How can cloud accounting help manage clients’ expenses?
It’s really hard to have a fast and efficient system when it’s reliant on mounds of paperwork being carted between offices. This was the fundamental problem that made trying to manage employee expenses for a client so troublesome.
The issue is caused by the fact that core information required to handle expenses takes the form of paper receipts - more than 11 billion of these continue to be issued in the UK each year.
It has meant that helping a company to manage their employee expenses has involved getting access to the bundles of corresponding paperwork - receipts, forms and spreadsheets.
But cloud accounting provides a solution that completely removes the reliance on such a slow, error-prone and clumsy way of working. It gives accountants instant access to any client expense information required.
The switch to a digital management system provides employees with a smartphone app which enables any paper receipt they receive to be converted into a digital image.
With information stored securely online, it creates a paperless end-to-end process with all financial information an accountant requires made instantly available.
It allows a cloud accountant to handle approvals and quickly collate all of the information required to ensure internal and external compliance. The benefits to clients include:
Improved speed and efficiency
By switching to a digital expense management system such as webexpenses, an organisation will typically reduce its processing times by 25 percent.
That means less administrative burden and shorter reimbursement times for employees. It also replaces the slow and painstaking paper-based claiming process with a simple, user-friendly and quick digital alternative.
Smarter error and fraud prevention
The combination of accurate expense data and external financial expertise helps shield clients from the risks posed by error and workplace fraud.
It provides accountancy professionals with the level of detail required to identify areas of inefficiency and to spot the telltale signs of fraudulent activity.
Greater management flexibility
The systems provide clients with the flexibility to find the best ways of working with an accountancy company. They can control exactly which aspect of expense management they want assistance with.
Many businesses will use their internal team to handle first-level checks and use a cloud accountant to handle top-level approvals. It allows support to be fully moulded to a client’s specific needs.
Advantages of automated checks
Switching a client to a digital system provides them with the benefits of automated policy checks, carried out in real-time. Whenever a claim is made, it’s checked to ensure that all costs are within defined limits.
Whenever a claim breaches a limit, an alert can be sent to an account manager to ensure the legitimacy of the cost. On-screen notifications can also be used to deliver expense policy reminders at point-of-entry.
Tax and VAT efficiency
An external financial service provider is invaluable when it comes to safely and efficiently handling tax and VAT compliance. Expert knowledge of VAT helps to ensure that clients benefit from any reimbursements they’re entitled to.
Providing HMRC with accurate and detailed information helps to shield businesses against the risks of triggering an audit or investigation and minimises the subsequent risk of fines or demands for backdated payments.
All of these advantages provided by cloud managed expenses deliver genuine business benefits to clients. It’s a service that offers an impressively speedy return on investment.
So while employee expenses has been an area of finances where accountancy companies have struggled to cover, it has now become a significant accountancy service offering.
It provides a win-win situation with clients escaping the burden of outdated systems and accountancy professionals finally able to use their expertise to untangle a notoriously troublesome area of company costs.
Webexpenses provides a faster, smarter and safer way to manage employee expenses. Find out how it can help your clients by requesting a free demo.