It’s no surprise business expenses increase significantly leading up to the Christmas break.
Client lunches, drinks and end-of-year parties can mean an expense management nightmare for employees having to submit them and financial departments processing them.
Expense software vendor Concur’s expense transaction data identified 16th to 19th December as the busiest expense week for finance departments in Australia alone.
According to Matt Goss, managing director SMB, Concur, Kiwi organisations can also significantly alleviate the December expense management pain by implementing measures which make the process easier for all parties.
“The Christmas period inherently means more employee expenses, particularly for those entertaining clients," he adds.
"It is also a stressful time for financial departments as they try to process all reports in time.”
Concur provides four tips for employers to alleviate the expense management stress leading up to Christmas:
1) Go mobile:
Everything from booking travel to snapping photos of receipts to project management tracking is now possible on mobile devices. This means expenses are put in the system quicker and with greater accuracy.
2) Put your employees first
Implementing tools such as an online time tracker, for individuals to log their hours and submit expenses, can significantly reduce the administrative burden and motivate them to get their expenses in quicker.
3) Outline company policies
They must clearly state the regulations for company spending so there are no surprises with reports that don’t get accepted by the organisation.
4) Approvals should work like dominos
Getting time and expenses tracked is only half the battle. Provide training to new managers so they know what to look for when approving reports. From there, your system should move from one approver to the next automatically.
5) Look at your internal processes holistically
For example, rather than having a separate expense cycle to reimburse employees, align reimbursement payments with your payroll cycle, and eliminate extra checks and processing.
“Moving to an automated, cloud-based, mobile expense management solution provides value across the board," Goss adds.
"It improves efficiency and reduces stress for both employees and finance officers.
“Don’t get caught out. Getting your expenses done before the Christmas break will make life a lot easier when returning back to work in January. Having a pile of receipts on your desk is not a great start to the New Year.”