Case Study: Expense Management System
Customer: Prime Drinks
At Prime Drinks, expenses are done every Friday by everyone on the sales team (over 150 salespeople). The system was paper-based. There was a person who spent more than 50% of her time collecting the forms, inputting the numbers into another application for reimbursement. Then the grouped numbers were input manually into the SAP system. There was lots of time spent on this and there were errors due to illegibility of the expense forms and mistakes in data entry.
Also, the person had to monitor who had submitted their expenses and who hadn’t, sending out reminder emails and re-checking constantly.
We implemented a web-based application to implement the paper expense form plus a workflow with business logic built-in. The process was also improved.
Now: employees enter expense information into an online form. There are automatic checks and balances (e.g. if a salesperson is only allowed to put in up to $15 for lunch it checks that this is true and that someone does not claim for more than one lunch on any given day. Information is input on the type of expense, for example if it is a business trip the system will ask for kilometres driven, amount spent on gas and tolls. etc. Holidays are tracked so that employees cannot claim expenses on holidays.
Once the form is complete, if it is above a certain value it goes to his/her manager automatically for approval. When the boss logs in he/she is given a task list including expense forms to authorize. If a manager rejects a form, they can explain why and send it back through the system to the submitter.
Employees can save an expense submission form incrementally (ie they can start inputting on Monday and finish it off on Friday).
You can keep track of when people submitted – if they don’t submit then system sends an email out to them to remind them. There is a report on who did not submit.
The final approved expense form goes to the HR manager who checks everything again. If everything is OK a text file is generated that is then imported by the company SAP system and payments are made automatically.
This solution was implemented in approximately two weeks. The customer saw a positive ROI (return on Investment) within a month.