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Business Expense Management: How Expensify Can Simplify Your Processes

Business expense management and tracking of corporate card spending has long been a pain point for businesses of all sizes. This is particularly true for small companies where volumes can vary widely from month to month and where the basic processes relied on during the early stages of a business quickly become outpaced as headcount increases, services diversify and along with them, competing priorities become more and more difficult to stay ahead of.

Thankfully, tools like Expensify exist to streamline business expense management processes while helping to introduce rigor and controls. A leading Employee Expense Management platform designed specifically for small to medium-sized businesses, Expensify natively supports the tracking, reporting, approval and, if applicable, reimbursement of employee expenses in a single tool, supporting both a powerful and intuitive web page as well as a mobile app. Better yet, it can seamlessly integrate with leading accounting software, including QuickBooks, QuickBooks Online, Xero, NetSuiteIntacct and Microsoft Dynamics, among others.

How It Works:

Policies

The Expensify platform is designed around the idea of an Expense Policy, which defines the parameters around which employees can submit their expense reports. A single business may choose to have a single or multiple Expensify policies. For example, a business may create a separate Expensify policy for respective teams, departments, or even entities. An employee can be a member of one or multiple policies. Each Policy has its own permissible expense submittal parameters. For example, when configuring a policy, it is to be decided whether to define expense violations, and if so, what the maximum allowable expense amount is, the max expense age, and the amount beyond which a receipt is required for a given expense. The Policy can define whether expenses will always, sometimes, or never be reimbursable, and if sometimes, whether expenses should default as reimbursable or not. The Policy also defines what kind of information an employee must provide for each expense. For example, a policy might require that each expense be assigned an expense category, a department tag, a customer, a description and much more. Policies can define how employees can submit travel expenses or how they receive and keep track of per diem allotments.

Perhaps the most powerful element of defining an Expensify Policy is the flexibility with which approval workflows can be assigned. Approvals can be disabled altogether, defined at a single “submit-to” level, or defined with multiple levels and/or different routings based on expense amounts.

A policy is the foundation of an Expensify account, allowing for a significant deal of flexibility to meet the needs of many types of businesses and team dynamics.

Employee Expenses

For businesses that rely on their employees spending their own money and naturally require the ability to issue reimbursements quickly and effectively, Expensify can be a powerful asset. Whether through the online site, or entirely in the mobile app, employees can either enter expense information directly to a new expense record, to which a digital receipt can later be added, or they can upload a receipt file directly (via browsing a receipt bank or directly snapping a receipt photo using the app) and rely on Expensify’s OCR capabilities to read a receipt’s contents and generate the digital record in Expensify. As a bonus, employees can connect their personal cards directly to the account they create when first added to a policy. From there, anytime the employee uses that connected card to transact on behalf of the business, Expensify will download the transaction information directly from the connected card’s bank to automatically generate a digital record of the transaction as an Expensify expense record. This feature significantly reduces the manual entry required to track their spending for reimbursement.

With at least one expense record created, employees can add one or more expenses to an Expense Report, which can be submitted at any time manually, or via an automated Scheduled Submit feature. Depending on the approval workflow designated for the Policy, reports are then submitted as final or passed to a designated approver (or hierarchy of approvers) to review the expenses submitted and choose to approve or deny the report. When approved, any reimbursable expenses can be repaid immediately via ACH payment connected to the Policy. Alternatively, the expenses can push to an accounting package for reimbursement as if the report is any other vendor bill going through the organization’s payables processes.

Similarly, non-reimbursable expenses, once approved, sync directly to the connected accounting package as an expense transaction, with either the Employee or the Merchant specified as the vendor, depending on policy/sync configuration.

Corporate Card Expenses

One of the notable differentiating features of Expensify is its powerful corporate card management capabilities. Like how an individual employee can connect their personal card to their account so that transactions are downloaded straight from their online bank site, organizations can connect their corporate card programs to Expensify. In doing so, individual cards are assigned to specific Expensify users so that anytime a corporate card is used; the transaction is automatically populated as a non-reimbursable expense in that employee’s account. From there, they can, if necessary, add a corresponding receipt, appropriately code the transaction, add the expense to a report and submit the report via the applicable Policy. Reports will follow the defined approval policy, and once approved, automatically sync to the connected accounting software. The Expensify corporate card capabilities offer a reliable mechanism to ensure corporate cards are being used responsibly and ensure all corporate card expenses are properly captured from the bookkeeping perspective.

Benefits for your Business

Expensify offers a multitude of benefits to any company looking to streamline its business expense management by:

  • easing the tracking and reporting burden on employees
  • strengthening the approval mechanisms for managers
  • establishing consistent control measures from the perspective of employee spend management and employee expense accounting.

Think your business can benefit from the ease and automation offered by Expensify? Interested in learning more or looking for help setting up Expensify policies to fit best with your needs? If yes, Withum wants to help!

Author: Thomas Burns | tburns@withum.com

Reach out to have someone from our team help you optimize your business expense management processes.

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