notification flags ensure processing is on track
queries, errors and rejections can be resolved swiftly – resulting in happier employees.
And automation also brings increased control, reducing the risk of fraud
Automating T & E processing not only means there’s less opportunity for error – but also reduces the risk of fraud.
The online business resource Fresh Business Thinking reports that, according to recent surveys, between 5 percent and 20 percent of expense claims are either magnified or completely fictitious.
A travel and expense solution enables businesses to ensure travel and expense rules are adhered to, with expense claims approved by the relevant authority in accordance with company policy.