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A Guide to Effective Expense Management Strategies for 2015

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The shift to on-line expense management software is here, with more than 80% of companies indicating they plan to make the switch within the next 18 months. Yet although many companies intend to automate their manual expense management processes, they still need to justify the investment in doing so. That begs a crucial question for finance executives: What are the tangible benefits of automating expense management?

During this Webcast, we will review the findings of Certify's 2015 Annual Expense Management Outlook survey and what the findings mean for finance leaders. We will also describe how you can benchmark your expense management processes relative to those of other companies. And we will share examples that illustrate why companies of all sizes have come to recognize that expense management in particular lends itself best to automation.

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A Guide to Effective Expense Management Strategies for 2015

  1. 1. LIVE WEBINAR WEDNESDAY, MARCH 25, 2015 Hosted by CFO.com | Presented by Certify A Guide to Effective Expense Management Strategies for 2015
  2. 2. Learning Objectives • Benchmark key categories of T&E to compare your company's overall spend with other organizations • Learn the business travel spend trends of 2014 and what to expect in 2015 • Recognize current and emerging trends in T&E automation • Identify ways to improve management of your company’s T&E spend in 2015 After attending this event you will be able to: 2
  3. 3. Today’s Speakers Jennifer Colegrove Controller of Inventory and Operations Accounting Backed by 20 years of accounting experience, Jennifer is Controller of Inventory and Operations Accounting at BlueLinx. She joined BlueLinx in 2004, received the prestigious VP Roundtable Award (the highest honor for non- senior-management) in 2012, and is currently a CPA candidate. Robert Neveu President & Co-Founder In 2008, Bob and his team launched the Certify product featuring mobile technology and web-based automation. Certify has accelerated its position to become the second largest provider of expense reporting software in North America. 3
  4. 4. About Certify A leading provider of expense management software since 2008 Over 15 million expense transactions worth more than $8 billion in 2014 64 languages, 140+ currencies, users in 18 countries Ranked #1 for User Satisfaction on G2 Crowd 4
  5. 5. Clients and Press 5
  6. 6. About BlueLinx Leading distributor of building products Headquartered in Atlanta 49 distribution centers across U.S. and Canada More than 1,700 employees The BlueLinx advantage: “With unique combination of market position and coverage, the strength of a local and national sales force, the buying power of centralized procurement, and the efficiencies of centralized accounting and systems technologies. BlueLinx is able to provide a wide range of value-added services to our customers and suppliers.” 6
  7. 7. The Importance of T&E On average, Travel and Entertainment (T&E) accounts for 10-12% of the annual budget, second only to payroll as the largest business expense. 7
  8. 8. About the Data • Total Respondents: 434 companies (non-Certify clients) • Audience: • 28% Small Business: less than 100 employees • 37% Mid-Sized Business: 101 – 999 employees • 35% Large Business: 1,000+ employees • Location: • 6% International • 94% U.S. • Demographics: • 38% C-level or above finance professionals • 43% manager, controller or accountant • 19% other (accounting staff, consultant, administrative, etc.) Third Annual Expense Management Trends Survey Conducted in December 2014 8
  9. 9. Annual Spend on Travel & Entertainment $50k – $5mm Mid-Size Company 101 – 999 employees > $5,000,000 Large Enterprise More than 1,000 employees < $50,000 Small Business Less than 100 employees Reference: Certify’s Travel and Expense Trends Data, February 2014 9
  11. 11. Poll Question #1 How does your organization currently manage travel and expense reporting? 11
  12. 12. How Companies Manage T&E Reporting Reference: Certify’s Annual Travel & Expense Management Survey 2015 SMALL BUSINESS MEDIUM LARGE 64% 48% 19% 12
  13. 13. Spend Trends in 2014 1. Meals 21% 2. Airfare 16% 3. Lodging 14% 4. Gas 12% 5. Misc. 8% 6. Cell Phone 6% 7. Car Rental 5% 8. Groceries 5% 9. Supplies 5% 10.Taxi 5% 11.Tolls 2% % Reference: Certify’s SpendSmart Report, Q4, 2014 13
  14. 14. Benchmarking Data: Expense Categories The average expense amounts, based transaction data from the 2014 Certify SpendSmart Report: Category 2013 2014 Difference Meals $26.08 $25.67 – 1.58% Airfare $329.65 $345.21 + 4.61% Lodging $200.24 $213.90 + 6.6% Car Rental $185.27 $193.58 + 4.39% Taxi $32.76 $31.81 – 2.94% Gas $50.73 $40.41 – 22.65% Parking $32.75 $32.70 – 0.15% Cell Phone $98.88 $89.30 – 10.18% Reference: Certify’s SpendSmart Report, 2013-2014 14
  15. 15. Poll Question #2 What is the largest pain point surrounding expense management? 15
  16. 16. Top Pain Points in 2014 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% 45% Reviewing for policy violations Reconciling the data Errors on the report Employees losing receipts Time it takes to reconcile, review, and approve Employee's failure to submit reports on time 16Reference: Certify’s Travel & Expense Management Survey 2015
  17. 17. 5 Goals for Improvement in 2015 Expense Management Process (36% ranked this the #1 area for improvement) • Increase efficiency by automating expense management Integration Between Systems (25%) • Eliminate manual data entry and reduce human error • Gain insight in real-time across multiple systems Integrated Travel Booking (21%) • Enforce T&E policies before employees book travel • Save money with negotiated corporate travel rates Mobility (14%) • Increase productivity in employees on the road Software Deployment (4%) • Efficiently implement large-scale software by involving all departments in the rollout plan and vendor selection process 17Reference: Certify’s Travel & Expense Management Survey 2015
  18. 18. Poll Question #3 How is your organization enforcing T&E policies? 18
  19. 19. Policy Enforcement: Manual vs. Web- Based 14% 35% 36% 21% 1% 4% 31% 27% 19% 63% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% T&E policy is not enforced It is the responsibility of the employee Manager manually review each expense Accountant manually reviews, checking only high value expenses T&E system automatically flags out- of-policy violations Companies on a Manual Process Companies on a Web-Based System 19Reference: Certify’s Travel & Expense Management Survey 2015
  20. 20. Fraud in Expenses Organizations who monitor compliance have a 70% decrease in fraudulent spending. Reference: www.businesstravelnews.com/Expense-Management/Study--Fraudulent-Expense-Reports-Have-Cost-Cos--Millions-In-2014 20
  22. 22. Strategies to Meet Expense Management Goals 1. Automate the process • Automated expense reports, direct credit card feeds, automated approval workflows, etc. 2. Improve and enforce corporate T&E policies • Ranked #2 by 48% of companies surveyed • Automated pre-trip policy enforcement 3. Arm travelers with new technology • Mobile apps • Globally accessible tools with currency, multiple languages 4. Leverage analytics to improve intelligence and data • Manage large-scale user data through integrations with HRMS interfaces, multiple ERP systems, and accounting software References: Aberdeen Group 2014, The Traveler & Expense Management Guide for 2014; Certify’s Annual Travel & Expense Management Survey 2015 Ranked the #1 top priority in 2014 by 52% of companies in the 2014 Aberdeen Report. 22
  23. 23. Automate Key Components of T&E Reference: Aberdeen Group 2014, The Travel & Expense Management Guide for 2014 Companies using automated expense management systems experience: • 50% lower expense-processing costs than other companies • 43% higher rates of business travel spend under management • 31% higher rates of corporate policy compliance Automating the expense management process is the first step to a “Best in Class” expense management program, according to 52% of companies in the Aberdeen Expense Management Benchmark report. 23
  24. 24. Switching from Spreadsheets to Automation Of companies on a manual process who plan to switch to a web- based system, 53% estimate they will switch within the next 12 months. 21% 32% 26% 9% 9% Within the next 6 months 6 – 12 months 12 – 24 months 24 – 36 months Not sure Timeframe of anticipated switch: 24Reference: Certify’s Travel & Expense Management Survey 2015
  25. 25. ROI Timeframe for Expense Software Small Businesses Have the Fastest ROI experience 100% ROI in under a year 70% 25Reference: Certify’s Travel & Expense Management Survey 2015
  26. 26. Improve and Enforce Corporate Policies The #1 way to reduce expense management costs is to improve compliance to T&E policies. Organizations using cloud-based expense management are experiencing up to 91% compliance rates to corporate travel policies and guidelines. “Setting hard travel policies around formerly ‘gray areas’ such as seat upgrades has trimmed travel spending by 10% to 20%.” Linda Parcher, VP and CPO, Diebold, Inc. Wall Street Journal 26
  27. 27. Flagged violation, notifying manager amount exceeded policy limit Guide to Increasing Policy Compliance 1. Create corporate travel and entertainment expense policy 2. Integrate policy into expense system, setting both: • Hard policies (decline expenses exceeding a predetermined amount) • Soft policies (manager’s discretion for approval) 3. Allow technology to enforce policy, notifying employee and manager of any violations, such as: • Missing receipts • Duplicate transactions • Items exceeding spend limits 27Reference: Certify’s Travel & Expense Management Survey 2015
  28. 28. Arm Travelers with Technology Online travel booking system • Used by 87% of all “Best-in-Class” companies • Control the expense before it occurs • Spend captured more quickly, and in compliance to policies Mobility • Second most important feature when selecting an expense vendor: 45% of companies named it #1 • Users of mobile expense applications have reduced their expense- processing costs by 65% • By enabling travelers with the power of mobile, they can store virtual receipts, enter expense data, and review expenses on the go 28References: Aberdeen Group 2014, Certify’s Travel & Expense Management Survey 2015
  29. 29. Established Technologies for T&E Management 1. Credit Card Integration Automated data feeds of corporate credit card transactions eliminates the reconciliation process 2. Mobile Receipt Capture Employees take a photo of a receipt with their smartphone, turning it into an electronic receipt 3. Online Expense Report Creation Create, submit and approve expense reports online, eliminating time-consuming spreadsheets 4. Direct Feeds Automated feeds sync data with accounting and HR, eliminating manual data entry between systems 29
  30. 30. Emerging Technologies in Automation Three features specific to Certify: 1. AutoFill (Parsing) Technology Software scans receipts and extracts expense data, eliminating manual entry 2. Receipt Match and Merge Software matches expense items from employee’s corporate credit card feed with corresponding receipts 3. Auto-generated Expense Reports Expense reports are built automatically on preset schedule. Users receive email reminders to review and submit 30
  31. 31. Leveraging Analytics to Improve Visibility Reference: Certify’s Annual Travel & Expense Management Survey 2015 Types of visibility gained with cloud-based expense management: • Documented path of approvals • Expense by employee • Expense spend by category 61% 57% 74% 57% 30% 40% 44% 29% Visibility into T&E Spend Regular Reporting Regular Audits of Expenses Automated Data Analytics Web-Based Expense System Manual Expense Process 31
  32. 32. Client Case Study: BlueLinx • Certify client since autumn 2013 • Had used a competitor for 8 years prior to switching to Certify • All employees create and submit expense reports • Users travel internationally to source product For BlueLinx, an automated, reliable means to conduct reports and manage expenses was crucial. Certify significantly increased visibility into spend and minimized manual data entry with system integrations. 32
  33. 33. To learn more about Certify, please join us for a Live Product Demonstration Webcast Thursday, March 26 at 2 p.m. EST Wednesday, April 8 at 2 p.m. EST To register, visit bit.ly/CertifyLiveDemo
  34. 34. For more information about Certify, visit www.certify.com Thank you for attending today’s session.