As we have seen in this article, expense note management is the processing of documents through which an employee requests reimbursement from his or her employer for one or more expenses incurred during his or her professional activity. ¡Expense note management!
Thanks to these notes, the expenses can be justified by providing the receipts or invoices issued by the corresponding establishments. It is a task that can be quite repetitive and problematic for companies, but from the employees’ perspective, it is necessary if they want to recover what is due to them.
Unfortunately, many companies engage in bad practices when it comes to administering these types of documents. In order to avoid the problems that this generates, we will see how to carry out good expense note management, making reference to all the actions that should not be carried out by companies.
The 6 bad practices in expense note management
Expense note management is a task that often ends up being complicated for many companies due to the bad practices that they carry out. ¡Expense note management!
It is very important to know what the most common mistakes are and how a company can solve them so that expense notes do not cause any problems or delays to the correct functioning of the professional activity.
Leaving the responsibility to the employee
One of the biggest mistakes in expense claims is to leave full responsibility for managing the whole process to the employee, which causes two main problems:
- The employee wastes a lot of time in their working day managing these processes, without adding any significant value to their activity (generally, they lose productivity in doing so).
- There is less control of the process by the company, so the risk of fraud and deception is higher
In all cases, it is strictly advisable that, within the process, an auditor (whether external or internal) is in charge of supervising that the data is real and in accordance with the policies established by the company. In this way we avoid, in part, malpractice when managing expense notes.
The subdivision of tasks in the workplace remains a key to success, although certain procedures, such as this financial administration, should always be dedicated to the accounting or administrative team.
Nowadays, all processes related to paperwork, documents and applications should be carried out with specialised software for managing expenditure notes. Physical, paper-based management is totally inefficient, time-consuming and does not provide any added value.
Moreover, it is easier for errors or fraud to be committed, as physical documents can be more easily lost or manipulated. For all these reasons, we can consider that the management of paper accounts, receipts and invoices is a delay and a bad practice in the management of expense notes.
Avoiding review of notes by qualified personnel
Unfortunately, internal business expense fraud is commonplace within organisations today, especially those that manage expense notes manually. ¿6 bad practices in expense note management? In particular, employees may falsify the following information in order to receive financial benefits to which they are not entitled:
- Duplicate or multiplied expenses (using the same voucher to justify different expenses).
- Non-real expenses (falsified invoices or receipts).
- Personal expenses (expenses incurred outside the employee’s working hours).
- Old expenses (time-barred or not corresponding to the appropriate period).
Protecting against internal fraud in such cases is essential to ensure the integrity of operations within the company and to prevent fraud by employees. To this end, it is highly recommended to use specialised software, as we will detail below, and to establish good expense policies that specify precisely everything necessary related to this issue.
With this point in mind, we will avoid bad practices that may be undertaken expressly by the company’s personnel.
Making settlements “last minute”.
We mentioned earlier that, for this process to be carried out in a totally transparent manner, it is necessary for an auditor to check the veracity of the expenses and to verify that the amounts requested by the employee are appropriate. If we leave the handling of the settlements to the last minute, we may have to rely on the word of the employees if we want to meet the deadlines, so the risk of fraud increases considerably.
This procedure has to be done in sufficient time to allow the employee to submit all the necessary documentation to justify the expenses, so that they can be checked and correctly recorded in the company’s accounts. To do this efficiently, it is indispensable to have software, the only efficient way to avoid bad practices in the submission and management of expense notes.
Failure to train and inform employees
Employees, at all times, must be able to manage everything that concerns them in this area in a completely autonomous manner, and know which procedures to follow at all times. Otherwise, they may do things incorrectly and end up generating delays, both in their activity and in that of the company, and, in the worst cases, committing fraud.
To this end, the company must detail an exhaustive expense policy that explains how to proceed correctly in the management of expense notes: how to communicate, requirements, documents to be required to justify the expenses, etc., in short, inform all employees with updated policies.
Use a non-specialised programme
As we have seen above, carrying out this process by hand is currently unfeasible, as it is a totally inefficient effort given the options available to us for managing expense reports. However, many companies tend to do this through Excel spreadsheets which, although better than the physical option, are far from being the optimal choice if we are looking for efficiency.
Excel is an excellent programme for storing information digitally, but it can be quite complicated if the user does not have the necessary knowledge to use it comfortably. In addition, it does not allow us to integrate the information at a global level within the company, which means that a lot of time will be lost if we need to review any data.
Therefore, we need a fully integrated, automated and functional software, which is orientative for the user and allows us to save a lot of time, increasing productivity. XPENDOR solves, in a matter of minutes, a job that could take you several hours of work every month, so do not hesitate to use our services for the management of expense notes.
In case you need our tool for expense note management, remember that you can request a demo for companies that want to launch into the world of digitalisation of expense notes, avoiding these mistakes that we have made a tour. ¡Expense note management!