Expense management is a set of tools to collect and process expenses. Common expense management tasks are:
- Collect expense requests/reimbursements
- Track reciepts
- Review/approval processes
- Enter expenses into financial software or check/payment system
With a typical manual solution, each of these task above are done manually by an admin staff member. An expense management solution improves this provess by reducing errors, helping manage/track, and reducing duplicate data entry. Often this is a website and/or mobile phone app that collects the expense requests, helps manage that review/approval process, and then integrates approved expense into financial software.
One of the more interesting features is having a mobile app tied to a company credit card. When the company credit card is used, it triggers the mobile app to ask the buyer to enter details about what was bought and request the buyer scan the receipt right at the time of transaction. That can really help the buyer enter the information correctly, get a copy of the reciept, and keep the reason from being forgotten.
Vendors have thier own flavor of expense management so testing out any solution is important. Things to consider:
- Some vendors claim free services but make thier money in fees on the corporate credit cards so reviewing actual cost is important.
- Currency conversion support for people who travel out of the country
- Approval workflows
- Expense duplication detection
- Budget limits / spending control
- Built-in payments through ACH
- Financial software integrations can be limited or full featured