Expense Management Expert Insights

by Paul Johnson, CPA, CGMA

What major trends do you see in the expense management space right now?

There has been an ongoing move to mobility and leveraging technology to simplify the expense management process. This will continue as our mobile computing options continue to expand and expense management will follow suite with these.

Improved management tools are now available which allow managers to view expenses throughout the entire process. Management tools will continue to evolve and provide organizations with ever increasing efficiencies.

As organizations adopt expense management tools to track and monitor their expense process, they are putting more rules in place regarding how expenses are incurred. Expense management software is helping organizations monitor these rules by improving the level of compliance monitoring in the expense software solutions.

Continued, and improved, integration with other business critical systems has been a significant trend. Combining this functionality with other improvements, such as compliance, allows organizations to further remove the need for manual tasks in the process. The removal of manual tasks offers efficiency improvements across various areas of the expense management process.

On what major criteria should a buyer assess expense management solutions?

This will be dependent on the type of organization and the makeup of your staff. For example, if you have a large workforce that is remote and mobile, then mobility may be more important. However, there are some key criteria I recommend you consider when looking at expense management systems. These criteria are: Mobility, web-based options, management tools, compliance and integrations.

I have written a blog post for G2 Crowd which provides additional detail around these 5 criteria. The post can be found at http://bit.ly/1Gkm6R8.

How do these trends and the industry direction affect companies using and evaluating expense management tools now?

Companies and organizations evaluating expense management solutions have more options available to them now than ever before. Of course, with the increased number of options comes the challenge of determining which solution is right for your organization. It is important to go through a thorough process of evaluation wherein you identify the objectives and requirements for your organization as the first step. Then assess the different solutions based on the criteria identified. If you don't have the resources internally to thoroughly assess the options then I recommend you consider engaging a consultant to assist you with your process.

With the many options available for expense management solutions, this is a great time to be a buyer. Take the information you learn in your requirements process and make sure the solutions you are considering adequately meet both your current and anticipated future needs. If a solution isn't a perfect fit don't hesitate to ask if it can be configured to meet your needs. If you don't feel comfortable with a particular solution, move on!

About the Expert
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Paul Johnson, CPA, CGMA
Co-Founder Atlasphere Consulting
Dynamic and entrepreneurial individual who is passionate about helping people and businesses succeed, leveraging technology, and lifelong learning. With experience in many aspects of accounting, computer software and business software consulting organizations, I focus on how organizations can best leverage technologies for their operations. Whether this is through the evaluation and implementation of an ERP or CRM system, or through the outsourcing of functions that could provide a more cost-effective solution, the goal is meeting organizational objectives through efficiency.