An expense report is a comprehensive and well-organized document stating the expenditures undertaken by a company’s employees for work-related purposes. The money spent on flight tickets for official trips, membership fees for professional conferences etc. should be reimbursed by the Company. Hence expense reports are vital documents for reimbursement purposes.
Most expense reports mention critical details like the name of the employee who spent the money, the amount and the date on which the expenditure was incurred. It also has details of the vendors, suppliers or organizations to whom the money has been spent. They also have bills and invoices to authenticate the claim that the money has actually been spent for the purpose that has been stated in the report.
Apart from reimbursing employees, these documents help in auditing an organization’s expenditure; they help plan budgets better and also help in seeking tax exemptions. Thus, the accuracy of these documents is of critical importance. If people want to know more about expense reports and the importance of their accuracy, they can go to blog.happay.com.
Here are some simple ways to ensure the accuracy of expense reports.
4 Ways To Get Rid Of Errors In Expense Reports
1. Taking Help From Technology
One of the simplest ways to ensure an error-free document is to use technology instead of human intervention. Algorithms are much less prone to errors than humans.
There are many software that are available in the market. These have features that ensure an accurate expense report.
Most of the software pre-fills the forms. For instance, if a person pays for a hotel stay on an official trip and submits the bill, the software extracts all the relevant data and fills it in the appropriate forms.
Also, they are much faster than machines, so enforcing timelines is much easier with them. Most of the software is available in mobile-friendly versions. Hence, the employees can submit the bills and invoices as and when they get free time.
Algorithms integrate multiple documents for a company. For instance, documents for travel, invoices, finance etc., are linked to each other. Often transferring data from one form or file to another is a source of errors. However, if the software itself integrates all the relevant files with each other, the accuracy is increased to a great extent.
Algorithms reflect near real-time data; hence the inadvertent delays, people forgetting to submit bills etc., are lowered significantly. Since all the data is reflected in real-time, there is no possibility of overlooking something.
Some reimbursement forms may sometimes get rejected because of non-compliance with the policy. The employee who submits the form may not be aware of all the rules, or he may have overlooked some key details. Most expense report software can be customized to be in line with the Company’s policy. If any expenditure is made against the policies, the form is rejected, stating the reason for the rejection. This introduces transparency in the process, and the employee can make amends.
With modern software, there is the possibility of making automatic payments if all the money is spent in line with the policies. Only a handful of forms need to be vetted by the top level of management. This leaves the management with a lot of time to focus on other issues. Again, since the manager is concentrating on just a handful of reimbursement forms, the mistakes will be less, even from the manager’s end.
Expense report software generates artificial intelligence or AI-based audit reports and expenditure analytics. AI-based audit reports and analytics can consider multiple variables at a given time. Thus, they reflect a more accurate picture of the Company’s expenses.
Thus software can introduce efficiency at multiple stages of making any report or document. Companies of all sizes have adopted expense management software. Some of the software has free trial versions, and people can familiarize themselves with it before making a purchase.
2. Going For A Weekly Or A Monthly Expense Reports Instead Of An Annual One
If an organization does not want to invest in the software, they can introduce frequent upgrading of expenses to improve efficiency. It is a good idea to ask employees to fill out forms and submit reports weekly or monthly instead of annual reports. If it is a small business, the papers can be submitted monthly. If the company’s employees undertake frequent official tours, weekly submission of forms is a better option.
A year is a long time, and people tend to procrastinate when a lot of time is available. In the process, they may lose some crucial bills. If the documents are required to be submitted annually, a lot of pressure builds up during the end of the financial year. Mistakes happen more often when people have to do a lot of work in a limited time.
3. Organizing Orientation Sessions For The New Recruits
Most of the time, new recruits are not aware of a company’s policies. Hence, they may make mistakes while filling out reimbursement forms or miss deadlines for submitting forms. The best way to prevent such mistakes is to inform the new recruits about all the does and don’ts in the organization. The managers should organize such orientation meetings on a periodic basis and in sync with the recruitment drives in the Company.
4. Encouraging People To Be Meticulous
Being meticulous is the easiest way to reduce silly mistakes. If people double-check before entering a figure in a form or if they update the documents on a regular basis, fewer mistakes are bound to happen.
The accuracy of expense reports is crucial for both the individual employees and the Company. Employees do not like to pay for official visits from their own pockets. They also do not appreciate waiting for a long time to get their money back from the Company. Likewise, companies also do not want to leave disgruntled employees or have faulty audit reports. Hence most organizations have adopted smart practices like the use of algorithms to increase the accuracy of all their files and documents.