5 Benefits of Streamlining Expense Management & Reimbursement

June 2, 2022

Expense Management

Having a manual expense tracking and reimbursement process puts time restraints on your HR team, opens your business up to vulnerabilities, risks, and inefficiencies, and can cause your employees to wait longer for their reimbursements. Streamlining your expense management process can help you improve the way you process, pay, audit employee-initiated expenses, and maintain compliance. At Commonwealth Payroll and HR, we help employers streamline their expense management and reimbursement processes with isolved, an easy-to-use single system of record that simplifies the expense report process. Here’s a look at five benefits users can expect.

1. Improve Financial Health & Transparency

With the right expense management solution, employers can increase productivity and efficiency, make sound, data-driven business decisions, and reduce overhead costs. According to Emburse’s 2021 Travel & Expense Management Trends Report, 46% of companies that switched to a cloud-based expense system saw a positive ROI in less than one year.

How can Commonwealth help? With Commonwealth’s isolved EXPENSE MANAGEMENT, employers have access to analysis dashboards and reports that improve financial transparency. These tools help users conduct advanced-level financial planning and maintain up-to-date financial records, balanced budgets, and accurate forecasts.

2. Automate Workflow & Manual Processes

There are more than a few steps to the expense and reimbursement process, which means there are more than a few opportunities for inaccuracies and mistakes. Manual data entry and verification can be hectic, which can lead to last-minute decisions that are prone to error. According to a study by the GBTA Foundation, on average, an expense report for a single night hotel stay takes about 20 minutes to process and costs around $58. And that doesn’t account for the fact that nearly 20% of expense reports contain errors or missing information. In these cases, on average, correcting the report adds another 18 minutes to processing and $52 in cost.

How can Commonwealth help? With Commonwealth’s isolved EXPENSE MANAGEMENT, you can build custom expense fields and assign delegates to simplify the expense reporting process for employees and managers, and your expenses automatically flow directly to payroll for employee reimbursement, reducing manual entry and errors. The platform also allows users to configure the approval workflow, customize expense types, and add entry shortcuts such as Trip and Guest. And to ensure you have all the resources you need, Commonwealth and isolved support includes assistance for multiple countries’ currencies.

3. Improve Job Satisfaction & Reimburse Your Employees Faster

According to a global survey conducted for ABBYY by Opinium Research on COVID-19 technology and business processes, nearly half of the workers surveyed said bad processes were making their jobs more challenging, and 39% believed AI solutions would make their jobs easier. This decline in employee confidence is also evident in Gallup’s survey, which found that, in April 2020, 55% of employees surveyed strongly agreed that they felt well prepared to do their jobs; however, by February 2021, that figure had dropped to 47%.

Whether an employee feels supported and capable of performing their duties has a significant effect on their productivity and engagement and, ultimately, job satisfaction. Of course, adequate pay incentivizes employees, but, as the Harvard Business Review says, “money does not buy engagement.”

How can Commonwealth help? Manual data entry and verification are also time-consuming, and a slow reimbursement cycle can lead to lower staff morale. With isolved, employers can minimize the time between incurred expenses and employee reimbursement. The technology also supports employee self-service, empowering employees to upload receipts and manage and track their own expenditures via a platform that’s accessible anytime, anywhere.

4. Enforce Expense Policy & Avoid Non-Compliance

Employers need to have a clear expense reimbursement policy in place as well as controls in place to monitor claims for reimbursement carefully. Case in point, after his termination, former Innovo employee, Michael Tedesco, sued the company, and the suit included claims for reimbursement for expenses totaling more than $30,000. On top of the legal fees Innovo incurred, and because their expense policies did not clearly exclude some types of expenses as strictly personal, ultimately, the court ordered Innovo to reimburse Tedesco for $27,000 in expenses.

How can Commonwealth help? When your expense management tools are customized to align with your company’s travel and expense policies, you can easily enforce your expense policy while avoiding legal and non-compliance issues. Commonwealth’s isolved EXPENSE MANAGEMENT can help you keep proper records of financial activity and maintain legal compliance for tax deductions. Built-in alerts also notify employees in the event an expense they submit is not compliant with your expense policy.

5. Improve Operational Efficiency & Reduce Administrative Burden

Sometimes, we’re all guilty of taking a “this is how we’ve always done things” approach in favor of change. But the demonstrated benefits companies experience from embracing paperless and streamlining expense management mean it’s time to take the leap.

How can Commonwealth help? By using receipt images and attachments, Commonwealth’s isolved EXPENSE MANAGEMENT helps users reduce paper files. It also helps you eliminate paperwork by removing the manual expense process and providing administrators full, centralized visibility of expenses. You can consolidate bulk expenses for processing and payment, and expense allocation will allow for reimbursements to go from entry to your General Ledger without intervention. With Commonwealth and isolved, you can improve the speed and accuracy of expense processing with a simplified dashboard and reporting that provides real-time insight. And Commonwealth’s isolved expense management tool is not an integration or separate database. So if you are already an isolved People Cloud user, streamlining your expense management and reimbursement process won’t require additional software.

Contact Commonwealth Payroll & HR

Employers must keep accurate, up-to-date expense, reimbursement, and payroll records to protect themselves and their employees and comply with DOL regulations. The professionals at Commonwealth Payroll & HR are here to help make your HR and payroll operations frustration-free, organized, and compliant with regulatory requirements. Contact Commonwealth today to learn more.


*The information provided in this article does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information is for general informational purposes only. Information in this article may not constitute the most up-to-date legal or other information. This article contains links to other third-party websites provided only for the convenience of the reader.

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