Expense reporting software allows businesses a more sophisticated way to track and manage spend. However, you may not realize that your new software could put you in violation of compliance policies or regulatory rules for your industry. Heavily regulated industries like finance, healthcare and law should be aware of the impacts of a new data management tool, especially since many of these kinds of companies charge expenses back to clients and projects.
There are specific things to consider about your new expense reporting software (or your soon-to-be new software) to make sure that you maintain compliance. You know your regulations better than anyone, so it’s up to you to make sure you find software that keeps you in check.
Maintaining Compliance in Your Finance Software
Make sure that you can assign different roles to users – this is fairly common, but it’s good to make sure. You should be able to limit permissions based on the type of user. For example, you don’t want everyone in the company have access to editing company information. Similarly, make sure that you can remove users easily from your account. It’s a good policy to have an off-boarding process that includes removing users from these kinds of systems.
Similar to limiting access to your account, you’ll want to make sure that you can limit the visibility of data. For companies in regulated industries that charge expenses back to customers, it can be an easy place to slip up. At Abacus, we tackled this by limiting the visibility of selected drop down menus based on a team member’s profile information. This gives administrators the control they need to limit the visibility of things like customer names to specific groups within the company.
Full audit trails are important, especially if more than one person has the power to edit data. Make sure that there is a complete history of the actions taken on an expense throughout the entire submission process. This will help prevent falsified data and make it easy to track errors – painting a full picture for anyone auditing the data. It’s also important that this audit trail is associated with the specific expense for your required retention period.
Data Storage and Availability
Depending on your industry and company policies, you may need to keep records for a specified amount of time. Be sure that your software not only meets your retention period requirements, but that you can also access the data for the required amount of time without any heavy lifting or special requests. This is also a good consideration for when you create your cloud accounting stack security strategy.
Before reviewing or purchasing your software, the best place to start is with a risk assessment and to list any concerns, requirements, and sensitive data. It provides direction as you navigate through the process of adding in another layer of data management. Having this list can also help vendors help you – they’ll be able to directly answer questions and help you setup software to be sure if meets your requirements.