Online expense reporting replaces a manual process with a streamlined, automated method for authorizing, tracking and reimbursing business-related expenses. But, like many cloud-based solutions, expense report software can also offer strategic advantages that help your organization become more competitive.

According to an article on the Business Finance IT blog wiredFINANCE, more companies are leveraging the cloud in such areas as HR, sales and enterprise resource planning. When considering a cloud solution like online expense reporting, wiredFINANCE suggests asking the following three questions to evaluate its effectiveness for your organization.

  1. How integral is IT to your business strategy? Deploying cloud solutions can help your organization gain a long-term technological edge. A cloud-based automated expense policy, for example, sets the stage for potential savings and risk avoidance. By helping to ensure compliance with local, state, national and international tax laws, it helps companies minimize exposure to financial and operating penalties.
  2. How geographically dispersed is your organization? According to wiredFINANCE, having multiple physical locations tends to complicate IT infrastructure tasks, from basic upkeep to installing new software. Cloud software like online expense reporting can greatly simplify these situations, allowing the entire organization to use the same up-to-date, hosted application.
  3. How will employee productivity benefit? One of the main reasons to invest in cloud technology is to improve employee productivity. Compared to compiling physical business expense reports, expense management software offers a more efficient way to track and report expenses, especially for business travelers and remote employees. This efficiency also offers savings in processing the reports. Manual processing costs an average of $21.41 per report, while a fully automated system reduces the cost to $8.50 per report.

Additional factors to consider include how quickly your organization is evolving and changes in market competition and regulation.

In the end, it’s important to look beyond short-term gains to consider the long-term strategic value of adopting a cloud solution. While online expense reporting offers upfront advantages to many organizations, it also provides greater spending visibility and opportunities to improve a variety of business processes and projects.

We appreciate feedback from our readers. What are some long-term advantages you look for when considering a new cloud-based tool or platform? Let us know by posting in the comments section!

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