Manual corporate expense management opens the door to fraud

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While expense management may not seem like a strategic process for driving company efficiency and scalability, it in fact it can be.

There is a new generation of AI-powered expense management solutions available to businesses of all sizes that integrate with commonly used business software that not only improve the overall work experience for employees, but can help set businesses up to scale efficiently.

Have you ever asked an accountant how much time s/he spends tracking down paper receipts for employee expenses and manual data entry? Hundreds of hours per month are spent in reconciling errors in expense reports and chasing employees for paper bills and incomplete expenses. In fact, 27% of organizations claim this task is a pain point in expense management.

Furthermore, accounting teams are required to manually check for policy violations by scanning through hard copies. All of these efforts are simply overhead tasks, and typically no insights are derived from them for the business. Clearly, these highly paid and highly talented folks are not utilized by businesses to their fullest.

Logging, tracking and reporting expenses is often a mundane process that most workers have come to accept as just a way of work life. Despite the fact that we’re living in a digital age, more than 70% of receipts used for expense reporting are still paper, the majority of those from instances such as buying food or fuel. Over the course of a business trip, those tedious moments add up quickly.

With automation, however, it doesn’t have to be this way. Across industries, automating processes helps businesses achieve a level of predictability and repeatability that supports business scalability. Anything a business can do to simplify day-to-day processes and make them more efficient puts the organization in a better position to scale. In this case, automation can streamline many aspects of the entire expense management process.

More importantly, however, this makes things much easier for employees across the organization. The automated process gives employees one less thing to worry about, and that level of ease can lead to improved morale that reverberates throughout the business.

A large portion of business expensing, particularly travel and entertainment, takes place well outside of the office, making it tough for decision-makers to monitor. And expense fraud is a real issue—the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners estimates that more than $7 billion was lost worldwide in 2018 to occupational fraud.

With the correct policies and enforcement in place, businesses save money from fraudulent expense reporting, whether it’s accidental or not.

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