Why your business needs expense reimbursement software

Even in a world where we carry around supercomputers more powerful than the first desktops, our connection to paper remains strong.

Nowhere is this more apparent than in repetitive business processes that require employees to use multiple versions of the same forms — employee reimbursements, for example. A 2015 survey found that 3 percent of small businesses still use pen and paper for expense reporting, and nearly half use spreadsheets, which also have drawbacks.

Form errors and long waits for reimbursement plague manual expense processes. If you feel the burden of manually processing your expenses and reimbursements, imagine how your employees feel. But expense reimbursement software can lighten the load.

What does expense reimbursement software do?

Expense reimbursement software speeds up your approval process and stores expense forms in a centralized location. These platforms can be cloud based or software as a service (SaaS) programs housed on company servers. Some business owners purchase programs that focus solely on travel and expense management.

Many solutions integrate into established accounting systems, so expenses and reimbursements show up in business accounts in real time. Managers find these programs especially useful for approving reimbursement forms and expense policies quickly, while executives use them to oversee business operations.

Some programs include accompanying apps or third-party integrations, which can enhance their usability for employees on the go. For instance, some tools automatically track mileage or scan and digitize paper receipts, allowing workers to back up their reimbursement claims without worrying about losing receipts.

What are the benefits of reimbursement software?

Assistance with taxes and audits

Businesses have to pay taxes on expenses — and the IRS rules have become increasingly complicated in recent years. However, software can help by automatically categorizing expenses and adding totals for tax forms. Plus, programs compile the information from mileage apps and digitized receipts, storing them in one searchable database so you never have to second-guess yourself.

These solutions come in handy especially during audits. Passing an audit hinges on having detailed records that provide a legitimate business reason for each expense and proof to back them up. Software and accompanying apps create a digital paper trail of these records and store all the related information that contextualize the reasons behind expense claims.

Transparency

Few organizational challenges give business owners as many headaches as expense fraud. In fact, businesses in the United States lose nearly $2 billion a year in business travel fraud.

Expense reimbursement software prevents fraud by creating transparency. When everyone can see uploaded receipts, corroborating expense evidence, and the reasons for reimbursement rejections, employees are less likely to take advantage of the system. 

Also, when spending stats are transparent, accountants have fewer questions, and managers can better understand the reasons for spending trends, leading to better communication with employees.

Transparency brings budgetary knowledge to the forefront for everyone in your company, ensuring you can pivot during changes, adjust on the fly, and keep your employees happy.

Easy analysis

Part of running an effective business is regularly analyzing your budget. Expense reimbursement software stores all incoming and outgoing expenses, and allows you to monitor this information daily and further examine it using a variety of charts and graphs.

As the expression goes, “What gets measured gets managed.” Nowhere is this truer than in business, where measuring your expenses increases your ability to handle them. 

Some programs even use artificial intelligence to analyze data and spot trends. You can use these numbers to project expenses, optimize cash flow, and adjust your expense policy if needed. And the better you can forecast, the more stable your operations will be.

How can JotForm help with expense reimbursements?

The best expense reimbursement software is one that multitasks — like JotForm, which offers several expense reimbursement forms you can customize with a variety of integrations and widgets. 

You don’t need to know any code — just enter the fields and arrange them how you like. You can add your company logo, generate report numbers, and collect e-signatures. Plus, you can add file upload capabilities so that employees can upload their receipts.

Once you’ve set up your forms, you can use them as the basis for an approval workflow. JotForm Approvals allows you to easily add approvers, conditions, and branches in the drag-and-drop interface.

You can view and respond to approval requests in JotForm Inbox or through the JotForm Mobile Forms app. You can also create reports with JotForm Report Builder.

Handling your expense reimbursement with JotForm saves you time and energy, and simplifies your reimbursement approvals, translating into faster reimbursements for employees and less work for finance teams.

Expense reimbursement software facilitates your approvals, keeps your budget up to date, and makes your business stronger. It’s an investment in your success — and your peace of mind.

This article is originally published on Jun 07, 2021, and updated on Jun 10, 2021.

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