How to put your business expense management on autopilot

4 minutes
How to put your business expense management on autopilot
In this article

Some people love admin work. Others… not so much.

So in the veritable explosion of business process automation, it’s no surprise that business administration and expense management were some of the first fields to receive a helping hand. 

If you’re one of those people who dreads the end of the month and winces every time you hear the word ‘invoice’, we’ve got some good news. 

Here are some quick tips that you can incorporate into your workflow this week to help you automate and streamline the time-heavy processes you deal with in your daily expense management. 

Automate your payments

Raising invoices, chasing up payments, and logging each takes up your time, and often feels like more of a headache than it’s worth. The simple act of automating how your payments are made can save you untold hours not just each month, but on an ongoing basis.

Automate your recurring invoices

Instead of manually raising or paying your invoices, many accounting platforms have the option to schedule recurring invoice generation. This is ideal if you have regular recurring invoices to pay for things like services, stock, logistics or security.

While the actual mechanics will vary from platform to platform, the idea itself is simple. You just send the invoice amount, assign a cost code (if required), determine the specific time and date to make the payment, and then set the process live. Just set it and forget it, and your invoices will be paid—or sent out—on time, every time, each month.

Recurring contracts? Get on the payroll

If you have a supplier or a client who does regular work for you, a smart way to streamline your payments is to invite them to be a part of your payroll. This way, instead of having them send invoices each month and then going through the payment process each time, they get paid automatically as part of your regular pay run.

Their details are already in your system, their expense is already budgeted for, and it gets taken care of automatically, without having to manually enter and pay the same invoice each month.

Conversely, you could also consider having this conversation with a client for whom you do regular work. This way there’s no need to chase up invoices—for either of you.

Auto-reconcile your expense management

Cut out the time you spend chasing up purchase receipts by using payment cards that automatically sync any transaction details to your accounting software. Imagine that: no more scrambling around to find the right person for this or that payment, no more going from team member to team member just to find out what one random payment was made for.

You can also opt in for expense management features to automate your accounting workflows and save all that time you’d normally be spending on hunting for receipts.

Borderless Cards are simple to set up, and once they’re created you can start using them immediately. You can create new virtual cards for individual team members too, so you can ensure that the right people are using your cards. This allows you to monitor your budgets in granular detail, which means no more mystery payments, and no more surprises.

You also get better oversight of your spend

Auto-reconciliation doesn’t just make the processing side of things easier, it also gives you more security. Your Borderless Card is linked to your bank feed, with each transaction logged in real-time and synced back to Xero hourly. So you can check where and when your money is being spent, and monitor payments as they occur.

Not to say you’ll be sitting there watching it like a hawk (although if that’s your thing, we won’t stop you)—auto-reconciliation just makes it easier to monitor and manage your spending, and regularly track it to ensure you’re staying on budget.

Automate your document signing

It would be remiss of us to say that the global pandemic has forced more business to be conducted online. The need for social distancing and remote working has simply sped up what was already becoming a trend.

Signing documents is one of those things. There are some great tools out there at the moment which sidestep the need to print documents, hand-sign them, scan them to your computer, and then email them—or worse, require you to sign and post the document by mail.

There’s a raft of digital signature apps and services around now that are recognised as acceptable alternatives to the old-fashioned physical copy.

DocuSign is one of the most recognised and trustworthy services around at the moment, and with good reason. It’s easy to use, simple to operate, and even allows you to send documents to other people for them to sign, which they can sign and complete for free, without having to sign up for a membership.

Imagine it: a world where signing and sending documents is as easy as clicking a button.

And that’s only the tip of the iceberg

As the world adjusts to the effects of social distancing, we’re looking at more and more ways to perform our work remotely. Along with these quick, easy tips to automate your business expense management, there’s no doubt we’re going to see some exciting innovation in the near future. 

So it’s important for flexible, future-focused businesses to stay open to new ideas. And who knows—they might even help you learn to love admin.

Airwallex helps make your expense management easy

Create your free borderless account today to better manage your business expenses with Borderless Cards and Expenses.

Related article: The ultimate guide to managing your business's software stack

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