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November 15, 2021

3 Reasons to Modernize Your Expense Management Today

Samantha Shankman
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Cost Savings
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COVID-19 completely changed how many employees approach work and, as a result, how company money is spent.

In the past, company purchases were typically made by a handful of people including IT executives, a central purchasing department, or an office manager. This is no longer the case. Today, employees across the organization make different and larger purchases on behalf of their company. In addition to travel, employees are spending on things like digital ad spend, software subscriptions, and office equipment.

To explore the many ways in which expense management is changing, TripActions Product Marketing Manager Jennifer Lee and Connectwise T&E Logistics Coordinator Mindy Owen recently sat down to discuss strategies for optimizing the expense process, best practices for preventing fraud and reducing out-of-policy spend, and frameworks for customizing policy setups.

Watch the full webinar ‘3 Hidden Costs of Expense Reports’ now.

Expense management tools haven’t kept up with changing spending behaviors and organizational dynamics. With manual processes and fragmented tools, legacy solutions for expense management result in poor spend visibility and control. The siloed nature of this cobbled-together finance stack is painful across the many individuals involved.

Perhaps the most laborious result of this outdated system is expense reports, which are time-consuming, costly, pose financial risk to the company, and burden employees.

“Before TripActions Liquid, our expense process was extremely manual for expense reporting. Employees were still required to scan and print receipts and literally hand them off to accounts payable—which was just as manual for the finance team. I heard some employees would just pay out of pocket to avoid the process at all,” said Mindy.

As the number of global, distributed teams like Connectwise’s grows, finance leaders are being pushed to modernize their spend management practices to avoid the 3 hidden costs of expense reports.

The hidden costs include:

1. Time spent on manual expense management: It takes an average of 13.6 hours per trip for travelers, approvers, and finance combined to process travel and associated expenses from booking through reimbursement.

2. Lack of real-time visibility: Poor spend visibility means that finance teams are making strategic decisions with incomplete information, which can reduce productivity and lead to mismanaged budgets and/or overspend.

3. Out-of-policy spend: Inadequate expense management tools can increase the risk for out-of-policy spend and unconscious bias, which negatively affects the workforce.

When Connectwise made the switch to TripActions Liquid, it modernized spend management at the company to an all-in-one payment and expense solution that gives finance teams real-time spend visibility and control. The finance team at Connectwise went from limited reporting to self-service reporting capabilities with which Mindy could pull reports and understand global spend in one simple view. She’s finally able to track spending and learn about trends in real-time.

Proactive policies are also programmatically built into smart cards so that expense management is automated from swipe to reconciliation. “Having the ability to change the policies on the fly in TripActions Liquid has also allowed me to make those changes on my own—allowing us to be more adaptable/agile to any unforeseen changes,” said Mindy.

Watch the full webinar ‘3 Hidden Costs of Expense Management’ today to learn more about why modern spend management is needed for companies moving forward.

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