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:


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

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.


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

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.

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.


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