Use Tallie’s Expense Reports & Internal Controls to Stay IRS Compliant Year-Round

A 2014 study by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners estimates that organizations lose an average of 5% revenue to fraud each year. Without strong internal controls, a company is at risk for theft, misappropriation of funds, and a major audit. Here’s how to use Tallie’s automated expense reports to prevent fraud and stay IRS compliant year-round.

Create (and automatically enforce) thorough company policies.

You cannot prevent expense fraud without first establishing clear, specific company policies. For example, you may permit employees to expense WiFi fees at a conference, but only up to $20 a day. Of course, even the most thorough policy is useless unless it’s properly enforced. Miscommunication, a lack of awareness, and ineffective management can expose a company to fraud and a potential audit.

Historically, the reinforcement of these policies has been tedious and time-consuming. Accountants had to manually respond to violations, re-educate employees about the company policy, and then wait for a corrected expense report. Now, modern expense report software eliminates the need for these manual processes.

Companies that automate internal controls not only save time and cost, but also decrease the likelihood of fraud. Tallie’s policy engine lets you create custom expense policies based on category, dollar amount, project, class and more. Any expense that violates these policies is automatically detected, and the employee is notified immediately.

Tallie-expense-reports-use-internal-controls-to-stay-irs-compliant-out-of-policy-flag

If an employee doesn’t understand why their expense was in violation, they can simply click the “Out of Policy” alert to learn more. This not only prevents unnecessary errors, but helps ensure that employees remember the company policy while making future purchases.

Tallie-expense-reports-use-internal-controls-to-stay-irs-compliant-out-of-policy-reason

Keep expense reports IRS-compliant with timely and accurate records.

IRS Publication 463 requires that your records be not only accurate, but timely:

“You should record the elements of an expense or of a business use at or near the time of the expense or use and support it with sufficient documentary evidence.”

(Publication 463, Cat. No. 11081L, Page 26)

Submitting your expense reports with Tallie satisfies both of these requirements. In the event of an audit, the IRS will expect you to provide consistent and complete records of all purchases and reimbursements, complete with legible receipts. To ensure you’re recording “sufficient documentary evidence,” we recommend using Tallie’s policy engine to require a receipt for any expense over $75, as per IRS document 463, chapter 5.

Tallie-expense-reports-use-internal-controls-to-stay-irs-compliant-set-policy-requirements

One of the major benefits of expense report software like Tallie is the ability to throw away your receipts after you’ve captured their image. But will the IRS really accept a picture of a receipt in lieu of the original?

Believe it or not, the IRS has actually accepted electronic documents, including scanned receipts, since 1997 (IRS Revenue Procedure 97-22). In order to be considered valid, the receipt (or receipt image) must include the merchant’s name and address, the transaction date, the amount paid, and the business reason for your purchase. All of this information can be stored within Tallie for easy access in the event of an audit. No more hunting through shoeboxes!

Tallie also allows you to store your receipts within your chosen accounting system. Exports to QuickBooks Online and Intacct include your receipt images as part of an attachment to the Bill (Intacct) or Bill/Check/Expense (QuickBooks Online.)

Tallie-expense-reports-use-interal-controls-to-remain-irs-compliant-attach-receipt-QBO

Tallie-expense-reports-use-internal-controls-to-stay-irs-compliant-attach-receipt-Intacct

QuickBooks Desktop users can take advantage of our direct integration with SmartVault, where their electronic documents can be stored and retrieved on demand.

Tallie is the best expense management solution for strengthening your business’s internal controls. You create your custom policies within Tallie–we’ll automatically enforce them. Want to see how? Schedule a free, 1-on-1 product demo with one of our experts.

Tallie How-To: Cash Advance Workflow in Intacct

Tallie and Intacct offer a first-of-its kind, no-click, real-time bi-directional integration. Below is the recommended process for handling cash advances when using Tallie and Intacct. This guide covers the following:

  1. How to issue an advance in Intacct.
  2. How to create a debit memo.
  3. How to create and pay the cash advance.
  4. How to apply account adjustments before paying the bill.

1. How to issue an advance in Intacct.

Open Intacct and go to Accounts Payable.

Click the plus sign next to Advances to reveal the Create Advance Payment screen.

Tallie-expense-reports-intacct-create-cash-advance-payment

 

Tallie-expense-reports-Intacct-cash-advance-2

 

Create the payment for your chosen Vendor. Make sure the payment is mapped to the appropriate clearing/holding account.

Note: If not mapped to a specific Advances account, Intacct will use the default offset GL account. You can change the default account on the Configure Accounts Payable screen (see Company > Subscriptions > Accounts Payable > Configure.) To ensure there are no errors after you click Save, be sure to choose a balance sheet account.

Depending on your Payment Request settings, your payment may need to be approved. Your accountant will first need to pay the bill for it to hit the account.

2. How to create a debit memo.

Go to Accounts Payable and click Account Adjustments.

Tallie-expense-reports-accounts-payable-account-adjustments

 

Click Add.

Tallie-expense-reports-intacct-ap-adjustment

You must make sure the following key fields are accurate:

  • The Adjustment Type is set as “Debit Memo.”
  • The Vendor is associated with the user receiving the funds. This should be the same Vendor assigned to the user under Tallie’s People > Mapping page.
  • The GL Account is the same Advance or offset GL account you mapped the advance to.
  • The Amount is the same as the cash advance amount.


Click Save to finish.

3. How to create and pay the cash advance.

After your employee spends the advance, they will submit their expense report in Tallie.

Once it’s approved, Tallie will automatically create a Bill in Intacct (see Accounts Payable / Bills.)

IMPORTANT: Do not pay the bill before completing the next step.

Tallie-expense-reports-intacct-accounts-payable-bills

 

4. How to apply account adjustments before paying the bill.

Go to Accounts Payable and click Select Bills to Pay.

Tallie-expense-reports-intacct-select-bills-to-pay

 

Now select the correct Vendor under the From Vendor drop-down. The Vendor should be a) linked to the employee in Tallie, and b) the same Vendor connected to the Debit Memo.

Tallie-expense-reports-intacct-vendor-filters

 

After you’ve selected the appropriate Vendor, click View.

You’ll see a list of bills alongside a list of applicable credits. Apply them to the Vendor’s bills before issuing payment.

Tallie-expense-reports-intacct-vendor-bill-list

Input the credit amount to balance.

Tallie-expense-reports-intacct-credit-amount-balance

Once the advance is applied against the bill created by the expense report, the employee payment is ready for reimbursement.

Want to learn more about our one-of-a-kind, no-click, real-time and bi-directional integration with Intacct? Schedule a 1-on-1 product demo with one of our experts. Or take advantage of our free 14-day trials— no credit card, no obligation.

Petty Cash & Out of Pocket Expenses: Finding the Right Solution for Reimbursable Expenses

Businesses have a number of expense management options. Many involve manual processes, and can put employees in a compromising situation. What’s the best choice for a business that wants to maximize efficiency while minimizing work?

Option 1: Paying expenses out of pocket.

Who it hurts: Mid-level employees, new hires, recent graduates.

Unlike executives, mid- and entry-level employees typically don’t have access to corporate credit cards. Instead, they are often asked to pay out of pocket. While this may not be a problem for high-earners, it can create difficulty for many employees, such as recent grads. In today’s economy, many workers struggle with debt, and simply cannot afford to pay for an entire business trip upfront. They may be unable or unwilling to float major charges on their personal credit cards, and resent being asked to do so.

Option 2: Cash advances.

Who it hurts: Accountants and administrators.

Offering a cash advance to your employees will keep them from having to front their own money. Unfortunately, cash advances are also incredibly time consuming. The documentation and reporting process requires tedious, manual work from your accountants. This is particularly frustrating in busy departments bogged down by numerous requests, especially during complicated projects.

Option 3: Petty cash.

Who it hurts: Accountants and administrators.

Some businesses keep a petty cash drawer as an alternative to their check-writing system. While this does cut down on paperwork, petty cash expenses are hard to accurately track. Without a written record, you won’t know how much of the total amount was actually spent on business. Not to mention, petty cash is impractical for major expenses like airfare. As with cash advances, if the actual expense ends up being more than the cash provided, your employee may be forced to go out of pocket after all.

Is there a better solution?

PEX Card is a prepaid business card that replaces the need for cash advances or petty cash. Cards are kept at a zero balance so you can allocate or remove funds as necessary–all with the click of a button. All purchases appear immediately within Tallie so you can authorize and monitor employee spending in real-time.

Meanwhile, Tallie automates expense management from front to back. Our smart features automatically flag potential errors, duplicates, and policy violations. Tallie even learns to auto-categorize your expenses over time.

To compare:

Tallie-expense-reports-pex-card-value-chart

Want to learn more about Tallie’s integration with PEX Card?  If you have any questions or comments, feel free to reach out to our Product Expert team at support@usetallie.com or by calling 888-874-1118 Ext 2.

Tallie How-To: Cash Advance Workflow & Expense Reports in QuickBooks Desktop

Automating your expense reports with Tallie is easy. Our bi-directional integration with QuickBooks Desktop forms an intuitive and customizable expense management solution. If you are a QuickBooks Desktop user who wants to create cash advances for your employees, here is the recommended workflow. This article will cover:

  1. How to create a cash advance account in QuickBooks Desktop.
  2. How to create and pay the cash advance.
  3. How to create the credit.
  4. How to apply the credit to the expense report.

1. To create a cash advance account in QuickBooks Desktop:

Open the Lists menu and click Chart of Accounts.

Click the Account button in the lower left corner, then click New.

Tallie-expense-reports-quickbooks-desktop-cash-advance-1

Select Other Account Types, then choose Other Current Assets, then click Continue.

Tallie-expense-reports-quickbooks-desktop-cash-advance-2

Complete the details for your account (name and description.) We recommend naming it “Employee Cash Advance.”

Click Save.

2. To create and pay the cash advance:

Click on Enter Bills under the Vendors drop-down menu.

Tallie-expense-reports-quickbooks-desktop-3

 

Input the amount you want to pay your employee, then map it to the Employee Cash Advances account.

Click Save and close.

Next, click on Pay Bills under the Vendors drop-down menu.

Check the box next to your newly created bill, then click the Pay Selected Bills button to cut the check.

3. To create the credit:

Click Enter Bills under the the Vendors menu, then select the Credit button.

Tallie-expense-reports-credit-quickbooks-desktop-cash-advance-4

Enter the amount of the cash advance, and assign it to the employee. Be sure to map it to your Employee Cash Advances account once again.

Click Save and close.

Check Your Work:  Click Lists and then Chart of Accounts.

Make sure that the Bill and Vendor Credit are both present and that the Employee Cash Advances Account has a zero balance.

Tallie-expense-reports-quickbooks-desktop-cash-advance-5

4. To apply the credit to Tallie’s exported bill:

After your employee spends the advance, they will submit their expense report in Tallie. Approve the report to export it to QuickBooks Desktop.

Open QuickBooks Desktop and click the Pay Bills icon on your Home.

Find your employee’s expenses beside their available credit.
• If your employee spent more than the total cash advance, the excess will be paid with the bill.
• If your employee spent less than the total cash advance, the remaining credits can be kept to use later.

NOTE: You may also ask the employee to pay back the difference right away. In some states, terminated employees are not legally obligated to repay any advances or loans to their ex-employers.

Check the box next to the bill, then click Set Credits.

Check the box next to the credit, then click Done.

Tallie-expense-reports-quickbooks-desktop-cash-advance-6

Now that the credit is applied, click Pay Selected Bills. The bill should now be marked as paid.

Tallie-expense-reports-quickbooks-desktop-cash-advance-7

Want to take advantage of our integration with QuickBooks Desktop? Automate your expense reports with Tallie FREE for 14 days – no credit card or commitment required. Care for a walkthrough by a trained expert first? You can schedule a free Tallie product demo with one of our experts.

Tallie How-To: Cash Advance Workflow & Expense Reports in QuickBooks Online

Tallie’s bi-directional integration makes it easy to import data from expense reports into QuickBooks Online. If you are a QuickBooks Online user who wants to create cash advances for your employees, here’s the best solution. This article will cover:

  1. How to create a cash advance account in QuickBooks Online.
  2. How to create and pay the cash advance.
  3. How to create the credit.
  4. How to apply the credit to Tallie’s exported bill.

1. To Create a Cash Advance Account in QuickBooks Online:

Click on Transactions, then Chart of Accounts, and then New.

Select Other Current Assets as the category type, which will reveal Employee Cash Advances. Select this option.

Tallie-expense-reports-quickbooks-online-cash-advance-1

Click Save.

2. To create and pay the cash advance:

Click on the plus icon, then and select Bill under the Vendors column.

Input the amount you want to advance your employee, then map it to the Employee Cash Advances account.

Tallie-expense-reports-quickbooks-online-cash-advance-2

Click Save and close.

Next, click the plus icon, then select Pay Bills under the Vendors column.

Click on your newly created bill, then select Make Payment.

Click Save and close to cut the check.

3. To create the credit:

Click the plus icon, then select Vendor Credit under the Vendors column.

Enter the amount of the cash advance, and assign it to the employee. Be sure to map it to your Employee Cash Advances account once again.

Click Save and close.

Check Your Work: Click Transactions and then Chart of Accounts.

Scroll down to the Employee Cash Advances account and click the arrow under the Action column. Select Report from the drop down menu.

Tallie-expense-reports-quickbooks-online-cash-advance-3

Make sure that the Bill and Vendor Credit are both present and that the Employee Cash Advances Account has a zero balance.

Tallie-expense-reports-quickbooks-online-cash-advance-4

4. To apply the credit to Tallie’s exported bill:

After your employee spends the advance, they will submit their expense report in Tallie. Approve the report to export it to QuickBooks Online.

Tallie-expense-report-quickbooks-online-cash-advance-5

Click Pay Bills under the Vendors column in QuickBooks Online.

Find your employee’s expenses beside their available credit. Occasionally the expense and credit amounts are equal. However:

  • If your employee spent more than the total cash advance, the excess will be paid with the bill.
  • If your employee spent less than the total cash advance, the remaining credits can be kept to use later.

NOTE: You may also ask the employee to pay back the difference right away. In some states, terminated employees are not legally obligated to repay any advances or loans to their ex-employers.

Tallie-expense-reports-quickbooks-online-cash-advance-6

Click the employee’s name, then the Make Payment button.

Tallie-expense-reports-quickbooks-online-cash-advance-7

You may now apply the credit. Check the boxes next to the Vendor Credit and Bill.

Tallie-expense-reports-quickbooks-online-8

A popular, fast-growing alternative to cash advances is the PEX Visa Card. PEX Cards allow you to preload funds for your employees without the risk of misuse. All charges made on your PEX Card appear immediately within Tallie for review.

Want to learn more about Tallie’s integration with QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Online? Check out these helpful guides:

QuickBooks Online & Beyond: What It Means to Have True Bi-Directional Integration for Expense Management
Five Reasons to Make the Switch to QuickBooks Online for Expense Management and More
Invoicing Expenses in QuickBooks Online: Optimize Billable Expenses Through Service Items, Attachments and Markups

Automate your expense reports with Tallie FREE for 14 days – no credit card or commitment required. Care for a walkthrough by a trained expert first? You can schedule a free Tallie product demo with one of our experts.

Scared Straight: Expense Fraud & 5 Ways to Prevent It

Airfare for a cancelled flight. A $50 travel meal of Ketel and sodas. Pay-per-view movies lumped into the nightly hotel room rate. Expense fraud is easily overlooked due to its seemingly insignificant financial impact relative to other risks a business faces day to day.  When committing expense fraud or turning a blind eye on an incident, it’s easy to believe a few bucks here and there won’t hurt but there is more to consider. Expense fraud affects companies far beyond the financial realm. It deteriorates ethical culture and could evolve into very serious problems if an organization ever undergoes an IRS audit. In fact, companies typically lose 5% of their revenue to fraud each year, resulting in $3.5 trillion projected to be lost globally (Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, “2012 Report to the Nations”).

Without clear and firm guidelines of expense reports, employees are left making assumptions and are more likely to inflate or submit fictitious expenses. Moreover, lack of proper documentation may result in prosecution if the company undergoes a regulatory audit.

Tallie-Expense-Fraud--travel-2014

If you’re worried about this often overlooked threat – we’re here to help. Follow these 5 easy steps and protect your company from falling victim to expense fraud:

1) Establish and enforce detailed policies for expense report submission

Define your company’s set of expense report rules. Some examples include: expense report submission within # of days post transaction; receipt requirement for expenses over $25; hotel receipt itemization coded to its respective category (pay-per-view movies go under “Entertainment,” and room service belong to “meals”), etc. With today’s latest expense report software, you can create custom policies by project and enforce expense dollar limits by category, by day or by item. The more specific the expense policy, the safer you’ll be from questionable reports or rejections, and faulty employee assumptions.

2) Have backup plans in case of an inadvertent internal policy violation

The reality is that exceptions may occur regardless of the clear guidelines. You have the choice to immediately reject the expenses, or have a protocol that specifically deals with situations like this. We recommend the latter, as the first indirectly encourages employees to provide falsified proof in order to make their expenses fly. We recommend an expense report software with out-of-policy options that immediately alert the employee of violations prior to submission – so you don’t have to waste time manually checking.

Example scenario: an employee was running late to a conference and forgot to ask for a receipt for his taxi ride. Considering a receipt is a requirement for ground transportation, what other evidence can this employee supply in place of the missing receipt?

3) Design and carry out proper expense review procedures

An effective expense review flow should involve the project manager or a supervisor, as she is familiar with what expenses are required and can spot suspicious transactions more easily. In addition, it’s ideal to have a secondary review of the expenses by a finance or accounting associate before reimbursing the employees. Rather than focusing on each expense’s necessity, this secondary reviewer identifies any noncompliances with the company’s expense policies and ensures the integrity of supplemental documentation in case of an internal or tax audit. Custom approval routing is a critical expense report software feature to invest in that automates and customizes expense review and approval based on your company’s policy.

4) Utilize data analytics to stay on top of expense reporting trends and reimbursement status

Graphs and charts are handy when it comes to viewing the distribution of expense reimbursements by category/employee/projects, etc. Maintaining a consistent expense reporting practice and staying on top of the reimbursement status also minimizes the chance of delayed or duplicate reimbursements.

5) Investigate when necessary, and remember, it’s all about the “tone at the top.”

The best practice to prevent expense fraud is diligent review, however, some perpetrators might still fall through the crack despite your best efforts. Therefore, it’s crucial to communicate company guidelines and educate the consequences of expense fraud to the employees. Two guidelines we recommend: 1) clearly convey every expense policy violation – small or large – will have consequences; and 2) demonstrate equal treatment across all levels of expense policy violators. After all, copycat behaviors are common at the workplace, and establishing the right “tone at the top” would help foster good ethical culture across the entire organization.

When considering the expense software solution that not only streamlines your company’s workflow but also safeguards you from expense fraud, Tallie successfully does both. A user-friendly mobile app, automatic data import, smart matching and categorization make expense report creation a breeze; while Tallie’s duplicate expense auto-alerts, immediate, “along the way” out-of-policy flags, custom expense limits, and policy-based approval routing will keep expense fraud incidents at bay.

Which of these 5 tips are you and your company following to protect against expense fraud?

Alcohol Expenses: What’s Lavish & Extravagant vs. Ordinary & Necessary?

Alcohol as a beverage has been around for ages, with some of the earliest documentation dating back to 7000 BCE. That means that humans have been consuming alcohol for over 9,000 years! Now, the relationship between alcohol and societies has seen its ups and downs. The spectrum ranges from ancient cultures worshiping gods centered around alcohol to the U.S.’s modern-era Prohibition. Some could argue that a lot of greatness came from the convergence around alcohol, like the building of nations and the works of Ernest Hemingway and Edgar Allan Poe. While others could argue to the destruction it can cause, like the tens of thousands of deaths every year that are due to alcohol related incidents.

So, where does that leave us with alcohol’s role in the modern business world?

Tallie-IRS-alcohol-expenses

I know it, and you know it. Alcohol is in business. Now, by no means should alcohol consumption be pressured upon anyone, but it’s something that is very commonplace in society. A 9,000 year old habit won’t die easily.

According to Publication 463 by the IRS, a business-related meal expense “include(s) amounts spent for food, beverages, taxes, and related tips.” The terminology used by the IRS on this topic is actually quite vague, and leaves a lot to the individual auditor’s opinion in terms of acceptable beverages. Never in the publication does it state a specific quantity or dollar amount as “the line.” So, it’s hard to say exactly what is ordinary and necessary versus lavish and extravagant when it comes to expensing alcoholic beverages.

When discussing this topic with my CEO, Chris Farrell, we both agreed that taking Richard Branson for a business meal and expensing a $500 bottle of wine for the three of us would probably get the “OK” from the IRS. But, doing the same for an average client would likely not pass. This would suggest the qualification of “ordinary and necessary” is largely scenario-based.

Now consider taking a client to dinner and drinks, then expensing $100. The IRS probably won’t bat an eye. But, if you spend $500 on that same client, the expense might not pass. In this case, the qualification of “ordinary and necessary” is dollar-based.

But, what if you buy multiple drinks for $50 or, in the same scenario, buy a single bottle of wine for $100. In this situation, the pass/fail will probably fall on the quantity of alcohol.

Confusing, right?

Now picture your own scenario. Is your alcoholic expenses judged on scenario, price, or quantity? Not only are the guidelines nondescript, but now there are three separate “options” for which your expense on alcohol can be deemed lavish or ordinary.

Expensing alcohol is an extremely tricky process and there’s no black and white cut-out for you to reference. So while we tackle the last of our 2013 IRS Tax Returns and come across those very vague alcohol related instances, remember this: when in doubt, don’t expense it.

Have you experienced a situation that involved expensing alcohol? Leave your questions and stories in the comments below!

Top 5 Tips for IRS Record Keeping & Expense Management

Have questions about best practices relating to expense management? Tallie serves as a powerful receipt repository, so our Product Expert Team is well-versed in the do’s and don’ts of record keeping. Essential to any business, record keeping and proper documentation is critical to an optimized expense report workflow.

Fortunately, IRS regulations have evolved technologically, and electronic records can now directly replace hard copies. Gone are the days of filing cabinets stuffed with paper receipts! If an electronic system can efficiently and reliably house a complete reproduction of hard copy records, the IRS approves of businesses ditching paper copies. Here are some of the most common questions that the Tallie Product Expert Team receives regarding keeping records:

1. How long do I have to keep my records?

As a rule of thumb, CPAs tend to follow a 7-year rule (CPA.Net), although the IRS only requires that records be kept for as long as the tax return can be amended. There are regulations surrounding what changes can be made to a tax return post-deadline, including how long companies must retain records. For example, if you filed and paid your taxes on time, you have 2 years to file a claim for a refund. You would have to keep your records for that 2 years.

IRS-publication-583-period-limitations

2. Do you know of any instances where a receipt would not be required?

There are two examples in IRS Publication 463: If your expense, excluding lodging, is less than $75 OR if you have a “transportation expense for which a receipt is not readily available.”

3. Are there different documentation requirements for different types of expenses?

Yes. For example, for entertainment expenses a record must include the specifics (cost, date, location, description of type of entertainment) in addition to a description of the business purpose for the entertainment, the people that were in attendance, their business relationship, and whether or not your employee was present at the entertainment.

Conversely, gifts only require a record of the cost, the date it was purchased, and a description of the business gift. Here are additional details on what is required to prove specific types of expenses:

Tallie-IRS-expense-record-keeping-prove-expenses

Generally, as long as the record has the date, amount, merchant and any additional pertinent details, that should suffice (IRS table 5-1, pg 26). Most receipts have all of that information; however, Tallie transaction tiles  also have text field “Reasons” where additional information can be added. Companies that use Tallie can easily pull the address from the receipt image or look up attendee names in their CRM system.

4. Are there any types of expenses that I can combine to reduce the amount of records I have to keep?

Yes, there are a few types of expenses that can be combined. If you are traveling and take multiple taxis throughout the day, they can be combined into one taxi expense. Also, if you take a client out for drinks, even if you pay for each round separately, you can combine them into one expense.

5. Are my cancelled checks sufficient records for expenses?

No, not as the sole piece of evidence. Cancelled checks do have to be accompanied by a bill from the party the check was written to or some other form of documentation.

In the spirit of tax season, the Tallie Product Expert Team would like to know what questions you may have regarding proper record keeping and expenses best practices. Leave your questions in the comments below and we will reply immediately!

Expense Reports: Uncovering the True Cost to a Business

With software automation revolutionizing business accounting workflows, many accountants believe that automating the expense report process will be cumbersome and expensive. Tallie is here to set the record straight. Let’s break down the facts and falsities revolving around expense report automation in the accounting world:

tallie-expense-report-software-truth

Belief: Automated expense report solutions will not save me enough time to make it worth my while.

tallie-expense-report-truthFalse.
Tallie CEO Chris Farrell applied his 15 years of accounting experience to calculate the average time to complete one end-to-end expense report using traditional methods. The result was a whopping 91 minutes. By using an automated expense reporting tool, Chris found that the average time it takes to complete the same expense report is 32 minutes. That translates to a 67% time savings. Broadened to a high level perspective, an average of 40% of transactional accounting time is spent on accounts payable, with almost half dedicated solely to expense reports. That means you can free up over 10% of this time for other tasks.

Tallie-expense-report-time-cost-saving

Belief: Automated expense report solutions will cost an arm and a leg.

tallie-expense-report-truthFalse.
While a number of expense report options are available on the market, companies will reap the highest value through a product’s ability to integrate seamlessly with their accounting ecosystem. The value of expense report software becomes compromised if it cannot deeply integrate across multiple accounting systems. Tallie has very competitive pricing at $9/user/month. Broken down, that is less than $0.36 per day.

Belief: Things are fine the way they are. I do not have to spend the money to use a tool like this.

Tallie-expense-report-trueTrue.
You do not have to use an automated expense report solution. However, according to a recent report by the Aberdeen Group, the average cost of an expense report by traditional methods is $31. Alternatively, the average for an automated expense report was just $15. Again, cost savings exceed 50%. Combine cost savings with a suite of compliance tools (policies, groups, multi-level approval routing), internal control (duplicate identification, project accounting, general ledger mapping), and analytics tools, the decision quickly becomes easy.

To many, the move towards an automated system can seem daunting and expensive. But upon further exploration, it becomes clear that the truth is quite the opposite. Automation has revolutionized productivity for many industries over the years; now it is the accounting industry’s turn. By automating the accounting workflow, companies experience immediate savings in both time and finances. So don’t ignore the facts of a quickly changing industry. Become a part of the change, and explore the powerful benefits of adopting cloud-based software for your business’s accounting workflow.

REFERENCES:

Dwyer, C.J. (February 2010). The State of Travel and Entertainment Expense Management. Retrieved from http://www.aberdeen.com/aberdeen-library/6039/RA-travel-entertainment-expense.aspx

Top 5 Reasons to Ditch the Expense Report Template

Say goodbye to the days of manual expense reports. Automated expense management products have arrived in the market with advanced processes that are saving companies tremendous amounts of time and money. In fact, a recent study concluded that companies using this type of software spend 27% less than those using paper-based methods, and over 40% less for travel expenses (Runzheimer International, 2013). Here are 5 reasons why an automated expense product could revolutionize the financial apps industry and improve your accounting workflow:

1 – Data Entry Automation

Input expense data in a snap – literally. OCR (Optical Character Recognition) technology now allows users to simply snap a photo of the receipt and let the pertinent information populate automatically. Merchant, date, dollar amount, and expense category can all be automatically extracted and populated for you. This means no more manual expense data entry or creation of new columns for every expense category your company uses.

expense-report-template-excel

The manual Excel expense report template seen above is revolutionized by expense management software products.

2 – Human Error Elimination

You’ll never have to stress about accidentally double counting your receipts. With an intelligent automated expense solution, duplicate receipts are accurately identified and flagged for the submitter’s review. Algorithms analyze the merchant name and total dollar amount to determine whether or not this expense has been previously entered.

3 – Increased Administrator Control

It’s no secret that any company can benefit from greater visibility into the spending habits of its employees. Expense management software provides multiple approver level options to assure the correct manager has control over their respective departments. Many companies have specific policies on reimbursable spend that are tedious to enforce in an Excel expense report template. Relieve that burden by automating your policies to enforce policy before it’s broken.

4 – Corporate Credit Card “Reconciliation”

One of the more valuable aspects of using a premier expense management solution is the ability to plainly track both reimbursable and non-reimbursable expenses. Corporate credit cards can be automatically imported into the expense report and designated as non-reimbursable. This smooth process allows for quick reconciliation of corporate expenses. This level of control is simply unheard of in a traditional Excel expense report template.

5 – Tight Integrations with Core Systems

Integrating with QuickBooks is a key technical feature that requires a deep understanding of accounting and accounting systems. Deep integration allows for confidently accurate books, faster reimbursement to employees, and the reassuring notion that no errors have been made. Your expense management solution should do this seamlessly. If done correctly, you will eliminate any need for manual entry and ensure both systems stay synced. This level of confidence and accuracy in the expense report process is made possible only when the next generation of automated expense report tools seamlessly integrates with the systems you already use to run your business.

The age of efficiency and powerful automation is upon us. It’s time to ditch the expense report template and join the next generation of expense management. Learn more about how Tallie has incorporated all of these features and more by visiting our website.