Add submitting and processing small business expense reports to the list of business rituals that are being re-imagined by the cloud.
Certify, a Portland, Maine-based provider of cloud-based business software, has flipped the switch to the final component that fully automates its expense management. The feature, called ReportExecutive, essentially eliminates the hassle of digging through envelopes stuffed with receipts and manually assembling expense reports before the monthly or quarterly deadline arrives.
Certify CEO Robert Neveu told Small Business Computing that, in short, ReportExecutive "automatically builds the expense report for the employee based on the company's schedule." Available at no additional cost to Certify users, ReportExecutive fully integrates with the company's platform to streamline the process of recording, compiling and submitting expense reports.
Manual expense processing can lead to a significant loss of productivity for users, argues Neveu, adding that the process can take anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour. Multiply that by even a handful of employees, and the time drain adds up. In addition, effects can trickle into other parts of a business.
"Finance professionals face challenges including employees not filing reports on time, losing or forgetting receipts and excessive time spent improving and reconciling reports," warned the company in a statement. "This costs companies time and money and puts CFOs in the uncomfortable position of having to make payments on corporate credit cards with incomplete information."
You can capture receipts using the Certify mobile app, which uses the camera on a smartphone or tablet to take an image. The company's ReceiptParse technology takes things a step further by auto-populating expense reports based on the captured receipts. Duplicate expense detection features help keep errors to a minimum. The mobile app is available for iOS, Android, Windows and BlackBerry.
ReportExecutive stores, classifies and organizes your receipts and expenses in Certify's cloud-based wallet. Other time-saving features include support for credit card transaction data and attendee reporting—the latter takes the mystery out of which clients or guests enjoyed an event or meal on the company dime. Spending-policy enforcement, Google Maps mileage, multiple currency support and integrated travel services help round out the suite's functionality.
Finally, when it comes time to submit expenses, ReportExecutive pulls a user's data and compiles a report. The company's Cleanup Wizard acts as a precaution, nudging users to include missing items, if any, before it sends the report for approval.
"All an employee has to do is review their report, then push a button to submit. ReportExecutive will help our clients regain thousands of hours in annual productivity," boasted Neveu in company remarks.
Moreover, it helps businesses balance their books faster and more accurately. With Certify, small business owners can definitively settle their expense obligations at the close of quarter, for instance, and prevent lingering issues that may cause accounting adjustments down the line.
Certify's ReportExecutive feature is now live and included on all plans. Small Business subscriptions start at $10 per month for five users.
Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Small Business Computing and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.
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