The expense report is the great business equalizer. Company size, title, and team are irrelevant. If you are in business, at some point you have come into contact with an expense report.
Maybe you were responsible for collecting and trying to code the receipts attached to it. Or you were the manager taking a quick glance at your employee’s submission before hastily approving it. Or perhaps you were on the finance team and accountable for ensuring everything was ticked and tied so you could accurately close the month.
Regardless of which aspects of the expense report you’ve touched, you’re likely familiar with the frustrations it can lead to. But the report itself is just a window into a bigger beast that affects the entire organization: expense management.
87% of finance professionals from mid-size companies said the expense management process needs work: It won't scale, can be improved by hiring help, or is chaotic. | Under Pressure: Operational Challenges for Finance Teams 2019 Expense Management Report
Expense management’s tentacles reach across every team and title, touching nearly everyone. Imagine the collective relief of spenders, managers, executives, IT and, yes, finance, if the process could be tamed for good. The right system will help you streamline expense management to the benefit of all:
Good for Spenders
Spenders experience instant relief with the right system. Built-in spend controls can clear up areas of confusion and ensure spending is more often in policy. Near-instant snap-upload-save type expense submissions make it easier than ever to submit reports (and get reimbursed) on time. And the ability to quickly capture more details at the time of spend reduces the time wasted chasing down information after the fact, like the guest list to that client dinner in September and whether the alcohol policy was followed.
Good for Managers
Managers have a clearer view of how they are doing against budget. Self-service reporting reduces dependence on finance and allows business owners to pull reports on their own. Automated approval workflows mean they can focus only on the items that need a second look instead of having to approve every individual expense. More importantly, added visibility into their team’s spend helps managers hit budget targets and create a stronger culture of shared fiscal responsibility.
Good for Executives
Executives get better insights, faster. More accurate in-the-moment reporting decreases the dependency on actuals. No more waiting until the end of the fiscal month to analyze business health or make important financial decisions. Detailed insights and better categorization help prevent costly compliance issues. Executives can invest their time and energy where it’s most important—looking ahead to what’s over the horizon instead of in the rear-view mirror.
Good for IT
IT can be more efficient and data-safety compliant. Consolidating expense management to one system means fewer subscriptions to manage, less software to deal with, and fewer third parties with access to your data.
Good for Finance
All of these elements add up to a true transformation for finance. Simpler expense processing means forgotten piles of receipts are a thing of the past. Expenses get submitted on time more often, meaning they can be recorded and reimbursed in the same spend cycle. Better categorization means transactions aren’t all dumped under “miscellaneous” the day before the quarter closes. Even better, real-time accuracy gives finance more time for trend analysis and strategic thinking.
"With Center, we can manage our company card spend in a way that lets us see trends at a macro level, budget better, and get visibility into what is happening on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis across the company. Center’s technology has helped us automate processing, which saves time, but more importantly, it’s allowed our finance team to bring more value to the business through insights and optimization." | Rahim Shakoor, Controller at Docker, Center customer since 2017
HOW CENTER CAN HELP
Center is a complete end-to-end expense solution that benefits everyone. Intelligent auto-fill instantly identifies expense type at the time of purchase, saving valuable time for spenders. The ability to flow data directly from the swipe of the card to the GL with minimal touch means managers spend less time chasing down miscoded transactions. Accurate, real-time data means executives get the detailed views they need whenever they want.
One integrated system makes it easier for IT by eliminating the need for separate systems to manage expense software, audits, spreadsheets, GLs, and reporting. And a system that’s easy for everyone to learn is more likely to be embraced and actually used, to the benefit of all. Learn more about how Center can help your finance team achieve more.