When mobile expense tracking apps are so widely available, why do so many professional service firms stick with manual processes?
According to Robert Neveu in CPA Practice Advisor, many smaller organizations can manage a manual process just fine due to lower reporting volume and reimbursement requirements.
But there are problems with manual processes even then. Neveu’s firm, Certify, conducted a recent survey of more than 600 CFOs and accounting professionals. They found that the top pain point for 52 percent of study participants is that employees lose paper receipts. The runner-up pain point, experienced by 51% of respondents, is their employee’s failure to submit expense reports on time.
Mobile apps capture images of paper receipts, which can then be attached to digital expense reports. This process does away with paper receipts altogether. It also makes it easy for employees to submit expenses on time. Online expense tracking is also scalable. It can grow with your business without disrupting the way you do business.
There’s one thing more. We work with professional service firms all over the world. Some of them make a lot of money. Others not so much.
What makes the successful ones successful? Leverage. They’re good at leveraging data. Successful firms use the data they track (expenses and timesheets, for example) to get better at estimating. They use online timesheet data to flag customers and engagements that need attention. They use expense data to do a better job building project budgets. If a project does fail, they use that data as an audit log to help them look back and see what went wrong.
BigTime Software delivers real-time, metrics-driven time tracking, billing and project management for more than 2,000 professional firms, tracking over $2 billion (USD) worth of billable time each year.