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Employees Deserve a Fast and Efficient Expense Management Process: Here’s 3 Reasons Why

Employees Deserve a Fast and Efficient Expense Management Process: Here’s 3 Reasons Why

Thanks to the cost-of-living crisis, many employees are finding themselves with less cash to spare each month. Whether it’s due to the string of mortgage rate hikes, the heightened cost of produce on the supermarket shelves, or an unwelcome rent increase, finances are top of mind for many people right now.

ELMO’s recent Employee Sentiment Index uncovered signs of economic stress among Australia’s workers. Of the 1,000 employees surveyed, 38% said they feel the economy is not secure – the highest it has been throughout 2022. More than a third said they plan to ask for a pay rise or a promotion this year, indicating that their current remuneration is being stretched thin.

In fact, research by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) shows households that rely on their income (employee households) have experienced the highest cost-of-living increase in more than twenty years. Prices have jumped across various types of expenses, including mortgages, recreation, food and non-alcoholic beverages, and transport.

Employers might be left wondering what they can do to improve the financial health of employees during this time, without sending their labour costs skyrocketing. One often-overlooked aspect is an organisation’s expense management process. For businesses that rely on employees to make out-of-pocket expenses, it’s worth considering how it might be impacting employees’ financial health.

Avoiding cash flow issues

Tightening the budget leaves less room for additional purchases – even if those costs are set to be repaid. Paying for travel expenses or other work-related costs can quickly begin to eat into an employee’s personal budget, at a time when they may not have extra cash to act as a buffer.

Last year, the average claim submitted through ELMO Expenses was around $600 AUD. For many, that’s a significant sum of cash.

If a business fails to reimburse their employees in a timely manner, they might struggle to pay for essential costs such as rent or a mortgage repayment, credit card debts, utilities or groceries. It can impact their cash flow and cause their financial health to suffer as a result. 

What’s more, we know financial stress can quickly snowball, impacting a person’s mental, physical and social health. For this reason, employers should be proactive in ensuring expenses are reimbursed in a timely manner. 

Read more: How Employers Can Help Offset the Rising Cost of Living

Enhancing employee satisfaction and retention

Not only will a slow and unreliable expense management process hurt an employee’s financial health, it’s a sure way to impact their job satisfaction too. In 2023, employees expect a quick and seamless expense management process. Similar to the easy accessibility offered by popular apps, they expect to be able to upload a receipt from their phones with just a few clicks, and have visibility over the process. 

Gone are the days of submitting an expense and waiting weeks for a response. Employees expect full transparency to trust their reimbursement is being processed and hasn’t gotten lost among the masses. 

Having a quick and simple process helps to build trust with employees, meaning when they use their personal finances for a work expense they know the money will be returning to their bank account in a timely manner. If not, employees might refrain from making out-of-pocket expenses in the future, or worse still, lose trust in the company altogether and decide to quit.

At a time when talented staff are hard to find, organisations cannot afford to let a poor expense management process damage their employee experience.

Boosting financial transparency

Trust with employees is earned – and one of the quickest ways to build that trust is to operate with transparency. Offering visibility over the expense management process means employees can see for themselves when an expense has been lodged, who is processing it, the stage it’s at, and are notified the moment it has been approved.

Not only does this approach benefit employees, but it means the staff member managing the expense process is less likely to be barraged with questions about the status of the reimbursement. It’s a win-win for both employer and employee. 

Transparency, as well as efficiency, contributes to a level of trust between employees and the business which is essential for the running of any business. 

How to improve your expense management process

Technology has the power to transform expense management from a slow, manual process to a seamless flow of information. Instead of needing to hold onto paper receipts, solutions such as ELMO Expenses allow users to take a picture of their receipts and submit a claim with just a few clicks.

An automated process simplifies the process for admins too. ELMO Expenses enables admins to review, approve, reject and track expense reports quickly and efficiently, via desktop or mobile. What’s more, ELMO Expenses integrates with over 50 accounting systems for seamless control of company budget and expenditure. Sensitive information is encrypted and protected, keeping your data safe, yet accessible from almost anywhere.

Last year, over one million claims were made through ELMO Expenses with the quickest time to claim of just eight seconds. The average claim cost almost $600 AUD and around 360k claims were made through the mobile app. Visit the ELMO Expenses product page to find out more about how to improve your expense management process. 

ELMO Software is a leading provider of integrated, cloud-based HR technology operating in New Zealand, Australia and the UK. With over 3,000 customers, ELMO helps users to save valuable time, money, and resources by streamlining HR processes within one easy-to-use platform.