Consultants are almost always on the road, which means they have specific requirements when it comes to expense management. Consultants need to be able to keep up with their expenses as they go, and they need to be able to do so in a way that’s time-efficient, and that doesn’t interfere with the work at hand.
So what should consultant-based businesses know about expense management and efficient expense reporting?
First, there is no question consultants need an automated expense reporting system, and they need to be able to access it from anywhere and at any time.
That’s a given, but what are the specifics beyond those objectives?
Flexibility is essential when selecting expense management solutions for consultants.
Consultants need to be able to include whether charges are for one client, or the charges are for different clients. There may even be expenses that are split among clients, such as airfare to a city where the consultant is going to be working with several clients.
Most consultants also need an automated solution allowing for client-billable and non-client-billable items to be on the same report.
When consulting firms provide consultants with the opportunity to build their expense reports as they go, it saves everyone involved time.
Be Creative with Work Time
Consultants spend a lot of time in transit, so they should work toward finding ways to maximize the time they’re spending on airplanes.
For example, consultants can bill for travel time by starting their initial research and work while they’re still on the plane. That gives the consultant more billable time, but it also ensures that as soon as they land in their destination, they’re ready to maximize their time and start working.
It can also be good to work for other clients even when traveling for one particular client. That allows consultants to make up the time they’re not being compensated for when it comes to traveling.
Use Technology with Web Apps
When choosing expense management software with mobile capabilities, there are native and web apps. Native apps are the apps we most often think of, and they’re built for specific devices and downloaded from the App Store.
There are also web apps, and that tends to be the best option for consultants who spend a lot of time on the road. Web apps can be accessed through a browser, and features and functionality are the same regardless of the device someone is viewing them on.
This way, a consultant isn’t losing anything as they move from device-to-device, and they’re not limited based on which device they’re using.
Finally, most consultants travel not only domestically but also internationally. They need expense management solutions that can work well across international borders. For example, consulting firms should opt for expense management systems that automatically convert currencies or work in different languages. Things like how much tax should be applied should be automated as well, and then the consultant never has to worry about any of these issues.
By implementing a modern expense management system, consultants can maximize their productivity, focus on making money, and build the best possible client relationships.