Expense management is the system a company uses to process, pay, and audit business expenses. This may include, but is not limited to, employee travel and entertainment and reimbursements (e.g., office supplies). With an expense management process, a business reimburses employees for what they spent on business-related matters. And generally, businesses set up policies and procedures, so employees know what counts for expense reimbursement. Business expense management gives you insight into employee expenses and helps you categorize spending.
1. Setup a policy: First thing that you need to do to kick-start your expense management program is to setup an expense management policy which should be clearly documented outlining key aspects around which expenses can be reimbursed, which expenses cannot be reimbursed, steps required by employees to claim a reimbursement, tentative timelines around approval and payouts of reimbursements.
2. Discipline, Parity & Transparency: You need to ensure that you are maintaining discipline by strictly following the documented expense management policy. You must ensure to stay fair and transparent to all your employees by ensuring that no exceptions are made outside the documented policy guidelines. Also, you need to ensure that employees are following the guidelines on their part without any irregularities.
3. Automation Software: If your volume of expense reimbursements increases to the extent that it requires too much manual efforts then it is advisable to invest in an expense management automation software for small businesses. This will help you save manual efforts, time, avoid human-errors and allow you to focus on your businesses. Some small business focused solutions like Otterz provide you an in-built expense management software along with their payments and banking offering suite.
4. Accounting Software Integration: Try to find an expense management software solution that integrates with your accounting and payroll systems. Integrating makes things a breeze from all sides. When you integrate with your accounting, you don’t have to worry about updating your books. And if you find a solution that integrates with your payroll, you can reimburse your employees faster.