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Wireless Communications

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Industry: Wireless Communications

Revenue: $500 M+

Employees: 1,001 – 2,500

Locations: North, Central and South America

Challenges: This large company found itself drowning in paper expense reports and antiquated debit cards to manage employee expense reporting. Using Excel spreadsheets with paper receipts attached, employees would submit expense reports to supervisors and managers for approval.

It was the responsibility of approver to check coding to match the accounting system, make corrections and send the approved reports to the accounts payable department. AP would verify that all of the coding was correct, make any further corrections and post the approved report data into the company’s accounting system.

The AP department would schedule reimbursements via ACH to employees and then refill any pre-paid debit cards for employees to use for future expenses.

Employees submitted expenses incurred while working at constructions sites, with minimal travel. About 300 reports a week were being processed, and could take up to two or more weeks to complete. One of the biggest challenges the company faced was the lag between when the spending occurred (charge to the debit card) and the expense reports where submitted, a process that could be a week or more between each event. The AP department and management lacked visibility into spending by vendor to make sure the debit cards were only used for business and to ensure that employees were not double submitting expenses, first as a debit card expense and then also as a personal expense.

The company estimated that about 30 percent of the work managed by the AP department was related to its manual expense reporting process.

Technical Needs: The company needed the expense reporting system to integrate with its accounting system. Project management software, which already integrated with the accounting system, was used to manage projects and jobs. Expense data also needed to be coded to so it could be tracked against these same projects and jobs.

Because it was using so many debit cards, each with varying limits, it needed a better way to manage card usage. The company needed to gain visibility into spending to know what was happening while expense reports were being created.

There was an in-depth approval structure that needed to be built into the system, as well as the requirement to track billable versus non-billable expenses. The system needed to be able to automate the company’s spend policy and allow for exceptions as needed. Finally, this company needed to get rid of the paper.

 ExpenseWatch Solution: The company implemented ExpenseWatch Expense Reports to automate the entire expense reporting process from expense creation to approvals, through to expense reimbursement and integration with the accounting system. The company is growing at a phenomenal rate, and since implementing ExpenseWatch, it has grown the number of users by 40 percent.

Because ExpenseWatch is able to manage both corporate and personal credit cards, integrating the corporate debit cards into the system was no issue. A comprehensive credit card dashboard gives the AP team complete visibility into card spending, as well as what has or has not been added to an expense report. Credit card administrators can escalate charge approvals and easily manage credit card accounting for un-submitted charged.

The company added ExpenseWatch Custom Reports and was able to build a report to easily see charges that looked to be submitted more than once. This report gives the AP team the information it needs to stay abreast of duplicate expense submissions.

ExpenseWatch can handle complex or simple approval structures with the level of enforcement a company needs. This company was able to build in its expense policy with exceptions and then build the approval chain to ensure the right people were seeing and approving expenses. Out of policy spending is flagged, to allow approving managers to see exceptions and make informed decisions about approving or rejecting the expense.

With everything automated, and receipts attached electronically, this company has virtually eliminated the paper and reduced the time it takes for expenses to be submitted, approved and paid.

“It is easy to navigate through each step of the expense report process,” said one expense submitter. Another added, “This product makes it very easy to submit expenses.”

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Corporate Headquarters

620 W. Germantown Pike
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Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462
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