Top 10 must have features of Travel & Expense Management Solutions
Today with the businesses going global, there has been an increase in business mobility characterised by the employees and employers frequent travelling round the year, making the travelling expenses a major chunk of the businesses expenses, which was once the sleek contributor. The increased expenses leads to the increased complexity in the expense management procedure on day to day basis. In such scenario, Expense Management Solutions are acting as saviors making the process smooth and accurate. The growth of expense management industry point towards the increased acceptance of the expense solutions by the companies, and by 2020 it is expected to have more than $ 3 billion revenue worldwide. As the technology is evolving at a faster pace it will result the expense management solutions to be more and more relevant and sought after tool to tackle the employee’s expense report. Startups and tech savvy startup culture, increased small to medium size industries, transparency in NGOs funds, smartphone era, and need for increased accuracy in the expense report are some of the other important factors which has led the EMS to be embraced with open arms.
With large number of Expense Management Solutions providers in the market, it becomes obvious to get puzzled when it comes to choose one of them. Hence, let’s examine what are the key features that should be considered before going for it.
1. Cashless and Digital transactions:
One of the most important feature required is the provision of digital transaction. It makes the entire expenses management exercise easy and transparent. Using Mastercard or Visa removes the cash dependency, employees get a pre allocated budget through the card which can be spent and simultaneously the managers receive notifications of the expense. Similarly digitized payment modes through smartphone has reduced the cash carrying responsibilities of employees
2. Digital Receipts:
Earlier keeping the bills or receipts was the most important task for the employees to produce it for authentication, thus making the process for cumbersome and less accurate. Now with smartphones and features like OCR, (Optical character recognition) not only digital receipts can be uploaded but also the amount can be converted in editable format.
3. Ease of Expense Report generation:
The most important part of the entire process is the report generation, as the process itself begins with the expense report generation. Hence, the ease with which the report get generated is essential. By ease we mean here, the different options available to generate the report, which can include, mobile based report creation, giving real time data, email alert for the notification to be sent to the manger for quick verification and acknowledgment of the expense and OCR, the intelligent system to upload the images in editable format.
4. Travel Simplification:
Online travel requisition forms and integration with travel portals is the feature which has simplified the manual travel documentation and uploading exercise, eventually making the reimbursements and verification quick and accurate
5. Request Automation:
There are many instances when the employee needs immediate consent or authorisation for any particular expense reimbursements, automation is required in such instances. It can also help in validating the requests of reimbursements, and keeping a track of the requests.
6. Tracking Time:
Tracking the time feature helps the employees to get paid correctly on time and employers to keep a track of employee’s working hours. Tracking time sheet helps in avoiding malpractices of giving false details about the client visits and actual time spent in office . Employees can update timesheet online and access it through mobile
7. Mobile Compatible:
Being compatible with the smartphone is something which helps the expense management becoming more robust, and helps in better reporting and quick validating of the expenses. It is a must have feature for the expense management solutions.
8. Expense & Access limitation:
Keeping a limit on the expense is the feature which brings dynamism to expense management environment. Using it, employer can virtually control the amount spent by the employees. This feature helps the employer to automatically pull out the money from the cards (Mastercard or Visa) or the digital wallets given to the employees.Depending upon the size of the company the authorisation stages or levels for the expenses needs to be fixed, so as to avoid the leakages of data. Employees should be allowed to access only those data which they are entitled to access.
9. System Compatibility:
Any solution which you choose has to be compatible with existing systems or technologies of your company, some of them are Accounting Solution and ERP. In other words it means that the solution should be available on the platform which your employees and the department use, so that the transition becomes easy to incorporate and glitches can be avoided.
10. Expense Trends insight:
The data reports generated by the Expense Management Solutions helps the company to have an insight to the expense trends of its employees, this can help in making better strategic decisions.