The “paperless office,” coined as a marketing slogan in the early days of the IBM computer, has not yet arrived, despite evidence that the use of paper may finally be on the downtrend. At a time when almost every employee has access to a computer, and with mobile devices power packed with features to replicate an entire workstation on to a mobile screen, it is strange that more hasn’t got done to reduce the usage of paper.
Going paperless is a greener option than using reams of paper and may cut down on overhead expenses, but depending on the size and needs of your company there maybe a process where submission of paper bound reports is inevitable (eg: incase of a routine third party audit). Another avenue to consider is running your office with less paper, instead of attempting a completely paperless office.
Software as a Service has made automation of complex business processes, simple, quick and affordable. While there are some processes like Sales Training or HR- recruiting which are rather difficult to automate due to the need of human intervention, one of the more easy-to-automate processes in any organization is the Employee Expenses & Reimbursement process.
Every large, medium and small enterprise has expenses which needs to be claimed, processed and dealt with. Automating a completely manual expense & reimbursement process or optimizing a semi-automated process helps in reducing paper usage to a large extent.
Expense reporting is a tedious task especially for frequent business travellers as it involves filing paper receipts manually. These receipts are filed along with an expense report (that has to be made by manual entries and then printed out).
Employees usually print one more for personal reference, not to mention re-printing of reports in case of any errors before they are couriered to the finance team. You can see what I am getting to….manual entries, taking prints, re-work, not the most efficient or new-age way of getting things done.
“Will I get the entire reimbursement amount? Have I violated any travel or expense policy? Do you think the finance head will notice?” are probably the most recurring questions in an employee’s mind once the expense reports are submitted, subject to a surprise at the end of the month. It’s high time we retire such doubts and implement some robust processes… its 2018 after all!.
Expense management solutions come as a boon to employees as well as the environment. Majority of these platforms support mobile devices, allowing cameras to scan paper receipts and import them into the system which contributes to a paper free environment in office.
Employees are instantly alerted on policy violations so they know exactly what went wrong.Files are reported and sent electronically along the approval workflow, and the reimbursement is automatically credited into the employee’s wallet. No more cheques!
Additionally, some of these platforms also have agreements with travel-centric service providers –such as taxi companies, airlines and hotel, that handle the entire process electronically and completely eliminate the need for paper receipts.
Some more sophisticated solutions like Happay provide end to end business expense management – they take care of not just day to day business claims but also completely eliminate the need to claim medical or meal expenses that are part of employee’s flexi-benefits.
Happay went a step ahead in digitizing allowances and flexi-benefits for the employees with a unique solution that integrates a prepaid card with a powerful dashboard.
Employees can manage multiple flexi-benefit wallets through a single card and manage expenses and claims right from their mobile app. They can easily switch from one wallet (food) to another (medical) based on their spend requirement.
They can track card balances and spends in real-time from the app as well. Employees can use the cards anywhere – at both POS and Online merchants in India. Balance on Happay card is timeless. Zero loss to companies and employees.
The same card can be used to make cashless expenses for their companies. Managers simply load their cards with cash advances and the employee can go about making purchases for the company.
Along with taking a paperless approach, once you automate the expense & reimbursement process there are a number of business benefits you are entitled to:
Making your company processes more reliable, fast and up-to-date with the latest technology.
Keeping management informed of all the expenses made with the help of detailed reports.
Reducing reimbursement cycle times by 50 per cent.
Making your business more efficient & profitable as this solution directly affects your P&L Controlling cash leakage due to frauds or unaware employees making constant policy violations
If we want to achieve the Digital India mission it is the right time to embrace digital payments management amongst businesses. A single business has the power to influence thousands of individuals to adopt digital means. Let’s come forward to assume our corporate responsibilities and digitize India, one business process at a time.
By Anshul Rai, Co-Founder & CEO, Happay
Originally published in Deccan Chronicle