9 essential features to look for in your Expense Management solution

Tracking employee spending and submitting and approving expenses is an inconvenience but unavoidable. Luckily, new automation tools are emerging in the market, helping eliminate manual processes and streamline your Expense Management. To choose the right solution for your company, you need to know what features and capabilities make a successful Expense Management solution.

1.    User-friendly

People don’t like change – employees are resistant to learning new programs and processes as they can often be complex. When purchasing an expense management solution, you want to ensure that your employees are going to use it. Choosing an intuitive solution that integrates with your ERP system ensures your employees find it easy to use and data transfer is smooth and hassle-free. 


2.    Optical Character Recognition (OCR)

Manual data entry requires time and concentration and can still be full of errors. A big must-have for every expense management solution is an OCR engine. OCR allows you to scan a receipt and automatically captures and converts the data into machine-readable text. OCR significantly reduces manual typing and retyping, resulting in fewer data entry errors. 


3.    Mobile app

Collecting physical receipts for later data entry is annoying – you also risk losing the receipts so that the company can’t reimburse you. A good expense management solution will have a mobile app that lets employees scan their receipts and submit them for approval in real time. Capturing your receipts in real time allows for better details – it’s difficult to remember who you went to lunch with three weeks ago. It also helps speed up the approval and reimbursement process, which your employees will love!

4.    Credit card integration

One must carefully manage credit card transactions during the manual review and reconciliation process; otherwise, it results in oversights and “hidden costs.” When purchasing an expense management solution, you want to ensure it has credit card integration to directly import any transactions made on your company credit cards into the system. This integration ensures automatic matching and reconciliation. It’s also essential that it can automatically convert currencies.


5.    Automated and customizable approvals

Approvals tend to be time-consuming - especially if the initial expense entry has errors, significantly slowing down the review and approval process. A good expense management solution should allow approvals to be customizable, to create an approval hierarchy in cases of multiple approvers and ensure that the expense report moves automatically through the flow. You should also be able to delegate approvals when out of the office.

6.    Mileage tracker

Employees easily forget to manually track their mileage or skip it altogether and guess as it is time-consuming. Unfortunately, it is also easy for employees to commit fraud by claiming mileage expenses for personal errands run on company time. A good expense management solution will have a mileage tracker, which automatically calculates the mileage between two destinations. This ensures that the mileage report is correct and painless. 


7.    Scalability

As your company grows, your needs evolve. Good expense management software allows you to scale up your features and add more as you grow. Your solution should also allow you to add and remove users as needed.

8.    Security

Expenses are forged easily in the traditional expense management process, and funds can be misused. When looking at expense automation software, you want to find one that minimizes the risk of cyber-attacks, protects confidential data, and prevents archived posts from being digitally altered once approved and reimbursed. It should also allow easy access to previous expenses when needed, such as for auditing purposes. 


9.    Free trial

It’s challenging to find out what would suit your company best if you aren’t able to try it out and get a feel for how it works. The best option when choosing an expense management solution is to find a cloud-based solution that offers a free trial. Access to the most basic features will give you an idea of if it’s the right fit for your company’s needs. 

Overhaul your Expense Management with Continia

Now that you know all the essentials needed in your expense management software, consider Continia's Expense Management - a solution created for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central users. We've built Expense Management inside Business Central, so you don't have to learn a new system. 

Expense Management has all the features discussed above and more – try out our commitment-free 30-day or consumption-based trial to see how we can help you.

Learn more about Expense Management