|Dave Pelland has extensive experience covering the business use of technology, networking and communications tools by companies of all sizes. Dave's editorial and corporate experience includes more than 10 years editing an electronic technology and communications industry newsletter for a global professional services firm.|
Improve Your Finances With Mobile Expense Management
Efficient expense management is a common challenge for small business owners, but a growing number of mobile and cloud-based tools are helping companies automate and improve an often-cumbersome process.
Keeping track of expenses and receipts can be frustrating for business owners, sales reps and other team members who spend part, or most, of their time out of the workplace.
Like flossing, eating more vegetables or other healthy habits, everybody knows it's important to track expenses and save receipts - but a lot of people fall short of their good intentions.
Expense Management Benefits
Keeping track of your small business expenses can help improve your company's financial position in several ways:
Probably the most important way to help people track expenses more carefully is to make the process less painful or cumbersome.
Mobile expense management apps help simplify tracking in several ways. The most common approach is using a smartphone camera to capture a receipt, and letting the app use its optical character recognition (OCR) technology to extract data from the receipt. The data is then categorized automatically and uploaded to a cloud-based expense management dashboard for approval.
Similarly, some expense management tools allow you to download payment card transactions directly from your bank's website, reducing the need to enter expenses on the go.
Expense data can also be exported automatically to your financial management program, saving you time and effort when it comes to preparing information for your bookkeeper or tax professional.
Some programs also include automated mileage tracking that's based on the mobile device's GPS capabilities. Just start and stop tracking the mileage as you drive to a business appointment, and your expenses will be calculated and submitted automatically.
Popular mobile expense management apps include Expensify, Shoeboxes, Neat, Zoho Expenses, and other choices.
Most apps include cloud services that are available for modest subscription fees. Depending on your business and the amount of time people spend out of the workplace, a mobile and cloud expense management tool can pay for itself in time savings and tax deductions rather quickly.
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