Below is an interview with Cédric Dubuisson, who is in charge of the Notilus customer base, and has assisted many companies in their project to automate expense reports and related documentation.
The tedious task of managing paper expense reports
Today, many companies not equipped with a specialized digital solution for Manage your Expense Reports are still relying on a manual (and time-consuming) management of paper expense reports.
Cédric DUBUISSON explains:
“While it depends on the company, in most cases, paper receipts and hotel invoices are kept, and then stapled, attached, or otherwise added to a printed expense report filled out by hand. Sometimes, there will also be an Excel sheet to fill in. Usually, the employee will then put all the documents in an envelope and forward them to his manager or the accounting department. The verification process occurs later, to reconcile spendings, and check for errors, fraud, and policy violations.”
How to automate the management of its expense reports?
In France, thanks to technological developments and new legislation, it is now possible to dematerialize expense reports: a smartphone’s camera or a printer with a scanner suffice to do it.
Indeed, with mobile applications for expense management such as Notilus, anyone can take a picture of the receipt and attach it to their expense claim. This is made possible by the OCR (Optical Character Recognition) technology which extracts key information from the receipt picture, and then automatically completes relevant fields of the expense report, such as VAT, amount, currency, date, nature, etc.
“Afterwards, the expense report will enter what we call an “approval workflow“. It will follow the steps defined by the company, going through, for example, the verification and approval of the next higher level before being forwarded to the department in charge of expenses (usually HR, accounting, etc.).”, adds Cédric DUBUISSON.
“Internationally, there exist specificities depending on the country, such as different currencies, VAT, or even alphabets. As a product that constantly evolves along with its users through a co-designing process, we are proud to announce that Notilus follows today its customers across the globe.”
With our OCR, all fields such as VAT, currency or amount are automatically detected. With the electronic archiving, your expense receipts are stored in a secure cloud, no more paper.
How to dematerialize the storage of expense receipts?
In France, URSSAF is allowed to check expense receipts dating back to 10 years ago. For enterprises with a manual setup, all these paper receipts will have to fill binders and boxes stored somewhere in the company.
“It’s usually an ordeal to find a specific receipt. In addition, the ink on paper receipts can fade over the years. With an average of 10 receipts per trip, companies end up with a mountain of paper receipts to store,” continues Cédric DUBUISSON.
However, since 2019, it is possible to dematerialize the storage of expense receipts thanks to electronic archiving, best described as an encrypted safe that will keep expense receipts for 10 years. To find out more, please read our complete guide on electronic archiving of business records.
6 good reasons to automate your expense reports
- It saves a lot of time. You free your employees from manual data entry tasks, and as a result, expense verification and reimbursement are much faster!
- It offers better security. With an ISO 27001 certified electronic archiving solution, all your expense receipts are safely stored in a virtual strongbox.
- It is much more convenient. Archives can be consulted at any time, and in the event of an audit, no need to unpack dusty boxes anymore!
- It offers better visibility. Managers, accountants, HR members, and employees, all have real-time visibility into expenses and can access them with just a few clicks.
- It offers better control. No more papers lying around in your pockets or lost in a car. A quick overview of the company’s reimbursement policy is available at all times. It is even possible to set up automatic verifications with Notilus, to immediately detect duplicates for example.
It accelerates processes and cuts down reimbursement times. With the configuration of your approval workflow, the approver can be notified and approve expenses with a few minutes.
“A month’s worth of expenses that used to be processed in half a day, now only take half an hour!”
A few words on the author
For several years, Cédric DUBUISSON has been in charge of the Notilus customer base. His job is to help customers access the newest features from the last Notilus update. Dematerialization of paper receipts for expense reports is a central topic in his exchanges with customers.
Our solution is dedicated to the moblity management. In addition to the expense reports management you can plan, book and track your business trips. It is also possible to manage your car fleet.