What is expense claim?
Usually organizations reimburse the expenses incurred for employees towards business operations. Local Travel Fare, Accommodation Expense, Money spent on Dining , Customer Visit Expenses, Parking Expense etc. are some typical examples of such expenses. In all cases, a claim submission with a proof of spending is necessary to reimburse the money and complete the claim process.
Based on the nature and size of business, the scope of expense claim can range from simple to complex.
Can this be automated?
Certainly. Whether employee is eligible for a specific claim, has he claimed as per entitlement, fresh claim or duplicate etc. are some of the usual checks before the claim approval. If there are many claim transactions, month on month, managing the complete process in time is extremely tedious for Claim Reviewers and Accountant.
As the first step, define the scope and put a boundary for the entire claim process. For example, the following 5 steps could suffice the scope
- Identify the claim types
- Decide rules around a claim - who can claim, up to what extent, how many times etc.
- Decide the claim review route - Reporting Manager, Business Head, HR etc.
- Decide information for claim processing - amount, bill date, receipt, bill etc.
- Monthly Reports Once you define the boundary, next important activity is to find an automation solution
Software as a Service has made even automation of complex business processes, simple, quick and affordable. There are number of solutions available today and it is a matter of spending some quality time for evaluating couple of them and arrive at the reliable solution to begin with.
Once you automate the claims process, you are going to enjoy the following benefits
- Seamless self-service portal to request, review and approve claims
- Single time data entry which can eliminate any errors. (employee can enter and manager and finance person can just approve)
- Provision to upload bills and receipts
- Track real time status & no scope for unauthorized spend
- Provision to build business rules and define approval levels
- Reports to track total spend across expense heads and departments
SaaS solutions can really help small business to set up and roll out expense claims with in days.