We have already given a brief introduction of “Expense Management“, but we wanted to dive deeper into what expense management actually is and how it can help your organization. If you’ve any queries, or insights into how you manage expenses in a small business then leave us a comment – we’d love to hear from you.
What is Expense Management?
Expense management (EM) refers to the policies set up by an organization to process, pay, and audit expenses initiated by an employee. These expenses include, but are not limited to, the amount incurred for entertainment and travel. Expense management includes the procedures and guidelines that govern such spending, also the services and technologies applied to process and analyze the data associated with it.
Expense management systems can also be used for sole traders to manage and monitor their business expenditures. Expense management has two primary elements: how a business pays for their items and how they track that expenses.
The main purpose of expense management is to trace how the employee is spending behaviour and the way the business pays for the prices that are incurred.
Types of Expense Management :
- Petty Cash Management – This is a type of expense management which is a very small amount of cash kept in the hand to cover all the expenses which are very small to bother writing a check. Business purchases such as birthday celebrations of the staff, office supplies, paying the utility bills, postage are impractical to pay all these by credit cards or cheque.
- Travel and Expense Management – This is commonly referred to as TnE, which is defined as a method to organize and manage the travel arrangements and the costs for traveling employees. Employees can create and submit a travel or expense request through a mobile app that gets validated automatically. Based on the approval, the finance team might then process the request of the employee in just a single click.
- Purchase management – This is the management of purchasing goods and services for the organization. The purchase department will look after all these processes in order to ensure that all the goods, inventory and supplies which are needed for the organization to operate are ordered and kept in stock, as well as control the inventory levels and all the costs that are associated with the purchasing of items.
Expense Management – Is it difficult?
Managing your employees’ daily spending has always been a bit challenging task. Whether it’s office supplies, travel expenses, or any other staff member’s expenditure, these all are never an easy job.
Managing expenditures can be a tough job, especially if you’re processing expenses from various employees. You will quickly find yourself becoming confused with the number of receipts, without a proper system in place. It can be challenging to establish an audit trail if spendings aren’t processed promptly. Also, finding the time to process expenses as they come through can be equally difficult when you are running a small business.
Delay in the processing and payment of personal spendings could result in issues in both your business and personal cash flow. Delaying in paying employee expenses, then you may also face problems with reduced morale.
Unfortunately, when you use a manual system delay can be common. To work smartly and hasslefree – it’s worth looking at expense management tools like those available in SalesBabu Business Solutions. Our Online Expense Management Software will allow you to enter and track your expenses from a centralized location.
We’ve also introduced a good efficient features – means you can add out-of-pocket expenses like tea/coffee, food or transport tickets with just one click. Tools like this mean that you’re no longer stacking receipts up until you have a chance to sort through them, you’re simply logging them and paying them as you go! Take a Free Demo.
Employee Expense Management Policy
The most efficient way to manage employee spending through your business is to set up a company expenses policy. A company’s expenses policy should describe what you will and for what you won’t pay for.
You should ensure that your expenses policy is crystal clear and concise; easy for everyone to understand. In case, if expenses policy is not clear whether or not spending is permitted, employees can be permitted to try to apply for it. This extra work creates a lot of paperwork, so taking the time to clarify and pare down your policy, in the beginning, will save admin’s time in the long run.
Once you’ve reviewed and created a final copy of your policy, make it easily available and visible to your employees. This will help save on invalid expense applications, which will minimize your admin work and free up more of your important time.
As the ultimate owner of the business and of the expenses policy, it’s your duty to ensure it remains up-to-date and evolves in line with your business. You may find the policy needs updating as the number of employees keeps growing or the company expands to incorporate new and different types of expenses.
What to have in an Expense Management Policy in your Business
Your expense management policy should clearly define what is and isn’t classified as a work-related expenses.
There are mainly two types of employee expenses: ones that are paid directly by the company on behalf of an employee, and ones that the employees pay and then claim back in the form of reimbursement.
Most of the expenses are related to business travel, so make sure your policy includes trains, taxis, fuel (if employees are using their own car) etc. If your employee’s travel is international, add sections covering legal document expenses like Visas and any vaccinations or medical expenses needed. You may also include an allowance for business materials or meals purchased during the trip.
It is always recommended to include an expense limit so that you can effectively budget. You may, for example, agree to reimburse a meal up to £14 – with the employee covering the rest of the cost themselves.
For further reference, you may also define a list of non-reimbursable expenses and include them like:
- Expenses incurred by non-employees who join your employees on a business trip
- Any unapproved upgrades, such as hotel suites or first-class travel
- Any personal purchases made during the trip, such as clothes or for entertainment
- Fines incurred while on the trip (like speeding tickets)
- Personal trips
You may also want to add disclaimers so that you aren’t liable to replace lost personal property like luggage.
Your company’s expense policy doesn’t necessarily have to be comprehensive, as it will evolve to suit your business and employees. Employees of your organization should be encouraged to clarify whether their expenses are permitted.
It’s always advisable to create a business culture where, if employees are unsure of whether an expense will be reimbursed, they can check with you in advance. This will help them prevent problems such as you having to pay out for unnecessary expenses, or employees becoming resentful when they have to pay for what they thought was a business expense.
Managing your Business Expenses
When it comes to managing your business expenses, SalesBabu Online Expense Management Software offer an ideal solution with best features needed by companies. You can handover a prepaid cards to your employees and can manage all expenses in our cloud based expense management software. It means whatever your is spending can be recorded in our solution at real time; and you can access it from anywhere, anytime
We offer you an opportunity to centralise your expense management function, so that all outgoing business costs come from the same place. This also creates a much simpler audit trail.
To learn more about SalesBabu Employee Expense Management and how you can save with our exclusive offer, click here: https://www.salesbabu.com/crm/online-expense-management-software/
Expense Management Process
The Expense Management process includes the below tasks:
Entering Expense Reports
For work-related expenses request like business tour expenses, relocation expenses, or tuition expenses, employees must enter and submit expense reports. Each and every expense report have a header and detail records. The header record shall contain employee’s address book number, expense report type, and other general information. And the detail records will have information about each of the expenses incurred. Pre-submission of the expense reports, employees can review that report totals and verify the amounts spent. Employees can also print reports for their records.
Expense Reports Approval
Most of the companies need expense reports to be approved by managers or supervisors reimbursing the expense to the employees. Managers can either approve or disapprove of the employees’ reports. If an expense report is approved by a manager, the system changes the expense report status to indicate that it is ready for an auditor to review, if required, or ready for reimbursement. If the manager disapproves of any expense report, the system notifies the particular employee and the employee must revise and resubmit the report for the approval process.
Expense Reports Audit
Once the expense reports are submitted and, if needed, approved by the authorized person, they might need to be reviewed by an auditor. It is the auditor’s responsibility for verifying and approving receipts received, and for approving reports that contain policy exceptions or reports submitted by employees who are monitored. The expense workflow framework uses the policy audit limits and rules to determine which expense reports must be reviewed by an auditor. It depends upon the Auditors, whether he approve or disapprove of the reports. If an expense report is accepted by the auditor, the system changes the status of the expense report to indicate that it is ready for reimbursement. And in case, if the expense report is rejected by the auditor, the system notifies the employee and the employee must modify and resubmit the report.
Reimbursing employee expenses
Once the expense report status reaches the reimbursement process stage, it is then available for reimbursement processing. You can initiate reimbursement and generate the appropriate accounts payable or time card records. The system will then generate records based on the reimbursement method that you specified in the employee group profile or the employee profile. After processing the expense report, the system automatically notifies the employee.
Are you ready to simplify your receipt and expense management process? Organizations of all shapes and sizes rely on our online Expense Management System to save time.
Manage your organization’s entire expenses by using our automated online expense management system. The best way to manage employee expenses in your business by setting up company’s expenses policy. This policy will develop a framework, what you will and for what you won’t pay for.