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Best solution for expense reporting for small company (20 employees)?

We are currently looking at Expensify or Concur - trying to determine if the benefits outweigh the costs. Really a question of the accountants time (and staff time) vs. the automated solution. Have you found that time is saved using these solutions? Any best practices to share?

Answers

EMERSON GALFO
Title: CFO
Company: C-Suite Services
LinkedIn Profile
(CFO, C-Suite Services) |

Here is another perspective. Do NOT look at it as a TIME SAVING option but look at it as what other VALUE ADD can my staff do instead of doing this. If your staff can examine expenses/vendors/etc. and find ways to save the company some money instead of pouring over expense reporting, then the cost is not a major factor.

Sarah Jackson
Title: Associate Editor
Company: Proformative
(Associate Editor, Proformative) |

This whitepaper has some interesting insights particular to expense reporting for smaller companies:

"Grow Intelligently with the Right Tools to Manage Expenses"
https://www.proformative.com/whitepapers/grow-intelligently-right-tools-manage-expenses

Best... Sarah

Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
Company: SBAConsulting.com
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, SBAConsulting.com) |

If your staff properly uses one of these software products, and you correctly set-up the software product you will decrease errors, increase speed and highlight expenses that are out of the parameters of your expense policy.

From that standpoint well worth the investment.

As for time savings, I see every charge to my credit card daily (because I use the system daily), I code it if need be, add the photo copy of the receipt and monthly post it to my accounting system. I save probably over an hour just on one credit card statement for myself and have much better control. Multiply that times the number of report submitters...

Anonymous
(Director of Finance & Administration) |

Thanks so much, any recommendations of the best software solution for 20 person staff?

Anonymous
(Accountant / Bookkeeper) |

We use Concur for the 10 salesmen / technicians that travel. This software has improved compliance and IF the salesmen would submit their receipts on a complete and timely basis, it WOULD save time and create efficiency. Unfortunately our CEO who doubles as sales manager, does not enforce timely reporting. One employee / clerk probably spend literally half her time on follow-up.

Joan Green
Title: VP Finance
Company: National Counseling Group
(VP Finance, National Counseling Group) |

I cannot compare the two options but we use Concur with 40 credit card holders and I think it is well worth the cost of the service for better documentation. It saves staff time filing (either electronically or manually). It is much easier to query when a question comes up.

Anonymous
(Director of Finance & Administration) |

Thanks so much for your input!

Sofia Calvin
Title: Regional Account Manager
Company: MineralTree, Inc.
(Regional Account Manager , MineralTree, Inc.) |

Expensify is intuitive and easy to use. We use it.

David Dobrin
Title: President
Company: B2B Analysts, Inc.
(President, B2B Analysts, Inc.) |

This is really as much a question as a comment. Back in the days when I was advising people about these purchases, I felt that Concur (less so, Expensify) was grotesquely overpriced, coming in at about $35 per expense report. Their justification for this was completely ridiculous (just as Ariba's quite similar justification was ridiculous); they took the total number of expense reports and the total time put into them and the average was $35.

Why is this ridiculous? Because it ignores the fact (on both Ariba's and Concur's part) that most of the time spent on routine paperwork, like expense reports or purchase orders is spent on exceptions: the problem expense reports, the mistaken POs, etc. If you look at actual time spent on the activities that they support well (the routine reports), they are worth no more than $2-3 a report.

So, the question is whether they are still using the same ridiculous justifications. If so, beware. While Wayne and Joan are absolutely right to say that they offer real convenience, they're leaving it up to you to dig down into what they're providing and how much time/effort they are actually saving. My own results a few years ago, based on only a few sample cases was that true savings were unlikely, but this could easily have changed.

David

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