When it comes to managing business expenses, time is of the essence. Every minute spent tracking down a receipt or cutting a reimbursement check for employee expenses is one that’s not spent on the core of your business. To help you focus on what matters most, like growing your business, we have prepared a list of five quick tips to help you save time on business expense management.
Have a Clear Expense Policy
Trying to figure what is or is not an allowable business expense can be a minefield for employees and managers alike, and lengthy discussions around expense approvals are not a good use of anyone’s time. The best way to mitigate the potential for disagreements over expenses is to provide a clear, detailed expense policy that is tailored to the specific needs of the business. More importantly, lack of a clear expense policy is one common cause of employee expense fraud, so it makes good business sense to have a plan in advance.
Set Reasonable Time Limits
A common complaint of accountants and business owners is “hoarding” of receipts, which is what happens when an employee doesn’t submit an expense report for months on end, and then puts everything in at once. This means the reporting for months gone by must be revisited to reconcile the additional expenses. Again. What a waste of valuable company time! By setting a reasonable limit on how long expenses are eligible to be reimbursed, like by the last business day of the following month, you can avoid the trouble of restating expenses and give employees an incentive to get receipts in on time.
Separate Business and Personal Expenses
Every year, an estimated $10.7 billion in business expenses go unclaimed. A leading culprit for these missed expense opportunities is the use of personal credit cards for business expenses. For small business owners, this can lead to missed tax savings and erroneous forecasts for future expenses. Using a separate card for managing business expenses helps to eliminate this expensive and time-consuming problem.
Take Advantage of Technology
If you or your employees are manually inputting data into a spreadsheet as part of your process when managing business expenses, you’re missing out on the opportunity to let technology sweat the small stuff. Expense management software can help you sort your transactions by date, by category, and by the employee. If it’s a mobile expense management program, it may even offer photo receipt captures to let you ditch paper forms altogether — and it doesn’t have to be expensive or difficult to implement, either!
Consider Prepaid Cards for Business
Unanticipated expense hiccups, like unauthorized employee spending or months’ worth of receipts coming in at once, are painful for any company — but when a small business takes an unexpected hit to the cash flow, it can be devastating. By making a move to prepaid expense cards instead of traditional corporate credit cards, companies can eliminate many of the common pitfalls of business expense management and keep a close eye on the bottom line.
An integrated payment and expense management solution like dash allows your business to save time and money on accounting-related processes. Best of all, dash is free to use! Find out more about the ways dash can help you save time on managing business expenses, allowing you to focus on growing your business.