Introducing the ExpensePlus workflow
However, here is a quick overview of the process flow steps within ExpensePlus, as shown in the diagram above.
ExpensePlus has been specifically designed for churches and charities and the screens within ExpensePlus are designed to help support a good financial process flow.
- Enter Purchases - This replaces the need for staff to fill out paper expense forms, which would then have to be transposed manually to create accounts. It means staff members or volunteers can submit expenses from anywhere and while on the go, and you save money and paper by having online invoices and receipts. Staff can also view past expenses and see where current expenses are up to without needing to ask.
- Manage Receipts - This is usually done by a member of the finance team, whether in an employed or volunteer role. For uploaded/photographed/emailed receipts, it takes around 5 seconds per receipt to simply check that the correct receipt/invoice has been attached for each purchase.
- Approve Expenditure (optional) - This replaces the need to have paper-based counter-signed approvals and means budget holders have real-time visibility of all the expenditure relevant to their areas of responsibility. Budget holders who have expenses to approve get a daily email at 7am, and can approve expenses with a click of a button without even having to log in to ExpensePlus. Approvals can be customised to add a backup budget approver - someone who will approve the budget holder's own expenses, and you can set an approvals threshold to auto-approve small expenses if you wish. Approvals can also be turned off in the system settings, although this isn't recommended.
- Action Payments - This screen makes it easy to see what payments need to be made. Only purchases that have had their receipts checked and have been approved appear on this page. ExpensePlus automatically groups together expenses for the same person, provides you with the bank details of any new suppliers or payees, and it sends automatic payment notifications for all payments that you make. The payment module supports dual authorisation functionality to mimic the controls on your organisation's signature mandate with your bank.
- Bank Match Transactions - ExpensePlus is bank statement driven. You can upload bank statements as .csv or .xls either weekly, monthly or as you choose. You can enter statements and transactions manually where required. Once a bank statement has been uploaded, bank matching expenditure is super quick, as the details of all the payments made out of your bank accounts are already within ExpensePlus. Bank matching of income is equally as quick, as ExpensePlus auto-remembers donation transactions. Any other transactions e.g. bank-to-bank transfers or missing payment transactions can also be easily entered on this screen.
- Add Adjustments (optional) - You can enter fund transfers, transfers between categories, and any accruals and deferrals. For regular/recurring transactions, there is a 'copy to next month' button. This functionality replaces the use of 'journals' (from other accounting systems).
- View Reports - Once transactions are bank-matched they will appear in your financial reports. Access to the reports is highly customisable. For example, you can give your youth worker access to just the relevant categories you wish them to see, you can give the organisational leaders access to an overview of Income & Expenditure for a particular fund, and only enable them to drill down to view transactions of some of the categories. There is a separate suite of reports for donations management.
- Claim Gift Aid - You can use ExpensePlus to submit Gift Aid claims directly to HMRC for donations received from a named donor with a valid Gift Aid declaration. Alternatively, if you use the ChurchSuite management system then you can choose to export donation details directly from ExpensePlus into ChurchSuite, to claim your Gift Aid there.
In addition to these stages, you can create invoices from within ExpensePlus and record bank deposits for the money you bank. There are also lots of other exciting features such as a New Donor Report that allows you to spot your organisation's new donors quickly, enabling you to thank them and send them a Gift Aid form in a timely fashion.