How to avoid preparing expense reports in Excel?

How to avoid expense reports in Excel?

Business travel is back after a long stagnation during and post-Covid. Moreover, it is proved that including business travel in companies helps in attracting talent, especially, GEN Y and Z. However, those trips should be profitable to both the company and the employee, and managing expense reports for each cost of the trip is stressful and costs time and money.

1. Importance of digitalising an expense report

According to statistics, business travellers are stressed about preparing expense reports after finishing their work trip. Managing expense reports manually using tools such as Excel is time-consuming; in business, time is money.

Here are a few of the causes why travellers stress about expense reports:

business travel statistics
  • The time needed to search for the invoice and prepare the excel table

20 minutes is the average time to treat one expense report. Besides, to correct an error in expense reports, companies need an extra 18 minutes.

  • Forgetting expense

50% of French employees “think it is acceptable to knowingly submit a false expense report for an average of 115 euros”. According to the survey, some 32% of employees have already accounted for their personal expenses related to a meal, and 27% for office equipment. 27% have also rounded up their mileage expenses and 24% their business telephone bills.

  • Losing invoices

To avoid the stress that is hunting your employees because of a piece of paper, don’t hesitate to opt for an expense management solution that includes OCR scanning. It is no longer necessary to keep invoices in order to justify an expense. Employees will only need to scan the bill and implement it in their business travel expense report.

  • Refund procedures

Unclear reimbursement procedures can be very stressful for your employees. Advancing fees, paying for their expense and then claiming a refund can be overwhelming for travellers. We recommend using company cards and deleting advanced payments.

  • The possibility of human error

In expense reports made manually, human error is likely to occur: one in five (19%) expense reports contain errors or missing information costing an additional $52 and 18 minutes to correct each expense report.

  • Expense reports need to be validated by a superior

This might take time and as a result, late reimbursement.

2. Bonus tips

Digitalising expense reports is a big step to take towards better management of corporate travel. In order to succeed, here are some bonus tips to keep in mind:

  • Choose a business travel management aggregator

Ayruu is a B2B travel management solution that was developed to help companies get rid of expense reporting. Using Ayruu, your travel suppliers will send you your travel bills directly by email. As a result, your employees will no longer have to prepare expense reports for their bookings.

  • Clearly state the process for expense reimbursement

By establishing a clear process, you will avoid complaints and therefore mountains of emails. Here are some examples of processes to put in place:

  • Forecasting expenses before a business trip.

  • Provide a schedule for sending expense reports.

  • Establish a timeframe for reimbursement of business travel expenses

  • Communicating the business travel policy

Don’t forget to include your travel expense policy in your business travel policy. Communication is important to ensure a smooth transition from traditional expense management to a digital one. Here is our article about business travel technologies and digital strategies.

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