Are you an admin or approver who is always bombarded with expense claims that violate multiple expense policies?Business expenses by employees typically have expense policies to ensure that they’re compliant with local laws. Proper implementation of these policies sits at the core of the expense management process in any enterprise.This is crucial to the functioning of the business as it ensures a continuous check on the flow of money, provides control over understanding the nuances of expense trends, visibility, and insights into business expenses and more.However, expense policies often end up becoming a source of frustration because of the complexity involved in enforcing them.This is why Fyle was built. to address your expense management challenges and make the process as seamless yet efficient as possible.
The Story of Expense Management Before Fyle
This is a story of a company (let’s call them Acme Inc), which was handling expenses using manually filled-in expense forms and spreadsheets. With over 2000 employees and a significant number of expense claims, Acme Inc had a comprehensive policy document spanning over 20 pages.This situation posed several challenges for Acme Inc, most of which are pretty standard across businesses that rely on a manual process of policy checks.
- Inconvenience for employees: Since most of the employees do not read the policy document thoroughly before submitting claims, they may not be aware of possible issues with their claims until it's too late.
- Lack of audit trail: Many times a policy violation is justified for valid business reasons. This justification is often over emails and SMSes. Not having clear audit trails can make the process of auditing a major problem.
- Friction between departments: In some cases, finance may find some policy violations and flag the expense. Once the expense is flagged, the report will be sent back to the employee. Once sent back the employee would then make necessary changes and resubmit the expense report. This process would repeat till all issues are resolved, and would thus cause a lot of friction between the employees and the finance department.
- Enforcement difficulties: The number of policies and the level of complexity can grow as the company grows and the amount of money spent on employees increases. Many times policies involve the location of the expense, distance and class of travel which are very difficult to check. With the manual process, the element of human error is quite high, as is the time taken to perform all the policy checks. Sometimes, the complexity of manual policy checks can be practically impossible to implement in large scale companies.
- Duplication and fraud: With hundreds or thousands of employees submitting hundreds or thousands of expenses, it becomes difficult to catch any duplicate bill submissions. Thus, increasing the window for fraud exponentially.
Fyle's Expense Management Solution
Fyle boasts of a sophisticated policy engine that can be used to implement highly complex expense policies. Fyle provides a self-service mechanism to finance teams to add or modify expense policies. The Fyle policy engine is capable of addressing any complex policy configurations.A few examples of policies used by our customers are:
- Enforce a monthly cap on mobile reimbursements for the sales department, based on the employee’s grade.
- Flight expenses that exceed a threshold must be approved by the VP of Sales
- Hotel Expenses based on the type of country or city.
- Hotel Reservation caps when breakfast is included or not included.
- Identifying a violation in case of change in allowed travel class, based on employee grade
- Mandatory receipts for expenses above a certain amount
- Employees above grade 13 can only book flight tickets if distance between cities is more than 500km
- Limits on local conveyance expenses depending on business activity. Fyle can support policies that involve external data sources like CRM data
Travel and Expense Policy Compliance
Once expense policies are enabled, Fyle takes care of compliance in real-time. This is possible because of our sophisticated data extraction engine. Fyle also has a nifty Gmail and Outlook add-on that can help employees record expenses from within their inbox. For example, a company has a policy that a cab bill greater than USD 100 requires an explanation. When an employee attempts to submit a bill from Uber or Lyft for USD 220, a dialog opens up asking the employee to justify the expense.With Fyle, policy violations are highlighted, and the employers and employees will be notified on the same. Employees can then provide explanations for the violations. Approvers and admins can then choose to accept or reject the expense. What's more? There is a complete digital audit trail to help account for all acceptions and rejections of expense submissions.
Here are some takeaways from when Acme Inc came on board with Fyle:
- Fyle automated the entire process of expense management for them reducing the manual work to just a few clicks.
- Policy checks that would otherwise take weeks, now happen in real-time within seconds.
- Increased transparency, reduced friction, a clear audit trail, fraud prevention and many thousands of man-hours of productivity saved.
Expense policies are central in the business expense management process, but implementing them has traditionally been error-prone, time-consuming and frustrating. With an automated system like Fyle, it is possible to stay compliant, maintain audit trails and prevent fraud while being extremely employee-friendly and transparent.