Here's the staggering amount of time small businesses can save on paperwork just by automating expenses

Image: Supplied.

No one enjoys doing expenses, and if you’re still doing them manually then it’s not only wasting work hours, you’re probably costing the business more in mistakes, duplication and missed productivity savings.

While expenses are unavoidable, clunky spreadsheets, paper receipts and hours of manual data entry are avoidable if the process is automated.

Recent research by Forrester showed almost 80% of organisations still relied on expense data that is manually entered, which exposes them to errors, duplication and fraud.

A study of Australian small-to-medium sized businesses conducted by Fairfax found most businesses could save up to $40,000 a year just by removing duplicated claims.

Automating expenses allows businesses to establish processes that are more efficient for both the claimant and the approver, saving the business time and money in the long term.

This was the vision when webexpenses launched its award-winning cloud-based expense management software in 2000.

Now with the webexpenses mobile app, paper receipts can be photographed and attached to claims, so expenses can be managed on the go. Business mileage can be automatically calculated from start-to-end points of journeys, bringing an end to exaggerated mileage claims. The software also allows companies to customise the app and reporting functionality, integrating their expense policies and reporting data to the finance team in real time.

Image: Supplied.

Another key benefit of automating expenses is having a digital record of your data and receipts for tax time, and maintaining compliance in case of an ATO audit. This could also lead to significant time savings, with the majority of small business owners surveyed by SCORE claiming they spent more than 41 hours – a full week of work – on tax preparation every year.

Being able to keep track of your expenses in real time also allows managers to catch mistakes and see patterns that could lead to further processing efficiencies.

Webexpenses General Manager, Ryan Corlett, said they usually see up to a 25% reduction in travel and entertainment costs when moving from a manual system to the webexpenses software.

“This saving can be attributed to a few different things, but the big one is capturing information in a way that allows it to be reported,” Corlett said.

“The project tracking element of the software can highlight areas of potential savings – whether tracking expenditure on particular expense report categories, or specific to clients and projects.”

Automated processes are also instantly scalable, able to grow with the business with minimal employee training or supervising, and provide workforce flexibility without added cost.

“A system that can increase visibility, efficiency and save money is desirable to any business,” Corlett said.

With a client retention rate of 98%, webexpenses is a tried-and-tested solution for over 800 organisations throughout the world, with over 150,000 users. By using webexpenses, organisations typically see savings of up to 10% in travel and expense costs and up to a 25% reduction in processing times.

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