Trade shows and large conferences come with a great deal of opportunity for businesses in the access they provide to potential clients, partners, and the press. They also come with a lot of headaches for an accounting department, particularly if a business sends a group of employees to a key event every year. The flood of receipts coming in at once and the notoriously questionable nature of many expenses mean hours of processing time. An online expense management system and a little advance planning can ease the burden on everyone. Here, a few tips on what to look for in a system.
Mobile Is Key
Your employees are on the road, so your expense management system should be, too. If you are considering moving to an online system, be sure to select one that is fully mobile. This gives staff the flexibility of uploading receipts, tracking mileage, and so on while they’re away, reducing the chance for receipts to be lost or submitted late. On the accounting end, all this information coming in makes it easier to see what’s happening out there on a daily basis while employees are out of the office.
Your sales-team manager built a lot of momentum at the last show, but the shine was a bit tarnished when the receipt came in for three rounds of drinks she covered for everyone. The system you choose should allow you to easily create policies and rules that employees can view while they’re on the road. Too often, people will spend on something that they assume can be covered, only to find out that they’ve crossed a line they didn’t know was there, or submit a receipt months after the point when they could be reimbursed. A good expense management system will let your accounting department create and assign policies – and their exceptions! – and set limits on spending and reimbursement-request dates. With this information at hand, staff are less likely to make missteps.
All companies must of course stay up-to-date on UK tax law, and this in itself represents a significant portion of a finance department’s time. An expense management system that stays current with UK law and informs you of changes will cut down on the time your company has to spend researching and revising policy, and helps you avoid surprises down the road.