The simple answer is: a lot. A slightly more in-depth answer is: save money by cutting back on paper and the time it takes to manually enter information.
More organizations are looking to integrate automated expense management systems, as these options can provide a much shorter path from receipt to balance sheet. Additionally, cloud-based systems or automated software can help businesses streamline their tax processing and payment structures.
The Capital Goes Digital
Take Washington, D.C. for example. The city recently announced that it had awarded a company a $37.4 million, five-year contract to develop a Modern Integrated Tax System. According to a Washington Business Journal article, the Office of the Chief Financial Officer is going to work with Fast Enterprises, LLC to create a more efficient, secure and cost-effective Integrated Tax System (ITS).
The contract is waiting for approval by the D.C. council, but the news source pointed out that the current, 14-year-old system has been criticized for years.
“[The current ITS] has been the repeated target of auditors’ angst — lax monitoring, unauthorized changes to critical data and programs, big risks and weaknesses,” the Journal stated.
Additionally, the Journal cited a 2013 review of the current ITS from the D.C. Inspector General. At the time, the Inspector General found the tax office was at risk of “unnecessary or wasteful” spending, “insufficient application support,” and “unauthorized changes to critical data and programs."
Back in 2012, a former D.C. Tax Examiner was found guilty of wire fraud stemming from a scheme involving more than $400,000 in fraudulent refunds. Evidence in the case showed that Mary Ayers-Zander used her position to issue fraudulent tax refunds that went into the bank accounts of herself and others.
‘Tallie’ Up The Possible Savings
A new cloud-based expense management system is also making headlines, and expects to be a game-changer for companies that want to simplify their expense report process.
Tallie was given the Tax and Accounting Technology Innovation Award by CPA Practice Advisor. With a mobile-enabled solution, Tallie can automatically capture, categorize and process expense transactions, and integrate seamlessly with leading accounting systems, according to the company website.
Tallie CEO Chris Farrell said in a statement on the company blog that being honored with the CPA award means a lot to him, as well as the company as a whole.
"Just as we have built Tallie to deliver accounting-savvy automation and back-end synchronization, we are committed to steadily raising the bar for cloud accounting solutions,” Farrel said. “Tallie looks forward to deepening our partnership with the CPA community as we advance and optimize the accounting workflow together."
In a CPA Practice Advisor article, Farrell explained that “Tallie is not your prototypical technology-led company that sells innovation first and figures out its application later.” Instead, Farrell said that Tallie executives started with the problem and then worked toward a solution.
Simplifying The Process
Businesses should not need to be constantly worrying about their expense management system. Regardless of whether an organization has experienced cases of tax fraud – like Washington, D.C. – finding a secure system to streamline the expense process can save companies time and money.
As the D.C. Inspector General explained in its 2013 review, a modern tax system needs to include a comprehensive functionality for all tax types, business intelligence and leads management functions, as well as a flexible and rapidly configurable application environment. Additionally, a “robust and trusted security layer” is a necessity.