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Adam Smith published his first edition of Wealth of Nations in 1776, the same year 13 American colonies declared independence from the British Empire. Amongst his other monumental economic theories was the idea that self-interest drives the best outcomes, famously asserting that “it is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own self interest”. Such is the case with expense reporting - it is driven by multiple parties, but the most influential is the employee who desires reimbursement as quickly as possible with the least amount of effort. Knowing this and with the advent of mobile devices, new technology, and processes, what strategies can we apply to the deeply burdensome expense reporting process to reduce the challenge of expense reporting.
This Guide focuses on Five Objectives:
1. Reduce the time and costs associated with entering, managing, documenting, reconciling, and paying travel and operational expenses.
2. Improve the processes and workflow for both employees and their firms with real-time report management.
3. Improve the experience for vendors and business partners.
4. Leverage mobile technology to enhance digital documentation and workflow.
5. Integrate – not just link – expense management into the company’s accounting ecosystem (Practice Management, General Ledger, and Document Management).
These objectives are a reality today due to the exponential growth of processing power, bandwidth and digital storage. We are all familiar with Moore’s Law, part of what is more recently Ray Kurzweil’s Law of Accelerating Returns. Let me demonstrate with a question, most of you will answer incorrectly, because we are trained to think linear and local rather than exponential and global.
How much money will you have at the end of a 31-day month if you start with one cent and double it every day? You have 15 seconds to answer.
My guess is most of you were considerably under the correct answer of $10,737,418.24. Go ahead…do the math yourself. At 28 days you will have $1,342,177.28. Initially the results are deceptive and then disruptive.
Disruptive technology should make you think about how you are going to automate as many processes as possible, especially key processes that add little or no value to your services. More importantly it should make you think about your current business model and technology ecosystem. Are you future ready and do you want to continue to compete in a rapidly changing world? After-the-fact data (especially paper) is no longer adequate and too expensive to manage. Businesses need real-time information and decision making wisdom, now!
This Guide will help you expedite the process of automating one of the most time consuming and arduous tasks accountants and employees face – expense reporting. And by the way… the software was designed to help employees drive this process so you are assured of their acceptance and buy in. Receipt documentation is easy to capture via the camera on your mobile phone, easy to submit reports along with the required policies and procedures provide employees timely reimbursement. Using the principles of Lean Six Sigma (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control), accounting and the back office can meet the challenge and streamline their expense reporting processes.
Enjoy the Guide, it is a quick read by design and especially take note of the One-Page Action Plan in the appendix. It will quickly start your firm, business or organization on your road to success and future readiness.