We've stopped doing expense reports on paper. Here's why you should, too.

There is something really joyful about procrastinating on your expense reporting. Your heart might be telling you to put off reporting your expenses as long as you can, but your managers are getting on your case about reporting on time if you want to be reimbursed. However, it's joy that you can't afford if you're reporting all your expenses on paper. Think about it: handwriting all your expenses, gathering all those receipts, then filing them all neatly and reporting them to your manager--what a drag!

Zoho Expense

Most companies around the world either do it by hand or on spreadsheets. We used to do the same before we switched to using our current expense reporting software Zoho Expense--trust us when we say that we know how counterproductive it can be. Listing all your expenditures, gathering all your receipts, filing them by hand--all of these tasks add up fast and waste a ton of time that you could be spending on more important work.

 There are plenty of reasons why you should consider switching to an online expense reporting software, but below we've come up with the top five reasons why it's time to finally ditch the pen and paper.

1. Vanishing receipts.

 Now you see them, Now you don't: when you have lots of little pieces of paper, it's really difficult to store them in an organized way on your desk, or even in a box. Additionally, paper receipts are not only easy to lose, the content written on them fades over time. The more you delay reporting your expenses, the less likely your manager will be able to see what the receipts actually say, leaving fans of pen-and-paper reporting at the mercy of poor quality ink.


2. Spend 50 bucks. Get reimbursed for 30.

It may sound unlikely, but that's what happens when we do manual expense entry. When you have so many backlogged expenses to record, it's easy to report incorrect values or scribble numbers that are illegible to managers reading your reports. If you're not careful, these mistakes can add up, and over time, you may lose out on money that you should have had reimbursed.

3. Time is (not) on your side

For most people, time is more precious than gold. Sales teams, for example, are always thinking of what avenues they can use to find new leads, as well as how to convert those leads into customers. Now, imagine salespeople having to take time out of their day to write down their daily expenses on paper and report them to their manager. This is not just a time-consuming task; it's time lost that could have been spent capturing or converting leads. This massive time loss applies to every team in a company.


4. Reimbursement takes too long.

The expense report approval and reimbursement processes don't usually end with two people. Every single report has to go through several levels of approval before it can be reimbursed. This can take even longer when one manager has to approve several reports at the same time. For example, finance teams often have to handle ten times the number of reports that other employees have to handle. If this process were automated, it would only take two days; but when they have piles of papers on their desks that they need to verify, the process can be slow and cumbersome.


5. Double the work for the Finance team.

As hard as it is for one person to have to do expense reports by hand, imagine the plight of your finance team: they not only have to handle all of your paperwork, they have to deal with everyone else's accounting entries for their reports as well. From recording debit and credit and reconciling bank statements, they have to enter all the data from paper documents in their accounting software, taking the finance team's energy and resources away from more important tasks.


Get yourself out of the stone age and save yourself time and money by switching to an online expense reporting software.


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