Choosing the right expense management tool for your organization can be an expensive and time-intensive commitment. When you consider the benefits of using an automated solution, you will soon realize that finding the right vendor to meet your company's needs is worth the effort.
The time and budget invested in automated software is minimal compared to the hassle of sifting through and controlling each expense manually. It is also nothing compared to the savings you can enjoy with an automated solution.
Finding the right travel and expense management software is a process, and here are 5 steps you can follow to make it easier on yourself.
First, determine what are the needs within your company and what challenges you are trying to overcome by investing in an expense management software.
If you have high expense costs, these may stem from the challenges of manual expense processing:
These issues can all be solved with the right automated expense management tool.
Be sure to involve the most important stakeholders in the early stages of your search. They will provide you with a more rounded perspective and allow you to take all important aspects into consideration.
With your internal assessment in mind, make a list of the requirements your expense management solution must meet. Clearly differentiate between "must haves" and "nice to haves", and go from there.
The next step is to assess each expense related process you have in place and identify pain points and what works well for you in your current setup.
When defining the most important requirements of an expense management tool, keep in mind these three parameters: available budget, technological capacity and available time.
Regarding budget, remember that an automated expense management solution will help you reduce costs over the medium to long run, including the hidden costs of business trips. Consider a short term financial effort for a series of long term cost-related benefits.
Also keep in mind any technological constraints you may have. Ensure that your IT department is involved from the start as well as any other relevant providers. The more data you can centralize into your expense management system, the better. HR software, ERPs, accounting tools, credit cards and more can all be integrated with your expense tool.
Involve all your critical stakeholders in the expense tool selection process. These may include members from IT, Finance, Accounting, Training, Performance Management and HR, to name a few.
Take the opportunity to request a demo from your top selection of providers to see whether their solution is a good fit for your company. When testing, involve your committee and a selection of key users to provide you feedback - good user experience is crucial. These team members should all be able to provide you with their own perspective on the tool, giving you better insight on the challenges and opportunities a new tool presents.
With all the information in hand, your Project Committee can now compare your company's needs to the available travel expense management systems from your top selection of vendors.
It is crucial for you to ensure that you choose the right enterprise expense management software and that all your employees are comfortable using it regularly.
These five steps will help you find the right solution for you, and you can always talk to an expert if you would like more information.