For many organizations, mobile employees and a distributed workplace have become attractive and cost-effective alternatives to the traditional office. Advances in cloud technology, high-speed networks and mobile devices have made working from the road — or from home — a serious proposition. And as more companies go virtual, mobile applications are going to be more important than ever.

A virtual office has such obvious advantages for employees and business owners as eliminating costly, time-consuming commutes and slashing the traditional office’s high overhead costs. But the virtual office also requires careful planning, according to Business Finance. To be effective, current workflows and processes might need to be revised, and employees need to have the appropriate technologies integrated and supported.

Providing employees with robust web apps can make a real difference for the entire organization. With online expense reporting like Chrome River EXPENSE, employees on the road can use a mobile device to quickly and easily enter business expenses, sending the reports to accounts payable with the tap of a screen. Managers can then approve or flag these expenses from their own mobile devices. If an expense isn’t compliant with company policy, the approver can see the violation and the reason provided by the employee, and then either accept the expense or return it to the employee, requesting further action.

Similarly, accounts payable management can use mobile apps to streamline invoice management, reviewing and approving invoices from third-party vendors. The approver can review a summary or detailed view of the invoice as well as the invoice image, and then approve the invoice for payment or return it, requesting further action.

In today’s virtual office environment, employees still need to enter expenses and approvers still must approve expenses and invoices. And with the right planning and mobile tools, your organization’s accounts payable automation can become even smoother and more efficient than before.

We’d like to hear from you. What qualities do you look for when using mobile apps in a business environment? Share your thoughts in the comments section!

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