Business expenses are part of running a business, as is managing those expenses. If your business is looking to take its expense management to the next level, you may want to consider moving it to the cloud.
In general, cloud-based services are replacing their traditional counterparts, and expense management is a prime candidate for change. There are a number of advantages that your business may experience by managing your expenses in the cloud.
What is cloud-based expense management? Basically, it's a way to collect, aggregate and analyze all of your company's expenses online, from anywhere in the world. You and your employees record and submit business expenses—whether for work-related travel, office supplies, or client entertainment—via an app, and every detail is stored in the cloud, ready to integrate with your accounting software and be stored as part of your business records.
Rather than sitting down with a wrinkled stack of receipts at the end of the month, cloud-based apps allow users to scan in receipts as they're accumulated, which can help make tedious expense reports a thing of the past.
Sound appealing? Let's take a closer look at the advantages of managing business expenses in the cloud.
Human error is more or less inevitable when business expenses are inputted manually. An extra comma can easily sneak in, and it's easy for employees to miscatergorize business expenses, making it harder for your accountant to clean up messes.
With cloud-based expense management, your employees can spend less time manually entering data and you may find that expenses are reported more accurately.
Automation can also help speed up the reimbursement process. Once expenses are reported, your company treasurer can login from anywhere on the globe and approve the cost in seconds, initiating the fund transfer, making employees much happier.
2. Reduced Fraud Cases
In addition to reducing human error, cloud-based expense management can help reduce fraud.
Having a company treasurer track and analyze business expenses and receipts can be time consuming and leaves room for mistakes. Cloud-based expense management software typically provides notifications when one of your employee's spending falls outside of company policy or is out of line compared to past expenses.
3. Tracked Expense Management Trends
When your company digitizes its expense reports, the system automatically analyzes the data so you can view your long-term spending trends. You may find that it's easier to locate and resolve problem areas within the company, and you'll be able to slice and dice data by department, employees, types of business expenses and more.
It can also be easier to audit expenses when they're stored in the cloud, because you'll have access to all of the information all the time. Rather than selecting random expense reports to audit, every expense will be right at your fingertips. Cloud-based expense management can be a more comprehensive, less random way to track and double-check expenses.
4. Increased Security
When your company's financial details are protected in the cloud, they can be more secure. Though you're right to inquire about the security measures employed by your expense management system, the truth is that reputable companies take security seriously.
When you think about the catastrophes that could happen by not moving to the cloud, the value is clear. Not only is your information automatically backed up, but it's also stored offsite, which means that no matter what happens to your physical office, your data is preserved. Even if a natural disaster destroys your brick-and-mortar business, all of your expenditure data will be kept safe.
Also, using a 24/7 web-based system, your employees can connect to the cloud from anywhere with internet access, making it much easier to automatically integrate expense management with accounting. It reduces the likelihood of the fudged expense reports that happen when you or your employees can't remember exactly what they were doing when an expense was incurred on a random Wednesday.
Your data can be more secure in the cloud, and the integrity and reliability of your expense reporting could improve as well.
5. Increased Productivity
Don't your employees have more important things to do than manually record their business expenses and organize receipts? The time they would spend inputting business expenses could be redirected back into your company if you switch to cloud-based expense management. Rather than laboring over paper expense reports, they can focus on growing your business.
As times change, it is important to change with them. The advent of cloud-based technology has made traditional manual input of business expenses an inconvenience of the past. Your company could benefit from these advantages and spend the time it saves on further growing your business.
Read more articles on managing money.