Traditional corporate expense payments leaves data on the table

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Implementing expense policies is one thing, while enforcing them is quite another. The most efficient way for businesses to enforce their expense policies is to build pre-set rules into their expense management platform so they’re enforced in real time.

Doing so leads to a number of benefits, including expedited approvals, the elimination of manual errors, improved work efficiency, reduced manual communication and the ability to replicate complex workflows with ease.

When expense reporting is handled using an automated and centralized platform, all of the data that is entered gives decision-makers the ability to easily analyze which spending has the greatest contribution to business goals, and which spending does not. It also gives businesses visibility into which vendors employees use most often so they can potentially negotiate discounts. These savings can then be reallocated into business development.

For the purpose of scaling a business, there are three main data groups that organizations can analyze:

Insights. This gives decision-makers data around where money is being spent, including how much and how often. They can parse the data and organize it by category (food, travel, entertainment, etc.), by department within the organization, and by top vendors within a given vertical (flights, hotels, etc.).

Risk. This helps businesses prevent and ultimately eliminate expense fraud by highlighting the areas that are most prone to risk. The data can be analyzed to see which employees violate policies most frequently, which employees spend during weekends, as well as which employees are simply spending the most.

Operations. Analytics help organizations optimize their operations around expense management. For example, they can easily gain visibility into the average time it takes from the time an expense was incurred to when a report is submitted. Generally speaking, the longer an organization has an automated expense management solution in place, the faster employees report their expenses.

On the most basic level, scaling a business involves taking on an increased amount of work and sales in a way that's efficient and cost-effective. Making use of modern expense management is one way that every business can scale; it helps organizations save both time and money. Automated and easy-to-use expense management speeds up adoption and improves the overall work experience for employees, eliminating tedious tracking of receipts and freeing up time to do more meaningful and rewarding work.

This newfound cash flow can be reinvested in other areas of the business and put it in a better position to scale. In addition to preventing fraud, benefits include:

Setting employee expectations. Policies help employees understand how much and where they can spend, as well as how the company will process their expense.

Audit readiness. This is a major incentive to setting expense policies — aligning with tax and compliance guidelines laid down by governing authorities to stay both compliant and audit-ready.

Defined roles and responsibilities. A key part of setting expense policies is to identify the stakeholders around them: Who is responsible for what? This helps define the roles of various functions across the organizational expense reporting workflow.

Spend control and insights. Setting policies allows organizations better control of their bottom line and preventive measures to put overspending in check.

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