Sales representatives know all too well the trouble that comes with managing personal and professional expenses when on the road. They spend an immense amount of time helping businesses gain traction and generating revenue. However, with administrative processes eating into their time, they find it difficult to stay focused on the sales targets. This is where expense management solutions come in handy. This tool offers a cost effective and simple method to tracking expenses, making expense reports and speeding up reimbursement cycles. Furthermore, organisations can gain an insight into profitable deals by analyzing costs and revenues. This article aims to convey what various features of an expense management software have in store for the sales force.
However, let us first look at why we need to shift to automation. If you have a box filled with paper receipts that you have to file, you will probably relate to some of the reasons sales reps dread spend tracking and expense report creation:
The process is too manual
If you’re doing everything it takes to get clients on board, it’s almost impossible to avoid the client dinners or travel expenses and to have to keep a record of all these expenses manually? It’s bound to drive you crazy. Keeping track of expenses on spreadsheets requires strict discipline for recording expenditures on time and tons of data entry. The madness doesn’t end there, paper bills don’t always stay clean and legible, with torn receipts and faded ink on bills, expense report submissions become a tedious task.
It is extremely time consuming
Travelling employees have to be precise with their expense recording to ensure reports are error free. This is especially stressful when you clearly have other things to do like closing deals. Expense reports are very often left to the very last minute and made in a hurry. This leads to inaccurate amounts, totaling errors and policy violations. Ultimately you end up investing even more time to make changes and resubmit the reports, making reimbursement cycles even slower.
Expense reports are a real nightmare for sales folks. Very often travelling employees have left out certain expenses from their reports just because it meant extra time to look for receipts and data entry. As a consequence, field representatives end up disobeying the one law sales teams follow – Never leave money on the table. Your company has no idea they aren’t reimbursing you for all your expenses and you are left dissatisfied.
THE BEST SOLUTION IS AUTOMATION
Whether you’re on the road selling, constantly meeting clients or just answering calls, travel, entertainment or miscellaneous expenditures are unavoidable. Below are some of the ways automating the expense reporting procedure can make managing expenses effortless for you.
Easy receipt tracking
With the help of a smartphone app or web solution, you don’t have to store your paper bills anymore. Regardless of where you are or what time of day, a photograph of the bill can help you file the expense on the go. Airline tickets and taxi invoices received on email are just as easily recorded with the help of the email plug in. The software runs policy checks on all expenses filed, so you don’t have to worry about violating guidelines. Sales managers get notified when an expense is submitted and can approve it in real time.
Automated mileage tracking
It is a hassle keeping track of business mileage using spreadsheets or log books. Field work is tiring as it is. Having to keep track of odometer readings and calculate mileage reimbursements every month is something that can be easily avoided with the use of a mileage tracker. GPS tracking enables accurate mileage to be calculated according to the standard rates, especially when you are using your own vehicle. There are absolutely no miscalculations in the process; you can choose your two or four wheeler vehicle and compute the mileage accordingly. With a better sense of route planning and error-free mileage recording, you can keep your eyes on the field!
Faster creation of expense reports
Most expense reports require categorisation of expense and breakdowns of spends. For any sales person this might take a couple of days to accomplish manually. The expense management tool can generate expense reports with just one click. Furthermore, it can categorise expenses under custom labels and enables managers and accountants to review expenses under these categories. One click to generate expense reports and you don’t have to worry about inconsistencies or spending more time to rectify errors.
Keep overspending at bay with per diem
Staying within the budget is not easy when travelling and even more so when you’re on the company dime. Per diem helps companies set limits on expenditures. Expense tracking tools take into account per diem rates as per what the company follows (GSA suggestion or custom company rates) and feeds it into the expense policy. Thus, setting boundaries which you won’t cross and making sure the company’s budget is not compromised. This allows you to have greater control and flexibility over where and how you choose to spend the money and makes tracking expenses less messy.
Not only will the tool help you submit expense reports on time but also guarantee you don’t spend countless hours in manual data entry and rummaging through paper receipts to get expense reports right. 39% companies have reported greater employee satisfaction when using an expense management solution. Business travel gets so much easier with technology at your fingertips that does the work for you. With the time saved, you can focus on doing what makes you happy!
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