Expense Management

Expense Management

June 11, 2013

Eight Tips for Better Telecom Expense Management

Managing telecom expenses can be a challenge, especially at large organizations. But since telecommunications is essential to every business, it is an issue that every organization faces. While there are many tactics for reigning in expenses, here are eight tips that should serve as best practices when dealing with telecom expense management.

First, start with a firm, fair expenses policy. Ideally, employees should not have to read a 30-page document before they book a flight, for instance. The key is to review and update your policy regularly, then, publicize it internally and explain it clearly, according to a recent whitepaper by Concur on managing telecom expenses. This is crucial because approximately half of employees say they don’t even understand their policy, research has found.

Likewise, it is important to keep the processes simple. If your systems are bogged down with layers of administrative complexity, such as triplicate forms and preapproval, it’ll have a demoralizing effect on your employees and tie up time that should be spent on the company’s core business.

Third, it is important to collect the right amount of relevant information. Don’t capture too much, but also don’t get bogged down in the details.

Fourth, make sure to submit and approve expenses on time. Best practices mean having a clear, published timeframe for submitting expenses. When employees delay filing their expenses, not only does it hurt their pockets, it also can cause cash-flow challenges for the business, and associated accounting nightmares.

A related best practice is checking expenses and make managers accountable. Approvers must be accountable for the application and enforcement of your policy.

Sixth, make it easy to submit and approve expenses away from the office.

“Allow managers to check and approve expense reports while out of the office. It helps if you can use a tool like Concur that allows approvers to say ‘yes, this is okay to pay’ while they’re out and about; so they can approve reports anytime, anywhere. The beauty of having access on a mobile device is that it’s faster to submit and approve expenses on the go,” according to the whitepaper.

Also important is to audit your processes and receipts.

Finally, it is important to pay employees on time. Once employees have gone through the process, complied with policy, filled out the right expense forms and attached receipts, it’s only fair to pay them on time. They also will more likely follow company policy if they feel the company is holding up its end of the bargain, too.

If these best practices are followed, telecom expense management need not be the burden it often is made out to be.

Edited by Rachel Ramsey

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