What do you think employees and managers prefer to spend their time doing? Controlling and approving expenses or doing their “actual” job? Your answer is probably the latter. I will go ahead and state that the answer would be the same for everyone else.
I will be the first to admit that the question is a caricature. But, of course, no one wants to spend too much time controlling and approving expenses.
Many people spend a disproportionate amount of time on this particular task. These are often employees in senior positions. Employees who may be employed to develop and grow the organization – not to perform manual control work.
Hvis din virksomhed kan genkende ovenstående scenarie, så har vi gode nyheder. Det er muligt at lette den administrative arbejdsbyrde omkring både dokumentation, kontrol og bogføring af udgifter, således at virksomheder og medarbejdere kan bruge deres tid på værdiskabelse. I dette blogindlæg præsenterer jeg Visma Acubiz’ bud på hvordan du kan minimere arbejdsbyrden med kontrol og godkendelse af bilag.
Time is money
Let me start by challenging the very existence of this blog post by asking the question:
Is the time aspect of controlling and approving expenses a challenge at all?
I understand if you ask yourself that question. It can’t be that big of a problem, right? It is certainly not the biggest challenge facing companies either. Far from. When we write a blog post on the subject, it is because we meet companies that spend too much time on it and have issues complying with their own policies regarding control and approval.
It takes time for an employee to check and approve expenses. This applies both to the employee in the finance department, who must review and bookkeep the expense, but it also applies to the manager, who must approve it. If your company still handles expenses manually with physical receipts and excel sheets, then the time consumption is simply even greater. Plus, it increases the risk of errors.
Det er ikke spild af tid at kontrollere og godkende udgifter. Det anbefaler vi, at du gør. Men det er spild af tid at bruge for meget tid på det. Det kan gøres smartere. Arbejdsbyrden til dét kan minimeres.
According to users of Acubiz, there is almost nothing more frustrating than managers who are slow to approve their expenses – especially if it is out-of-pocket expenses. The manager may be slow because he or she knows the task is tedious. However, if something is a source of frustration for employees, it must be taken care of as soon as possible. One solution could be to give the manager a tool that makes approval easy, fast, and straightforward.
The solution is direct bookkeeping and intelligent automation
An expense from a cash outlay may require a visual inspection to be approved. In contrast, control of transactions on company credit cards can take place entirely digitally. Let’s take an example based on Acubiz:
An employee buys a cup of coffee for DKK 30 on his company card and registers it in Acubiz. Data from the card issuer also shows that an employee purchased something for DKK 30 at a gas station.
With the example above, there is an overwhelming probability that the registration was done correctly, which is why letting the expense pass directly to bookkeeping makes sense. It, therefore, does not make sense to control this expense. Also, it is possible to use the digital trail that the expense leaves along the way. Having the digital trail is something that makes work easier for both the manager and the finance department. The manager does not have to spend time approving, and the financial officer does not necessarily need to carry out a check.
Let the office robot be a helping hand
You might think that the abovementioned example only represents a small number of transactions in your organization. You may be right. It is only possible to use this method for some purchases. However, there are still ways in which companies can set up various automations that remove some of the waste of resources.
At Acubiz, we use Robotic Process Automation to automate the approval process. Our service, Company Policy Manager, enables companies to post certain documents automatically, while others still need approval. Our robot can also be set up in accordance with your own company rules so that it will be easier to ensure compliance with them.
Minimizing fraud is an added benefit
A lack of control is, in many cases, unfortunately also equal to increased fraud. We have previously written an entire blog post on the subject, and most recently, Frihedsbrevet revealed a municipal manager was linked to an extensive expense mess of several DKK 100,000. In that case, the workload with checking and approving attachments has not been overwhelming – it has been decidedly absent.
Acubiz makes it possible to efficiently put control and approval of expenses into the system. But, of course, we cannot prevent fraud from occurring. But when this happens, our solution allows insight into the transactions’ documentation. This makes it easier to identify whether there has been a breach of rules and guidelines. The solution can also be set up to warn about abnormal consumption – even down to the user level.
Get help to minimize the workload
For at svare på mit indledende spørgsmål. Ja, det tidsmæssige aspekt er en udfordring. Vi kender til virksomheder der kæmper med problemstillingen på daglig basis. Vi kender også løsningen til at minimere arbejdsbyrden.
Look at systems that can ease the administrative workload around documentation, control, and bookkeeping of expenses. Acubiz is one of the many reasonable solutions in the area. We have helped companies digitize and streamline company processes regarding expense management for more than 25 years.