Is your wallet stuffed with business receipts that you just don’t have time to organize? Do you dread preparing expense reports? Does your bookkeeper spend an inordinate amount of time chasing down those tiny pieces of paper and explanations from salespeople in far-flung regions? How often do your employees feel cheated out of reimbursement because they lost proof of valid expenditures?
In other words, is your business still being held hostage to the dreaded paper receipt? It needn’t be. Not when there are so many affordable, easy-to-use and IRS-accepted electronic receipt solutions on the market.
With today’s cloud-based employee expense management software solutions, employees can use their smart phone to quickly and easily manage their receipts and expense reports electronically.
After downloading the software app onto their phone, users simply snap pictures of their receipts as purchases are made. In many programs, the software will “read” the receipt and post the date of purchase, vendor name and amount paid into the expense report. Some programs have smart coding technology, where the software will also code the transaction to a general ledger account (Travel, Meals & Entertainment, etc.).
Prior to submitting the expense report, the user simply checks the accuracy of the information, adds additional data if needed (such as whether the expense is billable to a client, project or department), and then clicks the Submit button to send the report and receipts electronically to the Approver.
Approved expense reports can be synchronized into many accounting systems, including QuickBooks, Xero, Sage Intacct, and NetSuite, just to name a few.
Naturally, each expense management software solution has its distinct set of features and benefits. One might be better than another for your company, so do your homework. Here are some of the key advantages over paper receipts that most or all of these solutions share.
Ease of use – Capturing photos of your receipts with your smart phone is a snap. Simply aim and click. Training on the software itself typically takes no more than ten to 15 minutes.
Immediacy -- In the pre-technology era, you’d have to wait for your road warriors to hit the home office before they’d fill out and turn in expense reports -- after a lot of nudging. With today’s apps, they can electronically add a transaction to an expense report right at the table in a restaurant or at the end of the day in a hotel room, when memories are still fresh. An administrative user on the account can see the details in real time.
Seamless sync -- These software solutions can be fully integrated into your accounting system software, automating yet another step in the reporting process. Gone are the days when a bookkeeper or accountant has to manually enter an employee expense report to get the information on the company books.
Confidence -- Say goodbye to misplaced and disorganized piles of receipts. Feel confident that your receipts are audit-ready in electronic form.
Affordability -- Costs vary (often as little as a few dollars a month per user, and volume discounts are often available) but all of these solutions beat the time-consuming and laborious task of manually collecting, tabulating and storing paper receipts.
Does electronic expense reporting seems like an improvement from your company’s current process? If so, investigate your options, view a demo or get a free trial of the solution that might work best for your company.
Donna Woronka, CPA is the Chief Client Officer at WEST, a division of at Wiss & Company, LLP. You can reach Donna at (973) 994-9400 or firstname.lastname@example.org