Corporate travel is complicated for most parties involved. Employees hitting the road must ensure that all of their arrangements are in place and keep track of how much they spend throughout the trip. When each staff member returns, managers and accountants must make sure the worker is reimbursed for what was spent on food, transportation, lodging, and other required costs.
The majority of organizations deal with these struggles, particularly those whose employees travel on a regular basis. Some firms — 17 percent — have workers who travel 25 weeks or more out of the year and about half of all companies process 500 or more expense reports each month, according to Paystream Advisors.
Whether your business takes part in occasional travel or employees are leaving on trips every other day, your company most likely deals with the same headaches and complexities as other enterprises.
Reporting and Organizing Expenses: The Hurdles
Often, it's not the actual travel that makes things difficult for businesses and their employees. Reporting and organizing the associated expenses, processing and approving reports, and supporting quick reimbursement presents numerous challenges for companies both large and small.
But what pain points are shared among these organizations, and what can be done to address them?
1) Inefficient and Costly Manual Processing
Now that so much mission-critical business activity takes place in the digital sphere, there's no reason that expense reporting shouldn't be on this bandwagon. However, according to numerous studies, a surprising number of companies are still using paper spreadsheets and other manual processes for their expenses.
This is a challenge shared by 37 percent of organizations, according to a study from Paystream. Processing reports manually is also expensive and time consuming — PYMNTS.com reported that businesses using paper-based expense reporting waste a total of 3,000 hours processing by hand and correcting errors. What's more, each incorrect report costs a company $58 and 18 minutes to create and fix.
An advanced expense reporting solution like Tallie can help businesses eliminate error-prone and tedious manual processes with an innovative, mobile-friendly system. Reports can automatically be checked for errors, and the time it takes to process and approve these is considerably reduced.
2) Lack of Compliance with Spending Policies
Businesses put spending policies in place for a reason: ensuring that employees are reimbursed for corporate expenses while remaining in line with the company's budget. However, without granular visibility and categorized spending, it's difficult to spot any overspending or transactions that don't qualify for reimbursement. A report from Aberdeen Group found that 49 percent of businesses struggle when it comes to policy compliance.
Tallie can alleviate this pressure as well. When employees report a transaction, it is automatically categorized, providing report approvers with the necessary visibility. What's more, Tallie flags any spending that violates corporate policies, saving your company time and money.
3) Slow Reimbursement
Among traveling employees, one of the biggest complaints is having to wait long cycles for reimbursement. This isn't just frustrating, but it can also create financial stress for workers trying to make ends meet.
Businesses must better support their workers by processing and approving reports as quickly as possible to enable streamlined reimbursement. Tallie alerts approvers when reports require their attention and offers email-based approvals. These types of innovation can cut processing time by as much as two-thirds, allowing employees to receive reimbursement as quickly as possible.
To find out more about how Tallie can help your business tackle its most pressing expense management pain points, contact us for a free trial today.