6 expense management considerations for owners of small businesses

Expense management software for small business is about much more than counting money – the right package will help your company in a number of other ways. Here are six of the best.

  1. Ease of use. This is the big one, and it underwrites everything else. If a system is clunky and hard to use, firstly employees won’t take easily to it, and what’s more you won’t make the savings in time and cost that you’d hoped for. The best business expense management software does all sorts of complex things in the background, using the skill of developers to make it happen. And that means you don’t have to think about it.
  2. It’s in the cloud. This is a huge bonus in the flexibility stakes. Not only does using a cloud-based app mean there’s no need to buy software (an instant saving, right there), but also you can handle expense management wherever you happen to be – so long as there’s a WiFi signal. And then there’s more good news. A quality cloud-based system will allow you to access its features when you need them, usually on a rolling 28-day contract basis, so you can turn on or off what you want or don’t want – and pay accordingly (so that’s another saving). YOU can do that in an airport lounge, or a street café, or wherever, too…
  3. Make it add up.Recording expenses accurately is only part of the story. The data you add to your small business expense management app is a mine of useful information. Choose software that will compile reports for you, allow you to categorise spending in groups that match the business need, such as against a particular project, or client visit for example, so you can see instantly what each element of your business is costing at any time.
  4. Cross borders.Doing business internationally no doubt means you’ll need to work in more than one currency. The best software not only allows you to do that, but will convert a total spent in one currency into another, allowing for current exchange rates, so you won’t be left having to do the maths later
  5. Eliminate error.So long as you and your employees are diligent about recording expenses of every kind the software will eliminate error with ruthless efficiency, because it doesn’t make mistakes. There is no need for manual data entry onto spreadsheets, which is a source of error, and ‘over-claiming’ is eliminated on things like mileage claims – the software will use GPS to calculate the distance, and the claim will be make in line with that.
  6. Integrate for a seamless fit.The right expense management software for small business should integrate perfectly with your business. It will allow alignment with nominated credit cards, keeping personal and company money well apart; it will allow claiming, approval, and payment of expenses on the move; it will allow data transfer to the most common accounting software either inside the company or to a third-party accountant. And it will also enforce your expenses policy, so that everyone knows exactly where they stand.

And the bottom line of using expense management for small business (if we don’t count the healthier bottom line for your business) is that as a business owner you’ll get more out of life at a personal level, because you’ll be spending less time worrying that little details are being overlooked. Which is vital, even if it’s impossible to show on a profit and loss account.