Remote work has become the new normal during and in the wake of the pandemic.
More and more companies are hiring remote employees to save on overhead, improve flexibility, and foster creativity with a global workforce.
There are numerous advantages for both employers and employees, but it will also bring new challenges like time zone differences, different tax laws, and living costs. That said, perhaps the biggest challenge faced by the organization is managing employee expenses.
Employees who work remotely may find it difficult to obtain the company’s funds for necessary expenses, and finance teams may find it challenging to manage these expenses.
This blog will take a closer look at the key challenges of expense management for the remote workforce and how an expense management solution can solve it.
Common challenges to managing employee expenses for the remote workforce
While working remotely offers many compelling benefits, it also brings certain challenges:
- A temptation to overspend
- Lesser control over spending for the finance team
- Security issues due to a lack of transparency in spending
- Slow reimbursement for expenses
- A lack of trust due to poor visibility over spending
So, let’s explore better ways to deal with your remote expense processes. Whether you’re already fully remote or heading that way in a hurry, you can keep moving quickly and manage your employee expenses without compromising on security.
• Allow employees to claim expenses from anywhere
When working remotely, keeping track of receipts and sending accurate and timely reports can be near impossible for your employees.
You can empower your business travelers to submit their expenses from home, other work locations, client offices, during their commute, or right from the office by digitizing the expense management process. With a cloud-based expense management solution, employees can access their accounts from a desktop or mobile phone, scan the receipts, and submit expenses directly.
Here are some other features that help your employees record their expenses without any hassle.
- Your employee can scan receipts immediately using the auto scan feature from their mobile, via an app. Or they can upload their receipts to the software’s e-vault, so that the system can take crucial information from it, such as vendor details, prices, taxes, etc. and prepare an expense report automatically.
- For a remote workforce, especially salespeople, who drive to meet customers, the distance traveled can be measured using the GPS feature, and fuel reimbursement can be immediately processed.
• Make policy compliance a breeze
Most companies have failed to come up with a smooth and efficient way to ensure policy compliance when it comes to the expenses of their remote employees. Consequently, they find it difficult to process expenses quickly and with complete trust.
To resolve the issue, companies with a remote workforce can make use of automated policy compliance.
With the right solution, you can setup policies that consider the different tax structures for remote employee expenses, location of the employee, designation, role, expense requirements, etc.
Also, the system will notify employees when they submit non-compliant expenses, eliminating a lot of busywork and expense fraud.
• Prevent and detect expense reimbursement fraud in a mater of moments
Your employees can easily submit fraudulent expense claims when they work remotely. Research also shows that, despite our shift away from paper for most business processes, some organizations still follow the traditional method of expense management. They allow their employees to submit the physical receipts to claim expenses, making them more prone to commit fraud.
Incorporating an expense management solution can simplify the process, making it easier for employees to claim the right amount and follow policy, because of the automated checks in place and the approval workflow that can be configured into the system.
• Approve reimbursements/expenses faster
The expense management solution will help you expedite your expense approval processes with accurate policy enforcement, preventing excessive expenses and building accountability for the employees. A manager can review and/or approve expenses instantly when expenses are submitted.
If an expense is out-of-policy, the manager or the finance team can verify the receipt attached to the report and decide instantaneously whether to process the reimbursement, all in a matter of minutes, as opposed to the several days it used to take for a reimbursement claim to be processed.
Besides, managers and finance teams can quickly approve per diems & spending limit expansion and pre-approve expenses, without the employee having to set foot in the office.
Businesses can seamlessly manage remote employee business spending with strategic automation and clear policies around expenses. We know this because, at ExpenseOut, we make it happen. ExpenseOut is an efficient expense automation software that strikes a healthy balance between control and flexibility. Digitize and automate expenses to save time and money with our powerful features. We help businesses simplify their finances so that they may focus on expanding their business. Take the free trial and see how economical, simple, and scalable our solution is.