Managers and employees alike may recognise that sinking feeling when a stack of crinkled paper receipts, backed up by hastily-scribbled, sometimes inexact, business expense claims need processing. Discussions and disagreements can then kick in, getting in the way of the real work that needs doing.
That’s because whether travelling to meet with clients, picking up supplies or carrying out essential work on location, paying for business expenses is an everyday reality. And it can cause employees and their employers huge headaches.
According to research from 1,000 SMEs, workers are feeling more pressure than ever over handling expenses. Businesses say that they are now devoting a disproportionate amount of time managing expense claims – time they could be spending on growing business or a better work/life balance.
Allstar Business Solutions’ research discovered that for many, dealing with paper receipts and out-of-date processes creates a huge admin burden and reduced productivity.
The four most common business expenses headaches
1. Mislaid receipts - A particularly common issue among workers, with many worrying about losing bills and, with them, any prospect of being reimbursed.
2. The admin logjam - Long-winded ways to submit claims, often with a big paper trail, mean expenses build up, causing cashflow issues for both the employer and the employee.
3. Failure to keep and submit fuel receipts – Hampers or prevents businesses making an HMRC claim to get VAT refunded on fuel.
4. Late Claims - Another stress point for workers are monthly claim cycles. For employees who miss the deadline, it can mean waiting another entire month to get paid. For the business, it can mean extra resource processing late claims.
The painful consequences of an outdated expense process
These issues highlight how inefficient business expenses management processes can take their toll, leading to growing disillusionment among employees and an unwelcome admin burden for business owners.
From the research, we found that workers in the construction sector were particularly stressed, with 51% saying that keeping and processing receipts is their biggest expense frustration. Nearly the same number say that footing the bill up-front for expenses leads to them having a negative perception of their employer.
The water and utilities sector felt the same - more than a quarter (26%) say using their own money to pay for travel costs is their main frustration, while nearly three in ten (27%) say they have experienced financial difficulties because they have been left out of pocket due to poor expenses processes.
Simplifying the process – an all-in-one business expense credit card and fuel card
There are ways to streamline the expenses process that take the hassle out of dealing with receipts and eliminating the need for employees to pay for expenses out of their own pockets.
Solutions such as Allstar Plus, a unique ‘all-in-one’ business credit card and fuel card, can help prevent these headaches by allowing employees to pay for defined expenses whenever they need to, without using their own money. For the business, it can also prevent employees spending where they shouldn’t, offer an extra line of credit to help manage cashflow and deliver the cost saving benefits of a fuel card to keep company fuel costs down.
Add to that the latest expense tracking technology, such as Visa Business Reporting from Allstar (link), which simplifies expense capture and claim through an app-based process, and both business owners and employees can quickly get rid of painful expense headaches.
Find out more about what Allstar Business Solutions can do for your business’s expenses process.
 Research for Allstar Business Solutions conducted by Charterhouse in March 2019 of 1,000 SMEs