What is Expense Management Software and Why You Need It By Sarah Murphy February 11, 2021 Expense management software is an efficient and easy tool to help companies manage their expenses. Old-style procedures of expense management are prone to unnecessary risks and issues like the loss of documents or human error. Plus, manually processing receipts and verifying documents by hand wastes time and resources. That’s why in recent years more and more companies are gravitating towards software to control their expenses. What is expense management software? Typically, manual expense management relies on an employee filling in a paper or spreadsheet along with an invoice. After receiving the expenses, a manager or controller manually reviews and approves the request. Once the manager has approved the claim, they forward it to the accounts department for processing. Eventually, the employee is reimbursed. Expense management software streamlines the processing and reimbursement of employee-initiated expenses like travel and entertainment, as well as the company’s overall spend. Managers can pre-approve budgets, employees can track their expenses on-the-go, and finance teams are able to automate processes and efficiently manage expense reports and reimbursements. How expense management software will help improve your business Expense reporting, approval, and reimbursement are tasks that can be time-consuming and expensive. Automating manual tasks can give you back some of that time and money. On the whole, expense management is shifting to models that improve quality, efficiency, and productivity relating to corporate spending. Some of the benefits businesses can expect to achieve are: 1. Saving Time Using online software to mediate your expense management will reduce the amount of manual effort involved in uploading and processing receipts or invoices. 2. Smooth Integrations Most online expense management software is able to integrate with accounting software and card programs. For instance, Mesh Payments is able to integrate with popular accounting software like QuickBooks and NetSuite. 3. Real-Time Reliable Data Online expense software provides users with spending trends by using past data to surface expense analytics. This allows companies to make informed business decisions that can help regulate expenses in the future. 4. Cutting Processing Costs Studies have shown that companies that have transitioned to automated expense solutions from manual spreadsheets have been able to reduce the cost of processing expenses by up to 50%. 5. Increased Compliance Keeping up to date with company regulations can be confusing and difficult. It is estimated that up to 15% of approvals made by managers are based on out-of-date policy. If a violation occurs while using expense software it can be monitored, tracked, and stopped in real-time — saving countless hours and limiting financial damage. 6. Personalization Users can customize required fields to ensure that the system has the necessary and most up-to-date information before submitting expenses. This cuts down on time needed to upload expenses, further streamlining the process. How to choose the best expense management software There are a few things that businesses need to consider when they are trying to determine what expense management software is the best fit for their company. Consider company size First, size does matter. The needs of a small or medium-sized business differ from that of enterprise giants. For example, small businesses may be able to issue corporate spending accounts to all employees or only need one card for the whole business, while enterprise businesses may want to limit the number of accounts and cards to department heads, managers, and C-level employees. Flexible cards allow your team to create the structure best suited to your business. With a solution like Mesh Payments, you can allocate unlimited cards to specific uses like SaaS, travel, or in-person purchases, and receive insights to smarten up your spend (i.e., cutting out duplicate subscriptions, setting pre-approved travel budgets, or only authorizing cards at particular vendors) — with full visibility the entire time. No matter your final decision, you’ll want expense management software that allows you to track and control all transactions. Larger companies will also have larger tech stacks that require more complex integrations with expense management software. But for a small or medium-sized business that uses accounting software like QuickBooks, communication channels like Slack, and human resource tools like Bamboo HR, a solution like Mesh Payments can easily handle a seamless integration with all of these. Consider industry You’ll also need to consider the requirements needed from expense management software according to your industry. Are employees often required to purchase materials and supplies? Do employees frequently need to travel? Are there a lot of SaaS subscriptions and product licences to be managed? Depending on the answers to these questions, you’ll want to go with the product that can meet the most of your demands. If you’re looking for more control over corporate spending, visibility into business transactions, and insights to optimize your future spending strategies, then Mesh Payments could be the right fit for you. We can help you streamline your expense processes, while eliminating human error, risk, and unnecessary costs. Schedule a demo today. Get the latest blogs from Mesh by subscribing to our newsletter Manage Your Payments With Full Control & Visibility Get Started Sarah Murphy Sarah is a Content Manager for Mesh Payments. Before working in marketing, she completed her Master of Journalism degree at Toronto Metropolitan University (f.k.a. Ryerson University) and worked as an arts journalist in Toronto. She was a content writer for tech companies in the retail and workforce management sectors before joining Mesh in 2022.