Do you want your business to be more productive?
Whether it's money, time or people - SMEs are constantly trying to find ways to squeeze more out of their resources. Keeping you and your business as productive as possible is key to driving success.
One major area of waste in business happens in expense management. While travel and business spending can be a sign that your company is growing, they can also be time-consuming to track: a recent American Express survey1 found that a third of businesses were spending more than five hours a week managing expenses, which is time that could be well-spent doing other things.
Simplifying your expense management process doesn’t have to be difficult, and creating a more streamlined approach can help come tax time as well. Implement the following tips to help you hone in on the system that works best for your business.
Here are 4 ways to simplify your expense management process:
1. Set an expense policy
One trap businesses fall into is managing travel and expenses on an ad hoc basis. Deciding what can or can’t be expensed on-the-go often leads to confusion around what is allowable. Draw up an expense policy that you can share with everyone in your company with rules and guidelines for expenses. Having a clear policy eliminates confusion – saving you time from dealing with unsuitable expense requests. This template from ICAEW/ Concur could be a good place to start.
2. Use an expense management tool
If you're one of the 74% of people who aren't using an expense management tool (as found in our recent survey), get one. A dedicated tool will take the hassle out of keeping track of expense spending. From analysing your business expenses to reduce spend, to keeping a log of all recorded expenses for taxes – a tool will make expense management quicker and easier.
Another added bonus? Many tools come with a mobile app for employees too. This makes it easier than ever for everyone in your business to record and submit their expenses on the go.
3. Put expenses on a card
Keeping track of paper receipts gets messy and unreliable very quickly. Paying for expenses on a business card means there's an instant and automatic record you can check at any time. This will save you time from leafing through paper expenses.
If you use a business card with a rewards programme when paying for expenses, you’ll also start earning points which you can reinvest in your business (or use for your personal life).
4. Review your system
The tips above will help you set up a robust system – but make sure you review it periodically. Expenses tend to get bloated and out of hand. If you leave your expenses unchecked for a long period of time, you could spend your precious time spent trawling through expense records.
Keeping track of every expense in your business can quickly drain your time - time you could better spend on driving your business forward and finding new opportunities for growth. Managing expenses accurately and efficiently will save you time and save your business money.
With an American Express® Corporate Card, you can manage your business's expense payments from one central hub and choose how you're billed while having complete visibility and control over your employees’ expenses. On top of that, you’ll earn Membership Rewards® points every time you spend.
1. In July 2019, American Express, through uGov, surveyed 1,000 SMEs, in the UK.