From XU Magazine, 
Issue 36

How to fix broken and slow expenditure approval processes

Discover practical solutions to streamline your organisation’s expenditure approval processes.

We’ve explored some of the most common challenges contributing to broken and slow expenditure approval workflows and have actionable tips to enhance efficiency, eliminate bottlenecks, and empower your team with adequate spending controls.
This article originated from the Xero blog. The XU Hub is an independent news and media platform - for Xero users, by Xero users. Any content, imagery and associated links below are directly from Xero and not produced by the XU Hub.
You can find the original post here:

What’s the old saying? You have to spend money to make money. The innovative business sees the value in that philosophy while putting guides around spending that keep decision-making in check. Like the reins on a racehorse, good expense management protocols keep you on the straight and narrow path to success. The only time you’d pull back is if you’re going to crash.

The evolution of this side of the company has failed to keep up with the progressive spirit the business was founded on. It’s impossible to win a horserace with the jockey pulling back on the reins.

The common bottleneck for expenditure approval processes

There are several common causes for slow and inefficient processes when it comes to approving costs in a company. These causes can vary depending on the organisation’s size, structure, and specific operational challenges.

1. Manual workflows

With automation technology now on our side, there is no longer the need to rely so heavily on the manual movement of documents. This causes delays in routing and bottlenecks.

2. Lack of standardisation

Miscommunication and prolonged decision-making are the enemy. No matter how big or small, every company needs clear guidelines for requesting, reviewing, and approving spending.

3. Hierarchical approval structures

Multiple levels of management approval and oversight can cause delays.

4. Manual tracking and follow-up

Lack of visibility into the approval status is a significant concern. It’s essential to eliminate and challenge the process to monitor the progress and identify and fix bottlenecks.

5. Lack of delegation and empowerment

Efficiencies are found by removing centralised decision-making authority. More employees in charge of their own cost centres and budgets make making the load more manageable.

6. Limited access to information and documentation

If approvers don’t have easy access to relevant information, such as budget details, project specifications, or historical spending, it can cause delays as they gather that additional information.

7. Inefficient communication channels

No one wants to rely on back-and-forth emails, phone calls, or physical meetings to confirm their approval. A central place with the correct information is needed to eliminate misunderstandings.

If this reminds you of your business, now is the time to change.

How approval automation software can improve your business.

We see it all around us. Technology is finding efficiencies with automation of tasks, reducing manual effort and saving time. The area of approval automation is no exception.

Accounts departments everywhere are breathing a sigh of relief. Here’s what innovative businesses are getting with new technology like ApprovalMax.

Standardisation – Everyone knows where they stand with consistent organisational processes.

Real-time visibility – Easily track the status of approvals and identify bottlenecks. Always know where you stand on the budget and how the expense affects the bottom line.

Compliance checks – Technology can incorporate compliance checks and validations into the approval process, ensuring adherence to regulations, budget limits, and policies.

Audit trails – Capture approval history, timestamps, and user actions, which aids in audits and fraud investigations.

Segregation of duties – Enforce segregation of duties by setting up predefined approval hierarchies and access controls, reducing the risk of fraud.

Document management – No more emailing back and forth. Secure document management allows for easy attachment and retrieval of supporting documents during the approval process, supporting compliance requirements.

Collaboration and communication – It’s easier and quicker to explain things to those involved in the approval process, making for faster decision-making and fewer delays.

Mobile accessibility – Having on-the-go access to the approval process from anywhere makes sense. Anything less is unacceptable these days.

Here’s how ApprovalMax makes financial controls and approvals a breeze

By addressing these causes, organisations can streamline and optimise their approval processes. ApprovalMax is a cloud-based approval workflow automation platform that helps businesses streamline and optimise their approval processes. It is designed to simplify and accelerate spending approvals, providing organisations with greater control, transparency, and efficiency.

Why leave it there?

To find out more about ApprovalMax

Straight to your inbox

Subscribe to our newsletter for updates as they happen
We hate spam too. We NEVER sell our mailing list.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.