Employee productivity management is the key to overall productivity of a company. How can corporations ensure that their employees are delivering the optimum output? Can organizations bring in systems that help employees prioritize work, keep track of schedules, and provide conditions conducive to maximum output with minimum wastage of time and effort?
One of the biggest impacts of an automated T&E management is on workforce productivity with the benefits of automated T&E processes accruing in the business travel expense management domain. Even if your employees do not travel frequently, they may yet need to submit expenses occasionally. It could be the hidden reimbursements like a cab ride to an event venue, food or water bought while out on a business meeting, or some urgent stationary. An employee would want to know if such expenses can be reimbursed and promptly.
Apparently not, as according to the CFO India-Happay survey, 65% respondents’ companies still follow the tedious paper route for voucher approval.
Further, more than 50% companies’ employees do not have automatic visibility into the status of their claims and have to follow-up with Line Manager, secretaries of Super boss, calls to HR/ Finance team for policy violations. It doesn’t end there; many times employee has to follow up with guy making cheques/doing direct transfers to bank to know when & how much payment reaches him.
As a result, much time is spent in running after managers to get reimbursement claims approved and then following up with the finance/accounts department to ensure that the claim is deposited into employee account.
Employee productivity is adversely impacted when companies depend on manual and legacy T&E systems. Manual billing of T&E and physical follow-ups on that are not only time-taking, but also prone to errors. Moreover, manual billing leads to delays in the reimbursement process, as bills of employees are checked at several levels in the finance department and can get stuck some place.
In companies that have adopted an automated T&E management system, the process of filing expense bill is seamless. It can be done within a few minutes and from the comfort of one’s office seat or sitting in a restaurant, in the cab or anywhere. With greater visibility into the organization’s expenses, reimbursement can take place more quickly. Further, it ensures that employees are submitting expenses, in sync with the company’s T&E policy.
For finance, T&E management involves pursuing individual employees of different departments to submit their vouchers, get incomplete vouchers completed, ensure paper receipts are attached and accounted for, get claims approved by sanctioning authority and ensure that the sum is deposited into employee account.
Additionally, in 65% companies, expense vouchers are manually checked against policies by approvers and finance to determine compliance. This entails crucial time lost over work that could be done with more efficiency and accuracy in a digitized environment.
For the majority of the companies surveyed, collecting the required information on spend is a cumbersome and a long process. 55% per cent of the companies surveyed cited discovering historical expense data of past fiscal as a process involving long time and multiple people to put the data together.
Companies are not only facing delays, but with critical workforce engaged in this task at crucial audit periods, it means delays and loss of productivity. Notably, for 88% companies polled real-time access to historic expense management data is a top priority.
The lack of visibility into spending is impacting corporate productivity. For this reason, 90% companies flagged visibility into spending as a top priority. For the discerning 89%, detailed spend analysis and actionable insights in real-time is a top priority.
Reimbursement of employee T&E claims is also a time-taking process. Eighty-two per cent (82%) companies directly deposit claims in employees’ bank accounts outside of payroll. This problem has compounded since the Government in latest ITR has asked for details of reimbursement to decide whether it’s taxable or exempted. This is again a wastage of time and effort as with an automated cloud-based T&E system businesses can directly deposit expense claims into the employee bank account.
“With T&E automation solutions such as Happay, employees can capture expense data automatically from multiple sources such as credit card statements, SMSes, Gmail & Outlook inbox, travel apps and portals, etc. Auto-population of data means no chance of errors in data entry – finance teams can be assured that the data that is reported by the employee is accurate and complete. Since the policies are on the Happay system, finance teams do not have to verify every expense – the ones with violations are automatically brought to their attention by the Happay system so can they can focus mainly on those expenses. Also, with automated and mobile solutions, employees submit reports on a regular basis so finance teams verify expenses throughout the month and not only towards the end of the month. This substantially reduces their workload. If there are discrepancies in data, finance teams have access to the entire audit trail online and can easily find out where the discrepancies occurred and can consequently take corrective action,” explains Anshul Rai, Co-Founder & CEO, Happay.
As says Rai, “Since the data is captured in real-time, it can also be exported and analysed in real-time. At the time of reviews and audit, the finance team can use our rich set of filters to create a custom report as per their needs and export it from the system in a format that they want – for analysis.”
The survey found companies in India rapidly awakening to the importance of implementing a good T&E management system, as they feel it is integral to enhancing corporate productivity.