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5 Reasons to Ditch Manual Expense Report Templates

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Sep 9th 2014
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Say goodbye to the days of manual expense reports. Automated expense management products have arrived in the market with advanced processes that are saving companies tremendous amounts of time and money. In fact, a recent study concluded that companies using this type of software spend 27 percent less than those using paper-based methods, and over 40 percent less for travel expenses (Runzheimer International, 2013). Here are 5 reasons why automated expense report software is revolutionizing the financial apps industry and forever changing accounting workflow.

  1. Data Entry Automation

Input expense data in a snap—literally. OCR (optical character recognition) technology now allows users to simply snap a photo of the receipt and pull in the pertinent information automatically. Merchant, date, and dollar amount are automatically extracted and populated into a new expense entry. With the smart categorization feature, the expense software learns and accurately auto-categorizes repeat expenses over time. This means no more manual expense data entry or creation of new columns for every expense category your company uses.

  1. Human Error Elimination

You'll never have to stress about accidentally double counting your receipts. With an intelligent automated expense solution, duplicate receipts are accurately identified and flagged for the submitter's review. Algorithms analyze the merchant name and total dollar amount to determine whether or not this expense has been previously entered.

  1. Increased Administrator Control

It's no secret that any company can benefit from greater visibility into the spending habits of its employees. Expense management software provides multiple approver level options to assure the correct managers have control over their respective departments. Many companies have specific policies on reimbursable expenses that are tedious to enforce in an Excel expense report template. Relieve that burden by automating your company expense policies to enforce the rules before they're broken.

  1. Quick and Efficient Corporate Credit Card Settlement

One of the more valuable aspects of using a premier expense management solution is the ability to plainly track both reimbursable and non-reimbursable expenses. Corporate credit cards can be automatically imported into the expense report and designated as non-reimbursable. This automated process allows for quick, efficient settlement of corporate expenses. This level of control is simply unheard of in a traditional Excel expense report template.

  1. Tight Integrations with Core Accounting Systems

Integration with top accounting systems is a key technical feature that requires a deep understanding of accounting and accounting systems. Deep integration allows for confidently accurate books, faster reimbursement to employees, and the reassuring notion that no errors have been made. Your expense management solution should do this seamlessly. If done correctly, you will eliminate any need for manual entry and ensure both systems stay synced. This level of confidence and accuracy in the expense report process is made possible only when the next generation of automated expense report tools seamlessly integrates with the systems you already use to run your business.

The age of efficiency and automation is here. It's time to ditch the expense report template and join the next generation of expense management. While there are a handful of expense management solutions available in the market, businesses are encouraged to evaluate each closely, and weigh heavily these five critical pieces that can transform software into a solution.

About the Author

Chris Farrell is the CEO and founder of Tallie, which simplifies expense reports and the expense management process, from point of purchase all the way through accounting and reimbursement. He founded Tallie in 2008 after spending 15 years in finance and accounting. Prior to Tallie, he was CFO of Occam Networks, Corporate Controller of C-Cube Microsystems and held various positions at Arthur Andersen LLC. He received his MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management and earned his CPA license in California.

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