Client meetings and business travels are an essential aspect of the working world that capture the life cycle of employees, especially in client-facing roles. Teams engaged in business development, new business acquisition, marketing, in particular, have the largest travel and expense budgets in line with their business needs of strengthening the relationship with diverse stakeholders–customers, prospects, partners, influencers, suppliers, vendors, etc.
However, when it comes to managing the entire life cycle from initiating a travel request to multi-level approvals, adherence to corporate travel guidelines, budget, raising travel and non-travel expense claims for reimbursement, one can assume the following glitches:
- Late submission of expense reports
- Overshooting the budget
- Data entry errors
- Delay in approvals
- Doubts on data accuracy
- Challenge detecting fraudulent activities
- Lack of historical data
- Lack of mobility
Still, many companies follow the traditional means and manual paper-driven inefficient methods, making this a very cumbersome exercise. Such manual processes make it difficult for companies to stay on top of such costs, especially when they scale up. Also, it creates a question mark on the accuracy of the data. Challenges such as unclear travel policies, inability to keep a tab on the cost of a new business acquisition opportunity, or a business unit, data entry errors, lack of visibility, delay in decision making and many more result in overflowing budget and loss of time and money to the organization.
An outdated system can also lead to delays in approval and processing of the claims, which in turn builds up a resentment amidst the employees. By putting in place an effective system, management cannot only effectively manage the cost of sales but also save time by streamlining the process and empowering people to raise these requests, give approvals on the go. Having a centralized system in place also ensures adherence to corporate policies across the organization, thereby improving productivity and increasing digitization within the organization.
At Alletec, we have helped our clients from different industries such as IT/ITeS, Financial Services and Healthcare space in digitizing this process by offering a centralized platform. Our solution has been built on Microsoft Dynamics Solutions stack, encompassing the following:
- D365 Customer Engagement
- SharePoint Online
- MS Exchange
This solution can be used specifically for a given business unit or extended across the organization.
The solution has benefited all stakeholders involved throughout the life cycle. Apart from claimant and approver i.e. the manager, the system also helps back-office teams such as finance to achieve greater accuracy while presenting a management report with proper facts and figures and pinpoint the fraudulent activities, if any, in the organization. As a unified system, it also provides visibility to the history of claims and requests approved or rejected by the management earlier, which enable finance to take real-time decisions without wasting time in the unnecessary investigation.
An effective, efficient travel and expense management is a tricky process, particularly if a company has an outdated or inefficient system in place. Hence, companies need to introspect and see if they are also experiencing the aforementioned challenges and put the right solution to make everyone’s life easy.
So, do away with the spreadsheets, e-mails and such home-grown systems and embark on this journey in your organization to effectively keep a tab on one of your most important assets i.e. MONEY.