Credit Card Transaction Management: How Expense Reporting Software Helps

Business expenses incurred on credit cards are increasingly common. Employees make out-of-pocket personal card charges that they pass on to an employer for reimbursement. Or employees use corporate cards issued by the business to make non-reimbursable charges. 

But keeping accurate records of each charge can be difficult without manually reviewing and approving each charge.

What if there was a better way? A more automated way? 

Your expense reporting software can help with credit card transaction management. Here is just some of the functionality to look for. 

Pro Tip: If you need a comprehensive list of features to look for in expense reporting software, we’ve got you covered. Download our free guide to finding expense reporting software.

Credit Card Transaction Management: Features to Look For

Corporate Card Statement Imports

Your solution should be able to import corporate credit card data by:

✔ Setting up auto import;

✔ Uploading a credit card statement; or

✔ Uploading a credit card bank file with sub-accounts

Look for a central view into issued corporate cards to see unexpensed transactions before month’s end. The ability to distinguish reimbursable and non-reimbursable expenses will help determine employee payment and support clean reporting.

Corporate Card Statement Reconciliation

Rather than manually coding credit card transactions, your software should enable a check-and-confirm management experience that eliminates hours of work on monthly reconciliation. 

Once your company is pulling in credit card transactions, your software should be able to:

  • Auto-categorize expenses that come in
  • Mark expenses as possible duplicates
  • Auto-match receipts with transactions
  • Set up rules for classifying or categorizing transactions

This transforms the laborious multi-day credit card transaction coding experience into a check-and-confirm management experience that takes just minutes out of your cardholders’ day at the end of the statement period.

Card Issuing

Your solution should allow companies to issue virtual and physical cards to their employees that draw from the company funds. This gives your company end-to-end control over employee expenses.

Issued right from within Tallie, administrators can set spending rules for where, when, and how much an employee can spend for approved expenses. The company can then kick off automated expense reconciliation after a card is swiped. Think of it like a debit card that gives you more control with preset rules that’s connected to the software you use for expense management. 

Related: Get our handy evaluation toolkit here to help you find the best solution for your small business. 

Approval Workflows

Want a catch-all, default approval workflow? Or, looking for the option to set up multiple levels of approvals? Your expense reporting software should allow you to do either. 

With approval workflows, each expense can pass through a variety of approval controls specified by your company. Your software should be able to:

  • Configure manager approvers on an employee basis
  • Create a global approver whose sign off is required on all expenses
  • Automate approval routing based on spend, project, or management structure

As an approver, you should be able to see all outstanding expenses routed to you at a glance. 

As a result, you can trust that each credit card transaction is being routed to the right person, at the right time for approvals. 

Integrations with Accounting Software

Your software should connect directly to your accounting or bill pay systems. Ideally, it should do so through automated syncs — removing the need for manual syncs on your end. 

These integrations mean your software delivers fully coded expense data directly into your accounting or bill pay system in your preferred format, including bills, checks, expense reports… and credit card transactions. 

As a result, you can trust that your accounting and reimbursements are accurately taking credit card transactions into account.

Find Your Expense Reporting Software

Our how-to guide walks you through the process of finding the right solution for your business. It includes: 

  • ROI calculations for your next solution
  • Features to look for
  • An interactive evaluation toolkit

Download the buyer’s guide to expense reporting software.

Control and Compliance Features Your Expense Reporting Software Must Have

Good expense reporting software will provide more transparency into your expense policy and make compliance easier. 

With internal controls, employees are guided through only submitting in-policy expense reports. Admins can focus on approving in-policy expenses, and individually addressing exceptions to the rules as they arise. And your company can protect itself against theft, misappropriation of funds, and a major audit. 

Here are some of the compliance and controls features to look for. You can find a full list of the features and functionality your expense reporting software should have in our free guide

Functionality: Expense Policy Compliance and Internal Controls

Communication Tools

The majority of issues causing expenses to be red flagged or rejected are often cleared up with a simple question or additional information. Use a solution that makes communication more efficient — and, ideally, ties each communication to the expense it relates to. 

Look for:

  • Chat
  • Commenting
  • In-mail

Notifications can also make it easy for admins to know when a compliant expense report has been submitted — and automatically flag out-of-policy expenses for employees. 

Automated Policy Rules

The ability to automate controls is another benefit of using software to manage expenses. A solution’s system-triggered rules allow you to catch issues before expenses are even submitted and sets up card issuing without a hitch. 

Look for policy rules that boost compliance by automating your expense policy to prevent or warn of out-of-policy expenses before they’re submitted. Some common rules to consider setting include:

  • Requiring a receipt
  • Requiring the submitter lists the related project
  • Setting expense limits based on categories, spend thresholds, billable status, etc

Expense Categorization Unique to your General Ledger

A solution that syncs with your accounting systems can pull in accounting lists for use during expense categorization and coding. 

Look for the ability to auto-categorize expenses based on your company General Ledger (GL), not default consumer codes. Expense categories can map to a GL account based on the merchant, amount, and previous categorization behavior, for example. 

This ensures control over the accuracy of your line item data on export to your accounting system. Added bonus: It also saves you time.

Transparency

Generally, there is a lack of transparency between companies and employees around policies for business spend and reimbursements. Even if a company provides their team with a written expense policy, it is often not immediately accessible as an expense is being incurred. 

An expense management tool is a bridge between your finance team and employees. It provides you with a place to store your written expense policy, while automating control with pre-set rules, and provides a central place for communication about specific expenses. It removes hurdles while increasing control and transparency.

Find Your Expense Reporting Software

Our how-to guide walks you through the process of finding the right solution for your business. It includes: 

  • ROI calculations for your next solution
  • Features to look for
  • An interactive evaluation toolkit

Download the buyer’s guide to expense reporting software.

Features to Look For in Your Expense Report Software

Looking for expense report software for your small business? As you evaluate solutions, you’ll want to understand what features are available across platforms, how they’re best implemented, and how they work in the solution.

To get you started, we’ve gathered our suggestions of the key features and functionality to look for below. We’ve also created a comprehensive guide to finding the right expense report software. You can download it here.

Expense Report Software Features & Functionality

Submitting and Approving Expenses

Speed and Convenience

Mobile apps for Android and iOS

Capture expenses as they happen for better data from employees. Reviewing and approving expenses from an app is more convenient for managers and expedites bookkeeping.

Automated receipt scanning (OCR)

This feature uses Optical Character Recognition (OCR) algorithms to identify key expense data for import in seconds. 

Linked business credit cards

Syncing a card speeds up the submission process, and leads to easy and streamlined approvals. 

Automated expense creation

Look for features such as matching receipts to card feed transactions, reading receipt data, auto-drafting and suggesting expenses, and categorizing expenses based on past behavior.

Integrated accounting system lists

Seek out accounting system integrations with an “activity-based sync.” Your expense reporting software will immediately pick up on changes made to list data in your accounting or bill pay system. 

Simplified travel expenses and booking

In addition to a user-friendly travel booking experience, look for integration with expenses, automatic enforcing of your expense policy, and travel-specific dashboards or reporting.

Mileage tracking

For frequent travelers, mileage tracking can be a frustrating, manual process. Look for a solution that can track and calculate mileage for employees — employees just need to hit “start” and “stop,” and enter their departure and destination addresses. 

Workflow and Organization

Approval hierarchy

Look for the ability to add levels of approval, such as a user manager, project manager, or monetary threshold. This helps control departmental spend and improve policy oversight.

Company organization

Be sure you can group employees by department, teams, and projects. This will affect how your policy is applied, the automation rules you can create, reporting, and accounting syncs.

Non-employee users

You may need the flexibility to invite users outside of your small business for actions such as providing access to your accountant, paying contractors, or reimbursing interview candidates.

Credit Card Transaction Management

Corporate Card Transaction Integration

Your solution should be able to import corporate credit card data by:

✔ Setting up auto import;

✔ Uploading a credit card statement; or

✔ Uploading a credit card bank file with sub-accounts

Look for a central view into issued corporate cards to see unexpensed transactions before month’s end. (Your data should only be entered once reconciled, ideally through a report that matches the card statement.) The ability to distinguish reimbursable and non-reimbursable expenses will help determine employee payment and support clean reporting.

Corporate Card Statement Reconciliation

Rather than manually coding credit card transactions, your software should enable a check-and-confirm management experience that eliminates hours of work on monthly reconciliation. Once your company is pulling in credit card transactions, your software should be able to auto-categorize the expenses that come in. It should also have functionality that can mark expenses as possible duplicates. 

Card Issuing

Your solution should allow companies to issue virtual and physical cards to their employees that draw from the company funds. This gives your company end-to-end control over employee expenses.

Issued from your solution, administrators can set spending rules for where, when, and how much an employee can spend for approved expenses. The company can then kick off automated expense reconciliation after a card is swiped. Think of it like a debit card with preset rules that’s connected to the software you use for expense management. 

Related: Get our handy evaluation toolkit here to help you find the best solution for your small business. 

Expense Policy Compliance & Internal Controls

Your solution can help enforce your expense policy by solving communication challenges and automating policy enforcement.

Communication

The majority of issues causing expenses to be rejected are often cleared up with a simple question or additional information. Use a solution that makes communication more efficient — and, ideally, ties each communication to the expense it relates to. Look for:

  • Chat
  • Commenting
  • In-mail

Automated Policy Rules

A solution’s system-triggered rules can allow you to catch issues before expenses are even submitted and set up card issuing without a hitch.

Look for policy rules that boost compliance by automating your expense policy to prevent or warn of out-of-policy expenses before they’re submitted. 

Transparency

An expense management tool should provide you with a place to store your written expense policy, while helping you implement rules and communicate about specific expenses.

Integrations With Accounting Software

Any tool that you add to your finance toolkit should work well within your existing ecosystem. Your expense reporting solution’s data should automatically flow into your accounting software, matching expense categories to your existing chart of accounts and mapping custom expense fields like customer or department. Your integration should also help automate bookkeeping by matching and reconciling expenses with bank debits.

Also, be sure that you can download your expense data as a .csv or PDF file. 

Reporting and Analytics

Finance is being asked more than ever to produce data and insights to help companies make strategic business decisions. The information from company expenses is valuable data. 

Reporting & Data Tracking

Your reporting should help you provide context and tell a story about topics such as return on marketing spend, customer acquisition and retention costs, and spend by project. It should also index expenses individually, storing data in individual fields. This will allow you to pivot your spend data to add context to strategic decisions. 

Look for software that:

  • Sorts data based on merchant, category, user, class, project, etc. over any time period
  • Syncs and tracks data from your integrations, such as your accounting system

Audit Preparedness

Source documentation and soft copies of expense reports with approval history should be automatically sent to your system of record, such as your accounting system or bill pay system.

Support

There will always be times when you or your team needs assistance or has questions.

Consultative Services

If you want a team to lean on, consider a solution that offers services like:

  • Administrative services that manage day-to-day operations and system changes of your expense reporting tool, while providing best practices. 
  • Approval services that can offload the approval process from your in-house team, to ensure compliance and protect internal relationships. 

Customer Support

Reach out to Support as if you were a customer. Make sure your concerns are addressed in a time period that you feel is appropriate. 

Look at a solution’s

  • Social media channels
  • Reviews on sites like G2 Crowd and Capterra
  • Phone, chat, and email availability

If you anticipate needing faster, in-depth support for urgent matters, research whether premium support is an option too.

Documentation

The ability to troubleshoot issues will help you keep your expense report software up and running. Proper documentation and videos should be available to get you through common issues and questions, for both you and your team.

Before you purchase, comb through the support documentation. Does it seem helpful? Is it easy to understand? Read through any FAQs. 

Reimbursements and Cash Flow Management

Your solution should make reimbursing employees as easy as possible. Look for integrations with bill pay systems, such as Bill.com, that provide a central place for reviewing all payments — both for expense management and accounts payable.

Employees’ experience and wait time for funds is an important — often overlooked — consideration for reimbursing expenses. Real time systems can initiate reimbursements as often as you approve individual expenses — meaning employees can get quickly reimbursed. 

Ready to take the next step in your search? Our guide has a solution evaluation toolkit, complete with a pre-evaluation worksheet, feature evaluation worksheet, and questions to ask. Download it here.

Calculate the ROI of Your Expense Report Software

The expense report process can be notoriously time consuming. Manually submitting, reviewing, reimbursing, and recording expenses adds up. For a small business — often with finance teams that wear many hats — that time can add up.

Expense reporting software can automate many parts of the process, saving you time and money down the road. So if you’re wondering whether to make the switch to expense reporting software for your small business, then understanding the return on investment of a solution is a good place to start. 

And if you’re looking for expense reporting software, our guide walks you through the process

The ROI of Expense Management Solutions

If you’re interested in a general idea of ROI for an expense management solution and don’t want to spend the time analyzing internal costs, The Aberdeen Group published data on averages for expense report processing:

  1. Average business cost to process a single expense report without expense report software is $20.65
  2. Average of 1.5 expense reports submitted per employee per month
  3. Average business cost to process a single expense report with expense report software is $7.50

Calculating the ROI of Expense Management Solutions

The basic ROI calculation is:

(Monthly Savings – Business Cost to Process Expense Reports)
————————————————————————
(Business Cost to Process Expense Reports)

To find out your monthly savings, you’ll need to know what your current average cost per month is to process your expense reports. If you don’t have this data and want to use Aberdeen’s data, multiply the industry average to process a single expense report by the number of expense reports you process per month (again, you can use the industry average per employee and multiply it by how many employees you have if you don’t know).

Current Monthly Processing Costs

(current cost to process a single expense report)
X
(# of expense reports processed per month)

Next, figure out what it would cost with an expense management solution in place to process your monthly expenses. This will be based around some assumptions of how much time you think you’ll save from your current way of doing things, or again, you can use Aberdeen’s data.

New Monthly Processing Costs

(new cost to process a single expense report)
X
(# of expense reports processed per month)

Subtract the new costs from the current costs to get an understanding of your monthly savings.

Finally, you can calculate how much of a return on investment an expense management solution would be by subtracting the new monthly processing costs from your savings and dividing the total by your new monthly cost. In other words what you want to know is, yes the costs are lower per month, but is the difference worth the effort?

Using Aberdeen’s data, the ROI calculation would look like this for a company with 150 employees:

[$20.65 x (150 x 1.5)] = Current Monthly Processing Costs of $4,646.25

[$7.50 x (150 x 1.5)] = New Monthly Processing Costs of $1,687.50

[$4,646.25] – [$1,687.50] = $2,958.75 in monthly savings

or an ROI of ($2,958.75 – $1,687.50) / $1,687.50 = 75%

This translates to saving almost $3,000 a month on processing costs: meaning the investment in a new system will return 175% of what you paid.

Ready to kick off the search for expense reporting software? Download our free guide.

Tallie & Bill.com: Automatically Sync Your Systems to Reimburse Employees Faster

Reimbursing employee expenses can be a time-consuming pain for your small business’s finance team. Uploading expense reports to bill pay systems, and syncing accounting, bill pay, and expense reporting systems yourself each day. Manually reviewing expense reports and reimbursements to confirm everything has synced. It all takes valuable time away from more significant work. 

Your finance team deserves an easier, faster way to reimburse employees. That’s why Tallie’s expense reporting solution was selected as Bill.com’s preferred expense report solution. In fact, “the ease of transferring expenses to Bill.com” is what Peter S said he liked best about using Tallie for his small business. 

This article shares how your small business can benefit from syncing Tallie with Bill.com. 

The Overview: Tallie and Bill.com

Anyone using Tallie to manage their expense reports can integrate with Bill.com. When doing so, your reimbursable and non-reimbursable expense reports can automatically create bills to digitally reimburse your team and pay your credit card vendors. Here’s how it works:

  1. Employees use Tallie to record their expenses.
  2. Your finance or accounting team reviews and exports them to Bill.com for reimbursement.
  3. Bill.com makes the payment; all updates in Bill.com come into Tallie within the hour.

Tallie customers rate the Bill.com integration as incredibly easy to set up.

How Tallie Saves Your Business Time

Activity-Based Syncs

Tallie and Bill.com offer an instant, real-time, and automatic data sync called an “activity-based sync.” Data is recorded and synced each time a change happens to list data in your accounting or bill pay system. Everything stays up to date — no manual work required.

That means when a record is edited in Tallie, the update is reflected immediately in Bill.com. When an update is made in Bill.com, it’s reflected in Tallie within the hour. Tallie syncs any accounting information into Bill.com, including receipt images, billable flags, and recording the bill as paid. 

It all saves you and your finance team time to focus on the work that drives your business forward.

Increased Productivity

Employees can use Tallie to easily submit their expenses. They snap a picture of their receipts and Tallie does the data entry. Internal controls and rules prevent employees from accidentally submitting a non-compliant expense report. 

Finance and accounting teams can review expenses trusting that they’re compliant. Once ready, they can export reports to Bill.com for reimbursement. Bill.com and Tallie handle the rest. 

The result is less time spent on expenses for everyone involved — and increased productivity as a result. Employees can submit expenses faster and finance teams can reimburse faster as well. 

Everything in One Place

Tallie’s connection with Bill.com gives accountants a centralized platform for managing all payables, no matter the ERP. 

If you also use accounting software like QuickBooks, QuickBooks Online, or Intacct, the Tallie + Bill.com integration can also synchronize with that data to ensure everything runs smoothly. All accounting data is always in sync with Bill.com. 

Ready to explore the Tallie and Bill.comn integration for yourself? Contact us for a demonstration or sign up for a free trial today.

Manhattan Soccer Club Reimburses Employees Faster After Switching to Tallie

Manhattan Soccer Club, or Manhattan SC, is a non-profit dedicated to developing skilled athletes and superior teammates. Manhattan SC fields teams at the community, regional, and national level — with over 1,000 players representing more than 700 families. 

Expense Reporting Challenges

Before choosing Tallie, Manhattan SC wanted to address the following challenges with their expense management:

  • Reimbursing employees faster
  • Implementing an approval process and workflow
  • Automating receipt scanning and transcribing receipts
  • Ensuring accuracy of data
  • Obtaining approvals from people managers
  • Tracking expenses incurred on behalf of clients or non-employees

Results After Switching to Tallie

After switching to Tallie, Manhattan SC has saved 6+ hours per month and started seeing a return on their investment in under 1 month. Manhattan SC has also seen an improvement in their finance team’s productivity and a decrease in overall stress. 

Manhattan SC especially saw improvement in how easy it was to reimburse employees and integrate with their accounting and bill pay systems. 

The speed to reimburse employees and volunteers” is the biggest business impact since starting to use Tallie, said Samual Arnoff, Controller. 

Solutions

Manhattan SC chose Tallie over other expense solutions like Expensify and Divvy because of Tallie’s ease of use, automation, integrations, and easy implementation. 

Ease of Use

After switching to Tallie, Manhattan SC could finally enjoy an expense management process that was easier for both employees and Tallie admins. With Tallie, employees can submit expenses by simply snapping receipt images with their phone and letting the system populate their expense reports for them. Admins can enjoy streamlined approval workflows, real time integrations with accounting and bill pay systems like Bill.com and Quickbooks Online, and credit card reconciliation — all of which helps them more easily reimburse employees on time. 

Automation

After switching to Tallie, Manhattan SC was able to automate expense workflows — seeing efficiency and productivity gains as a result. Tallie automations include: 

  • Expenses automatically added to reports with their data populated
  • Categorization of expenses based on general ledger
  • Expense reimbursements and credit card statement remittance through Bill.com
  • Rule enforcement to stay compliant with expense policies
  • Credit card expenses with receipts
  • Detection of expense duplicates

Integrations with Bill.com and Quickbooks Online

Tallie’s integrations with Bill.com and Quickbooks Online provide a complete and seamless expense report and bill payment solution. The data syncs are instant and automatic — when a record is edited in Tallie, the update is immediately reflected in Bill.com and Quickbooks Online, and when an update is made in either platform it is reflected in Tallie within the hour. Employees use Tallie to submit their expenses, the finance team reviews and exports to Bill.com for reimbursement. The result is time saved for everyone involved. Learn more about Tallie’s integration with Bill.com and with Quickbooks Online

Fast and Easy Implementation

Manhattan SC found that getting started with Tallie was easy for everyone involved. The Tallie team is available for training and support setting up, connecting the integrations, connecting credit cards, adding users, and more. Online resources like videos, articles, live trainings, and PDF user guides are also available. 

Additionally, Manhattan SC cited the following Tallie functionalities as especially helpful for their expense reporting process: 

  • Credit card transaction management
  • Analytics and data transfer
  • Approval workflows
  • Receipt processing

Explore how Tallie could save your small business time and money. Start a 14-day free trial today.