You have always been good with your calculations, haven’t you? I mean, that’s how you are in the finance department of your organization, and at such an important position too! A part of your responsibilities is to track the allocated budget, and you are confident your skills and that super complicated spreadsheet are handling the situation well. Wait, what? You forgot to include payment for the third party vendors. So, now you have to go through your “friendly, neighbourhood” spreadsheet once again to figure out a solution, only now that spreadsheet looks anything but friendly. A single mistake has soured relationship with a trusted vendor, left a blemish on your work and also increased the workload.

This scenario is not something out of a finance manager’s nightmare. It is real, it happens all the time and it can happen to you too. Expense tracking is a process that almost always falls to pieces when done manually. You might be doing it for years now and may think that all this is nonsense, that you haven’t had a issue till now. Trust us when we say that you are juggling live grenades with no idea when the pin fell out. One of them will explode, and the resulting chaos will be very bad for your organization. Even if it doesn’t, the stress and the workload are a danger in itself. Spreadsheets are not the best option for tracking expenses, as a single mistake means reviewing the entire sheet again. Also, since this sheet is updated manually, the data will always be more than a day old. This can create delay in other processes that may be dependent on the data generated from this one.

If you are wondering if there is a way out of this conundrum, there is. It’s called automation (You can also call it IBISM). Whatever you decide to call it, there is no doubt about the benefits of automating expense tracking. With automation, organizations don’t have to worry about data migration or updation as the module takes care of that. Availability of latest data in real time is a bonus as well. Let’s check out the benefits of automating this process.

1. Simple yet comprehensive process

Employees have to fill up a form that details their expenses. This data is then transferred to spreadsheets for review. If an employee adds an expense at the last minute, it will not show up in spreadsheets instantly as it has to go through verification and then approval which in themselves are time taking processes. Also, chances of errors seeping into the process are very high. It would make sense automating the process as then your organization is equipped with the tools to properly manage this process. With automated forms being used to capture data, users don’t have to worry about data migration or updation as the module automatically does that. Also, this data is available in real time. All this with the ease of single window interface.

2. Update data and track task progress with ease

Ironic though it may sound, there is no mechanism of tracking task progress in a process that is called expense ‘tracking’. If the finance needs to track who was allocated what funds and where did they spend it, that would mean diving through a sludge of email threads and paper receipts, or manually following up with the concerned employees. This increases the workload manifold and also makes it difficult to update data. Also, employees might share details of an expense at the last instant, which would mean additional effort on part of the finance team to update expense sheet with the latest data. Automation solves this by taking over the brunt of this step on itself. Data is updated as soon as a form is filled and the expense approved. This data is available in real time to anyone who is relevant to the task or has been allowed access. With the inbuilt tracking mechanism, it is possible to track task progress at any instant. This helps remove any bottlenecks that might be slowing the process down. Also, it helps keep track of all expense request forms filled by employees. Now, that is how expense ‘tracking’ should work.

Expense tracking is a process that can take considerable time and effort on part of employees if not optimized. It is a process that needs careful scrutiny. The review and verification is still human centric but supported and empowered by tools that improve the efficiency of the process. If you have any doubts regarding about how automation helps this process, feel free to reach out to IBISM. We will be happy to answer all your queries and also provide you with a free demo if you want.

Published on Jun 04, 2018