Expense administration is crippling some SMEs

Expense administration has a large impact on the 1.2million small or medium sized businesses (SMB’s) in operation in the UK. This has been the conclusion of a survey of more than 400 such SMB’s currently active in the marketplace. The results of the survey indicated that an average business will spend approximately thirteen days administering expenses, time that could be much better utilised elsewhere in the business.

In fact, vital business functions such as thinking about the future, generating new business and investigating new markets are being neglected in favour of this expense administration. In addition to this, expense monitoring and reporting within the workplace is also a big area of concern. The survey reveals that there are many concerns in how much employees are expensing and whether these are legitimate expenses or not.

With recent MP scandals regarding expenses, business are more concerned than ever about expenses within their own organisations. However, despite the amount of time already being sent on administrating expenses, companies do not have the time or resources to follow up each expense made by each employee.

This survey is corroborated by Isabel Montesdeoca of Concur (online expense management). Montesdeoca states that business are spending far too much time managing their expenses but concerns still exist that this is simply not enough and visibility and controls are just not in place or working as they should be. However, peace of mind can be achieved by using the correct tools, such as the right technology.

This peace of mind is crucial in the market place with more than a quarter of those who participated in the survey questioning whether the expenses they pay out are, in fact, justified. In fact, more than 15% indicated that they have no policy or official process in place for the claiming of expenses.

Of those surveyed, only two in five businesses use automated expense management systems despite the benefits of such systems. Montesdeoca maintains that the benefits of such systems help free up some much need resources within the business and can help control this area from spiralling to dangerous levels.