The weight of business expenses – Where can your company lose the pounds?

From single sole traders to multi-national corporations, every business incurs expenses. Operational expenditures (OPEXs) are an essential every day part of running your business, from purchasing office stationary to flying to Dubai for a business meeting. Keeping track of the money assigned to business expenses is important- sometimes it really does pay to be a control freak!

So where to start if you are want to cut costs? Knowing where to look is the key. Most companies allocate around 8-12% of their annual budget to travel and entertainment expenses, according to Aberdeen Group. After staff salaries this is the biggest average spend for most businesses. So it really is worth keeping a watchful eye over these expenses to see where you can try and save some money.

With an automated expense management system like ExpenseIn knowing where your money is allocated in real-time can keep finance teams on the ball. Employing an end-to-end system that can follow the expense process from creation to reimbursement will retain that often-lost sense of control. Having all your data stored in one place makes collating this data for an in-depth report simple.

Analysing your expense data will allow you to determine where the big costs lie. Being able to breakdown expense data into departments, categories, employees and projects can ensure that every aspect of the expenses has been thoroughly evaluated. From this you can gain a full picture of your expenditure and make better funding allocation decisions.

In order to analyse and report on this vital expense data you need to make sure your employees are first supplying you with all of the necessary information. Relying on manual spreadsheet input for employee expenses can often result in missing data and errors. If the first part of saving money is knowing where the money is being spent, expense claims with missing information such as departments or projects could leave big holes in the data you analyse. Something as simple as compulsory fields for expense claims ensures you always get the data you need. Systems that automatically flag up any expense information that is missing can save you endless time on chasing up employees over their missing data.

Another way expense management systems can give you more control is allowing you to enforce company policies on your employee’s claims. Once again, your expense reports can give you an insight into what policies will make the difference for your company. For example, noticing that a certain department spent a lot of money on entertaining one month could lead to spending limits being enforced so the amount is reduced the following month.

Employing an end-to-end expense management system gives you transparency on where your money is, from creating an expense all the way through to reimbursement. Compulsory fields and policies are two of the many examples of how you can increase visibility and reduce spending. As companies grow and change, expense systems must adapt with them. It is therefore important that you choose an expense system that can be customised to fit the changing needs of your business.

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