Want to enlist your employees in managing spend? Make it as easy as possible for them to use your tools. Here’s how it works when you combine your expense reporting with a mobile solution: “Our travelers can use their mobile phones to take pictures of their receipts and submit reports electronically. They no longer have to deal with receipts and paper, or wait until they get back to fill out reports,” says Jessica Alaniz, travel administrator and assistant to the CFO and vice president of operations for Del Mar College, a Concur client. “If they fill out something incorrectly, leave something out or aren’t following policy, the system lets them know.”
It just makes sense: as consumers, employees have access to countless mobile devices and apps, and they’ve come to expect the same kind of flexibility and ease out of their corporate applications. Mobile applications benefit the user, letting them fill out their expense reports on the go—but they can also help you fulfill duty of care by alerting them of emergencies and giving them accurate, up-to-date information they’ll need for client calls, like up-to-the-minute stock prices, weather, directions, etc. Mobile makes travel more efficient, so your employees can focus on the task at hand rather than logistics.
We’ve found that when companies invest in a robust travel and expense management solution, they save money. Usually, the investment pays for itself inside seven months. A recent whitepaper from research firm, IDC, found that companies who use a modern, efficient travel and expense management solution cut their travel planning time in half, and their business travelers lost 54% fewer receipts. Between that, better compliance rates (upwards of 30% greater compliance) and the time employees saved on creating and approving expense reports, the companies we studied saved $2.78 million on average each year. “We’ve gotten a lot of great comments on how much time they’re saving and how much they like the mobile app,” Alaniz says.
At ALPS Corporation, another Concur client, leadership has much better visibility into travel expenses than it did before moving to Concur. “We know when reports might be stuck in the approval process. It’s much easier for us to identify backlogs in the system. It is no doubt faster and easier,” says ALPS CFO Sara Smith. It’s also a big hit with employees, who want the flexibility to fill out their expense reports as they go. “Working on your expense report using your phone is a pretty easy way to fill your downtime and keep up on your expenses as you travel. Everyone who uses it in our office loves it. In fact, most people would rather fill it out on the mobile device than use the computer.”
At General Mills, managers are finding that transferring to different locations is easier when employees can use mobile devices. “Now when an employee transfers from one part of the world to another, one thing they don’t have to re-learn is expense reporting,” says General Mills Senior Financial Analyst Chuck Schmidt. “Consistent application of accounting structures and practices has allowed us the opportunity to reduce expense types from 146 in the old system to 57 with Concur. This creates far less confusion for our employees when trying to determine which expense type to apply.” Between standardizing the company’s TEM and enabling employees to create and approve expense reports on the go, it’s also saved the company $2 million in gained efficiencies and productivity.
Here’s the bottom line: When you make it easy for your employees to comply with your travel policy and compile expense reports, you benefit from increased efficiency, productivity, policy compliance, and real-time visibility into spending trends.
Discover how to empower your employees to make smart decisions here.