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Archive for year: 2013
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Here is a frequently heard request from Accounts Payable departments (AP) in companies around the world –
‘Can we integrate T&E with our Payroll system to issue reimbursements faster and error-free?’ And a very pertinent request at that – considering that AP is largely responsible for issuing T&E reimbursements.
A recently conducted survey, with results displayed below, showed that at least 74% of T&E reimbursements fall largely within the domain of AP. This becomes an additional burden to handle for AP among other important tasks. Plus, the ripple effects of delayed reimbursements or wrong reimbursements affects the heart of the business: the morale of the workforce. So it really is a no-brainer to automate this process through integration.
And this fits into the overall theme for companies in the 21st century which is – religiously examining ways towards becoming more efficient and effective at what they do. And on that list is frustration and delays with T&E reimbursements for employees after a trip. This is especially true after an international trip where the employee could have sizable out of pocket expenses with imminent due dates on their credit cards. Therefore integration of T&E and Payroll systems is paramount and companies are investigating in more detail on how to maintain a seamless integration between these two systems which are essentially two sides of the same coin.
Payroll systems look at an employee at one point in time, chiefly, what is that employee’s salary or hourly wage today. They automatically calculate net pay for a given pay period, federal, state and local taxes, deductions for such items as health care copays and contributions to charities etc. These systems also automatically cut checks to employees or have their pay automatically deposited into their bank account.
T&E Expense Reporting systems, on the other hand, help manage the employees expenses from a trip. If the company utilizes a corporate card, then the employee submits those expenses are part of the same system. The key pieces of the expense transaction includes details about the trip, expense type, vendor and mainly the receipt of the transaction.
The benefits of integration between these two systems are:
– Reduce reimbursement time
– No more manual keying of data in multiple places
– Utilize the existing flow and scheduling for T&E reimbursements
– Real-time visibility of reimbursement status for all parties
– And most importantly, the emotional aspect – employees expect the company to reimburse them for out-of-pocket expenses ASAP. And by automating the process as much as possible (which in turn reduces errors, delays and frustrations), it shows the employees that the company cares!
So how does this typically work?
The natural next step for T&E data after it has been reconciled in the expense reporting & ERP systems is sending it to the Payroll system. Think of it as ‘Passing the expense report data baton’!
Here is how it works in steps –
– Once the expense reports are approved within the Gorilla Expense web application, the data is sent to the ERP/Accounting system through our automated integration
– In the ERP system, typically, an invoice is created for the respective employee who is to be reimbursed
– The final step in the ERP is to post the invoice
– Once this is done, the Gorilla Expense web application can generate a file that can be imported into the Payroll system to issue reimbursement
– If the Payroll system setup for T&E reimbursements is the same as payroll, then the employee will be reimbursed for T&E expenses during the next payroll cycle
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or if we can help you manage this process more efficiently for your company.
We recently updated our mobile app to offer a very cool new feature from within the mobile app for receipt management. Users can now attach receipts from their Dropbox account to transactions on the mobile app! (If you don’t have a Dropbox account yet, don’t worry – we won’t judge you. We will however make fun of you :). Sign up is very easy.)
The attached receipts can be standard .jpg or .png receipts taken with a camera. But the great thing about it is that now you can also attach multi-page PDF receipts! Super convenient is what we are shooting for with this feature and it delivers. Here is what it looks like:
During the 1st-time login, the app will ask the user for permission to link to their Dropbox account. Once the user approves, the user can attach anything from their Dropbox account.
We recommend users to create a ‘Receipts’ folder within their Dropbox and access that from our mobile app. That way everything is organized better and data management becomes easier.
From a process standpoint it is easy as Apple Pie (or cake; we forget). Simply click on ‘Add Photo’, select ‘Dropbox’ and pick the respective receipt from there. Finito!
Hope you find this feature to be useful while crossing the Seven Seas. As always, contact us at email@example.com if you have any questions or would like to discuss in more detail!
Are you still filing expense reports in Excel sheets and attaching paper receipts with Scotch tape? Then it is time to change that and officially enter the 21st century. Using smartphones and web based applications, the modern day business traveler utilizes the latest technology to efficiently complete expense reports and also make sure that the company’s dollars are spent wisely.
This Dilbert cartoon says it all – Manual old school expense reporting is just painful!
Expense Reporting is painful! The time for change is now! Rather than taking large risky steps, many businesses are turning to the cloud for cost-effective T&E expense management tools that automate and streamline the creation, review and approval of expense reports. Using smartphones, travelers can track expenses as they happen, take photos of receipts, and submit expenses all from the palm of their hand in seconds!
Some of the key areas to look for while evaluating expense reporting solutions are:
1) The ability for employees to photograph , attach or email electronic receipts and easily assign them to line-item expenses
2) Expense reporting systems where credit card transactions can be imported
3) The ability to send T&E expense data into any accounting system like QuickBooks, Microsoft Dynamics, SAP, Oracle etc. through automation
Gorilla Expense offers all of the above, and is fully integrated with various corporate credit cards and Accounting systems, which means manual data entry is reduced in multiple places, accounting errors are eliminated, employees are reimbursed faster and billable expenses can be tracked easier. In conclusion, whether on the road or back at the office, businesses and employees can now easily manage their T&E expenses – online, or on a smartphone with just a few clicks! So jump in to the 21st century with us!
In the last few months we have received several questions from our prospects and customers related to deploying our T&E expense reporting application in a SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) model versus a licensing model. We are one of very few vendors that provide both options to customers.
While SaaS is quickly becoming the model of choice for many, there are good reasons to evaluate the licensing model as well. So how does SaaS really compare to the more traditional licensing model? Well, let’s review some of the typical questions and comments we have seen.
‘We are interested in subscribing to your SaaS model because it is cheaper than licensing it. Is this a valid statement?’
Short answer: Yes.
Generally speaking, an on-premise deployment through licensing requires greater upfront capital investment (CFOs typically amortize this cost as Capex) compared to the SaaS model. And there are several reasons for this – installing expensive hardware & software on-site, requiring resources and personnel to manage the hardware and software, ongoing maintenance expenses, upgrades, support fees and license fees. However with SaaS the company doesn’t have to allocate resources and personnel to manage the application. The additional charges for upgrades, hardware and administration fees are avoided and included in the monthly subscription. Customers simply have to login and go!
What are the benefits of SaaS and Licensing?
The SaaS model gives the buyer immediate business benefits with frequent updates, shorter deployment times and independence from having to maintain an IT team to support the application. There is also an easier adoption and more flexibility for end-users because SaaS vendors typically utilize the latest technology to include mobile apps, web based applications etc. compared to internal IT teams in end-user companies that cannot keep pace with vendors.
Licensing with On-premise deployments have typically provided more integration with existing IT and operational systems. But many SaaS solution providers (including us) now provide seamless integration with several systems. Also, there is always the risk with management of data which might be easier to accomplish in an On-premise model vs SaaS. But then again, vendors like us provide customers with the option of sending them backed-up data periodically to alleviate any concerns.
SaaS or Licensing: which one is more flexible?
That depends – on the company, their operations, availability of resources and personnel and their goals in choosing between the two. Both hosted (through SaaS) and On-premise are scalable, easy to configure and have technical flexibility. However, SaaS is probably more flexible for the end user as there are no limitations in accessing it from anywhere with an internet connection through multiple mechanisms (web, mobile phone, tablet etc.)
Is SaaS still a risky proposition?
Licensing has always been the de-facto model compared to SaaS over the last several decades, at least. Hence SaaS is perceived to be more risky. And the main areas of risk revolve around impact risks such as loss of control, integration challenges and data storage being off-site. The risks with licensing a solution are more related to implementation such as deployment, support and training. And the risk can vary a lot and depends on the company’s operations and structure.
In conclusion, which model is better? Sorry, but there is no one single answer. It really comes down to the business objectives, goals and culture of the company. Some of our customers that have small IT teams have opted for our expense reporting solution in the SaaS model because it is much easier for them to manage. Other customers have opted for the licensing model because they wanted more control and some of them were bound by corporate policies to retain all technology applications and data within the company which is managed On-Premise. So the question really becomes – ‘SaaS vs Licensing: which size fits your company best?’
* Very nice white paper on ‘On-Premise’ VS. Cloud-based solutions provided by GFI software – Link
* Educational video on Cloud Computing vs. On-Premise Solutions
Contact us for more information or if you have any specific questions we can help answer firstname.lastname@example.org
When you think of expense reports, you also think about its vulnerability to fraud. While there are tools and systems to better tackle fraud, consistent auditing still plays a vital role.
Last year, the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) reported that nearly 15% of all fraud in the workplace was related to T&E expense reporting. According to the same report, the median financial loss to an organization for a single instance of expense fraud is $26,000, and the median duration of the fraudulent activity is two years. That is a lot of money and a long duration.
Earlier this year, AirPlus International fielded a survey to corporate travel managers to explore how they manage expense fraud in the travel category. 35% of the respondents reported that they manage both travel and T&E within their organizations. Another 15% of the respondents identified their official role as a travel manager but were closely involved in creating T&E expense policy as it relates to travel. On the other side, only 30% of travel managers said their company’s travel policy had any guidelines for T&E expenses. 7% of the respondents said they were not involved at all with T&E expenses.
Of the 119 surveyed, 8% of the respondents reported that their companies had uncovered significant fraud in T&E expense reporting over the last two years while 19% said that they didn’t know of any significant fraud. For the 8% of respondents, the most common behavior was falsifying or altering receipts to inflate reimbursements. Additional common fraudulent behaviors include submitting too many “below-the-line” expenses (expenses below a certain $ value that do not require receipts per a corporation’s T&E policy), exchanging premium-class tickets and reclaiming receipts.
The survey respondents utilized safeguards in place at their organizations for preventing and detecting fraud. The most common prevention tactic, cited by 81% of the respondents, was to include direct manager approval for all T&E expenses. 67% of respondents said their companies required receipts for all expenses incurred during travel, while 59% required the use of a corporate card for T&E expenses.
To read the full report by AirPlus International click here
Maintaining compliance and increasing visibility are the key factors in prevention of T&E fraud. Surprisingly, the ACFE reports that most workplace fraud is initially discovered from a tip provided by a co-worker. However, to take action, the tip must be backed up by facts and data.
Here is a video on T&E expense fraud which you may find useful –
Contact us for more information or if you have any specific questions we can help with at email@example.com
Our customers love our credit card integration module and find it to be a huge time-saver and hassle-minimizer for their users. The main purpose of this post is to quickly explain how the credit card integration works with our system. So here goes….
Two Words – Very Easy!
In our application, users can automatically download transactions from their corporate and personal credit cards with the click of a button. This uses the standard OFX format, supported by most banks and credit card companies. As a 1st step, the user must setup the credit card profile in the system. Each user can setup multiple profiles and they can be a mix of corporate and personal cards. Each credit card profile can be allocated to different pay methods, as defined by the Accounting person in the company. Once this is done, the user can toggle between the various cards from a list and select one, as shown here
After a card is selected, the user would enter the login credentials as they would if they were logging into their online account, pick a start and end date and Voila! – all the transactions within that date range are imported into the transactions bucket of the application and ready to be pulled into a report, as shown here –
Once this is done, the user can then assign these transactions to different expense types or GL codes. All information supplied by the credit card merchant is available within the transaction, including the meta-data. So each transaction will include the date, amount, vendor, city and additional fields depending on what is supplied by the bank/CC company. The user can also choose to break down transactions in more detail if needed. For example, a hotel transaction imported from a credit card will typically show the total amount. But the user can break it down into Room rate, Tax, Room Service and Laundry by using the sub-amount fields within the application. Remember, ‘More visibility = More Compliance‘
Reconciliation of Credit Card Data
Once all the credit card data is available in the system, reconciliation, which normally takes hours or even days becomes very quick & simple too. Within the Gorilla Expense system, the accounting / AP person can quickly run a report by a pay method and filter by specific employees as well. This report can be exported in multiple formats (PDF, Word, Excel) and compared to the credit card data supplied by the bank for a quick analysis. This will quickly tell if the transactions are valid or if any transactions have been missed by the employee. Since reports can be created for specific date ranges, there is no need to wait till month end (when there are typically 15 other bigger issues to take care of!) to do this. The Accounting person can reconcile every day, week or 2 weeks to make it easier to manage.
Other Credit Card File Formats
Besides the standard OFX format discussed above, we support numerous other corporate card file formats as well. A few examples of key formats are – GL1025 from American Express, CDF3 from MasterCard, VCF from VISA, among many others.
The operating mechanism for these is slightly different from the one described above. These files supplied by the credit card merchant typically include credit card data for ALL users within the company. So unlike the mechanism above where users can import transactions themselves, here the Accounting person (or Admin) will use our proprieraty utility called ‘Gorilla Integration Manager’ (GIM) to import the data into the system. Once the merchant’s daily credit card feed for the company is available and imported into GIM, it will automatically correlate specific transactions to specific users and push them to the respective user accounts. So the Admin can, for example, push 5000 transactions to the various user accounts in the system with the click of a button!! From there on, the user has to simply pull these transactions into a report and submit!
Hope you find this information to be useful. Contact us for more information or any specific questions we can help with at firstname.lastname@example.org. On a slightly related topic of protecting against credit card fraud, see this funny video 🙂
Here is another cool tool provided by Microsoft so that prospects and customers can calculate savings and benefits from using Dynamics GP. This is broken up by different industries and categories which then rolls into an ‘Estimated Annual Savings’ value.
As a Dynamics GP ISV, our T&E expense reporting add-on solution for Dynamics GP would add savings on top of the numbers calculated here.
Check out the calculator by clicking on the image below –
Hope you find this to be useful! If you have any questions or would to get more information, send us an email at email@example.com.
Expense report padding may seem like a harmless offense and a common thing. But it still constitutes as fraud. Here are 8 cases where employees and public officials got caught cheating big.
PS: If your bill for a bagel and diet soda is $177, you better be eating that while riding a unicorn to Tiramisu mountain! 🙂
CFOs across various businesses are increasingly paying more and more attention to the rising airline fees. Amadeus and Ideaworks estimate 2012 worldwide airline fee revenue at $36.1 billion which is estimated to be a 11% increase over 2011! TravelNerd put together a report and found that U.S. airlines changed more than 50 different fees since January 2012, in some cases fairly large changes. Here is a quick summary of the analysis by them –
- 36 out of the 52 fee changes are direct fee increases, with the remaining changes predominantly a result of:
- Bundling / unbundling of fees (e.g. instituting 1 fee for priority boarding and seating or instituting 2 separate fees for priority boarding and seating that were previously bundled into 1 fee)
- Increasing fee price ranges (e.g. Spirit changed its premium seat fees from $25-$75 to $12-$199)
- Redefining fee policies (e.g. Allegiant kept the same fee price of $50 for overweight bags 51-70 pounds but changed the fee policy to apply for bags 41-70 pounds)
- 28 out of the 52 fee changes are related to baggage fees, 19 changes are related to service fees, and 5 changes are related to in-flight fees
- Despite Spirit’s infamous $100 per carry-on bag fee, the majority of fee increases were within $5-$10
- 18 out the 52 fee changes are attributed to Spirit Airlines and Allegiant Air, ultra low cost carriers (ULCCs) notorious for charging fees
- Lastly, a small ray of hope comes from United Airlines, who reduced its overweight bag fees from $200 to $100 for bags 51-70 pounds and from $400 to $200 for bags 71-100 pounds
For the full report, see the original article here. (Thank you TravelNerd for this research!)
Why Customers Love Our Solution
High User Adoption
Fastest & Most Accurate Receipt Scan Engine. Period.
Features + Security = Enterprise-Grade Solution
Included Integration with Back-end Accounting Systems- No Third Party to deal with
Included Responsive Support
No Long Term Contracts Or Overage Penalties.
Pay Per User or Pay Per Report
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Sales Inquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
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- Mobile Expense Reporting for Oracle EBS
- New UI Is Here
- Automatically Reconcile Home Depot Commercial Cards