Last week, we featured the creative ways that our partner and Innovation Award Winner, Gant Travel Management, has improved the way they do business with Concur. This week, hear how Pure Fishing, Inc. uses Concur expense solutions to streamline processes, increase compliance and get visibility into their spending. Lisa Wilson, Global Concur Program Manager for Pure Fishing, sat down with us to share how they were able to expand Concur to over ten different countries outside of the U.S., reduced their global reimbursement time and increase compliance to about 85 to 90 percent overall.
Concur: Can you please introduce yourself and tell us Pure Fishing, Inc.’s mission?
Lisa: I’m Lisa Wilson and I am the Global Concur Program Manager for Pure Fishing, a leading global provider of fishing tackle, lures, rods and reels. Our mission at Pure Fishing is to provide quality equipment for fishing for any angler, professional or casual. We manufacture fishing bait, tackle, line, real rods and more.
Concur: What do you do as a Global Program Manager? How does Concur help you do your job better?
Lisa: A lot of what I do in my background as an auditor is to look for ways to improve things, process improvements, make things more efficient, effective and make sure they’re accountable. Concur enables us to be able to do that, so I feel like I’m able to give our mangers, our CFO and finance the ability to manage all of that using Concur. Concur is a very easily adaptable tool and it helps us focus on what we’re trying to do, which is to get our cards paid back reimburse our employees as quickly as possible so they can continue traveling and not have to worry about their expenses and reporting. Concur allows us to report financially and audit that spend because it’s all there and all the data is available to us.
Concur: How does capturing all of that data useful to you?
Lisa: It helps me do my job better, because at any time I can go in and do what I need to do or look up something. I don’t have to go shuffling through papers in a file cabinet to find what I need. If I want to do an audit, I can pick the correct criteria, and that could change at any point in time, go in and run a report of this time period. I have the data that I need without having to pull all the paper. Ffrom that perspective, I think of it as always open, as an always available tool. The data is in there, it’s also very adaptable as far as what I need it to be. I’ve never had a problem getting what I needed out of Concur.”
Concur: What do the words “Transparent, connected, effortless” mean to you?
Lisa: As far as “transparent”, I think Concur provides you all the possible data you could want on your expense reporting. You can get anything you want out of the reporting tool. So it allows you to provide transparency to what your employees are spending. “Connected” would be the fact that, you know, it is a mobile tool—it’s available anywhere, as long as you have the app, a tablet, a computer-anyone can access it. They can get in to view their reports or employee’s reports in order to approve or processthem . It’s a very connected tool. “Effortless” goes back to the tools that are available. Just the fact that it’s a mobile tool has been something big in the last year. Our salesmen, who travel 30, 40, 50 percent of the time, have enjoyed the tool because it’s allowed them to not have to sit down and have a stack of receipts and have to go through at one time. They’re able to do things faster and quicker with a lot less effort because they’re just taking a picture and Concur’s pulling it in and pretty much processing their expense report with just a few more clicks required by them.
Concur: How long has Pure Fishing been using Concur and how long has it been in use worldwide?
Lisa: Well, in the U.S., we’ve had Concur for several years. We’ve gone global after the past six to eight months. We’ve expanded into about, what? Ten to fifteen countries. Our salesmen were using spreadsheets to manually do their reports; they would have to email it to their boss, their boss would approve it, then it would be emailed to finance and the employee would get paid with a check or direct deposit. Concur has enabled us to speed up the whole process—less paper. Globally is I think for us has given us more visibility into their spend so we can now see where people are spending, we can audit that spend, we can track that spend andthat helps us leverage more with our policies and our spending across the board.
Concur: Lisa, how do you manage compliance with Concur?
Lisa: Concur has audit rules:some are standard audit rules and some have criteria that can be manipulated or changed for your own audit rules. The audit rules are built in there while users are doing their reports and managers are reviewing their reports, so you’re able to see them and whether things may or may not be out of compliance with policy and correct them at that point. Enabling the audit rules, I think, is key to ensuring policy compliance before reports are approved and paid. A part of what we did when we started going global with the U.S., U.K. and Canada and now having gone more international, is to do a regular audit outside of Concur reports. Concur has a random audit feature that we enabled, but we also do our own audits of reports because travel is a huge expenditure for us and we want to make sure our employees are complying. With the use of both the Concur audit rules and the audit rules that we implemented and designed, we would say our compliance is increased about 85 to 90 percent overall.
Concur: That’s an excellent percentage! Can you name any other specific improvements you’ve seen since Pure Fishing has implemented Concur?
Lisa: Reimbursement time. We have always done reimbursements weekly, so for the US base that would not have changed there much, but for our global users it has probably cut their time in half from two to three weeks to one.
Concur: Alright, last question, Lisa. What is your idea of “The Perfect Trip”?
Lisa: The perfect trip, to me, means having a pre-planned itinerary that I can follow throughout my trip, knowing ahead of time where I’m going what I need to do and having the trip go as smoothly as possible.