Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Travel & Expense Management Automation that becomes A BUSINESS ASSET.

Progress comes at us quickly, and when it comes to business, technology is at the crux of that progress. Great technology simplifies complex and manual business process while it makes people's lives easier and their efforts more efficient. For many businesses, however, Travel and Expense Management (TEM) is still too hard and expensive because it is still rooted in old, slow, and even paper-based processes. That’s where an intelligent and integrated Travel Expense Management system comes in.

Bringing corporate travel expenses and reimbursements to one platform quicker and like never before…

A wise man once said that, “Success doesn’t just happen—we plan for it”. Just imagine an automated system that has all employee travel and expense data consolidated at a single platform for easy record keeping, analysis and tracking. Indeed, managing employee spend is one of the major pain areas for CFOs across the globe. The good news is that this challenge can be resolved for companies of any size with an automated and integrated TEM system.

Simple, efficient, and transparent end to end TEM automation.

The best TEM automation offers features that include:

  • Pre Travel Approval
  • One-Click Expense Entry and Approval
  • Chart of Accounts Cost Allocation
  • Reporting & Analytics
  • Policy Compliance
  • Corporate Cards / Ghost Cards / Purchase Cards
  • Integrated Online Travel Booking System

The most efficient TEM automation provides insight and analysis to support the strategies and decisions that cut down overall operational cost, while giving CFOs, General Managers, and department leaders perfect visibility into compliance with travel policy, where travel dollars are being spent, and by whom.

Resolving travel and expense management automation with excellence…

Making Travel & Expense Management processes faster, easier, and less error prone is what automation will do for organizations as well as for the employees. The right solution automates the entire TEM approval and workflow, starting with Pre Travel Approval, to one-click allocation to cost centers, to automated reconciliation of expenses to credit card statements, to faster and hassle free reimbursement to employees and payments to vendors.

Bottom Line:

ExpenseAnywhere’s solution for Travel and Expense Management Automation is a system that delivers real and measurable ROI by making people more productive and by resolving the major pain areas for many CFOs and business managers which includes seeing, managing, and controlling what can be some of the largest single expenses to a business, and that’s where employees and contractors are spending money on travel.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Airline miles as the coin of the realm

CBS News Sunday Morning had a segment today called, "Card games: Getting to the point with travel rewards."

As you correctly guessed, it focused on the primary benefit that makes airline credit cards appealing - miles that can eventually be used for free travel.

The cardholder at the center of the story said that he and his wife had about 40 cards and had traveled the world with their 6 kids thanks to all the miles they rack up. Not exactly what I would describe as your average consumer.

That aside, Brian Kelly, also known as The Points Guy, that got my attention. He said, “You are literally throwing money away if you’re not getting miles and points.”

This blog post is not an endorsement or a criticism of anyone or of airline credit cards. Personally, I don't have one. I kind of feel sheepish admitting that. I don't have a reason other than I've never applied for one. Maybe I should stop just smiling and saying, "No thanks," to those enthusiastic young people at airport gates offering cards.

What I really find interesting in all of this is the business model.

Not just for the banks, of course, but for the airlines, too. Airlines love these cards maybe more than the consumers who use them.

How can that be, you ask? Wouldn't they be worried about losing money on all those free flights people will take?

No, not at all.

The reality is, as Bloomberg reported recently, airlines sell miles to banks so banks can use them to entice new customers to spend more and more on the cards.

In many ways, the Big Three U.S. airlines have organized themselves into two distinct businesses. There’s the traditional activity—the one with jets—which involves pricing seats for as much as possible, collecting a bag fee, and selling some food and drinks while keeping a close eye on costs. The other business is the sale of miles—mostly to the big banks, but also to companies that range from car rental firms to hotels to magazine peddlers.

Banks love them, too.

For the banks, people who pay annual fees for those cards to accumulate miles are the closest thing to a sure bet. These consumers typically have higher-than-average incomes and spend more on their cards, which generates merchant fees for the banks. They also tend to maintain high credit scores, which means they pay their bills on time and banks experience fewer defaults. 

Everyone's a winner.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Bitcoins and Blockchains and Smart Contracts

Have you noticed it, too? The buzz about blockchain technology seems to be getting louder and louder.

The Harvard Business Review has published numerous pieces recently from many different contributors with perspectives on what blockchain technology could mean for sector as diverse as healthcare and entertainment, to utilities and global supply chains.

It's a lot to take in, and there's a lot going on "under the hood" from a technical perspective.

Jeremy Rubin, Technical Director of the MIT Bitcoin Project, distilled it into terms that even I could begin to understand in his 2014 TEDxBeaconStreet talk, "What the #?!* is Bitcoin?"

What I've concluded so far in all of this is this. At the heart of blockchain, it seems, is trust.

Trust that may someday not require third party arbiters like banks, lawyers, and other traditional institutions that control the flow of information, identity, and value.

As Joichi Ito, Neha Narula, and Robleh Ali wrote recently in their March 8th HBR article, "The Blockchain Will Do to the Financial System What the Internet Did to Media"...

"...transactions must satisfy certain rules before they can be accepted into the Bitcoin blockchain. Instead of writing rules and appointing a regulator to monitor for breaches, which is how the current financial system works, Bitcoin’s code sets the rules and the network checks for compliance."

Changes like this are always so interesting and exciting to me. Those of us who remember the early days of the Internet - and some of the voices who dismissed it so easily - might now find ourselves looking at cryptocurrency and smart contracts as signs pointing the way to a future that is only beginning to come into view.

What do you think?

Are you using Bitcoin, or one the 700+ (yes, that's seven hundred plus!) cryptocurrencies Rajesh Dhuddu talked about as part of his Hyderabad TedX Talk in January?

Share your thoughts in the Comments.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Electronic Invoicing- Yes We Can!

There are many things that companies of all shapes and sizes share. Invoices are one of them. I have talked about the amount of folks who have not yet automated their travel and expense management, and invoicing is no different. In the end it comes down to “WHY”. Why automate your invoice process? The driving factor is money. The simple fact is that your company can save 50-80% of invoicing costs by automating with InvoiceAnywhere.

 Imagine all your invoices from all your suppliers: Fully Reconciled, Error Free and sent directly to your ERP system. There are other reasons to jump on this train of money and time savings as well:
  • ·         Easy to use & Manage
  • ·         Complete management from receipt of invoices to payment.
  • ·         Allocation to GL/ Accounting Lines: split into multiple accounting lines by amount or percentage
  • ·         Automated supplier specific approval process.
  • ·         PO matching
  • ·         Vendor Portal –track invoice status; select dynamic discounts for early settlement

We would love to show you how we can help your company. Click the video link to learn more:

Sunday, January 4, 2015

2015! Time to Automate

 Expense reporting can be a strange road. Here at ExpenseAnywhere, we keep that road even and clean for your company. With 2015 here, we are offering two webinars in January to help companies get a better understanding of why automation is the key to reducing profit leaks and maximizing efficiencies. Every year there are lists published of the strangest expense items requested for reimbursement. One of my all-time favorites was a man on business internationally.  A creative business traveler to Hong Kong didn’t fret when every hotel room was booked due to the Consumer Electronics Show. “I had to rent an apartment and then cancel the lease,” explains a vice president of business development at a telecommunications company. Granted it seems comical, as certain situations can come up. The question then is aimed at the travel and expense policy within the company. If you do not have a policy to enforce, then it becomes taxing to manage.  Did you know that travel and expense accounts for up to 60% of indirect business costs for a company? It’s a New Year! Start it off right and schedule a demo of the ExpenseAnywhere solution, or register for one of our upcoming webinars. 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Still Playing the Guessing Game?

This morning I was thinking back to my old expense reports. The days of spreadsheets, faxes and photocopied receipts – It was a life without automation. Mileage was my favorite part of the expense report. Actually it was the favorite for every employee in my department. We made money on mileage. It was rarely examined by auditors. Later down the line, some employees became greedy. One gentleman really stands out in my memory. His mileage for the month was more than it could have been if he had driven 24 hours a day nonstop for the entire month. He got away with this three months in a row. Once caught, his defense was that he merely counted more mileage because he sat in traffic so long between appointments. In the end, a closer look was taken regarding mileage. In the end, it mattered not.

Adding in extra mileage was still simple to do, and so in continued on. I thought of those old days because of an article I read last night, and thought of the many companies that are still not automated. The article stated that on average, 87% of employees guess their mileage, while only 13% use  MapQuest or something similar to track mileage. The profit leak from this scenario alone is toxic for a company.

It is not a hard fix really. Click the link below and view how we have helped many companies, and how we can help you too

Monday, December 8, 2014

Service After the Sale.....

Buying software as a service can be a dark road full of more twists that a Hitchcock film. If you choose the wrong provider, you can expect the elements of suspense and surprise to be in full swing. Add in some language barriers and long hold times regarding support, and you have a full spectrum horror film going on in right in your own office. I am well aware that pricing matters. I am certain that the quality of the product, as well as the ability of it to deliver is paramount as well.

Most companies want to be true believers when it comes to trusting that exceptional service after the sale will be provided. If the price point is low enough, some decisions makers become the victim of their own self-induced amnesia, and forget the issues from past providers, as well as their own personal customer service experience nightmares. Most forget the amount of customer service videos passed around on social media, or the jokes in the morning paper cartoon section. In the end, we are almost programmed to expect inferior support.

Far too often the case
 ExpenseAnywhere has never been a fan of poor customer service. We strive to be exceptional in all areas, but we really felt this was at the top of the list. Enter “Red Line Customer Support”. With Red Line, you will have your own dedicated account rep. Let’s be honest, You have experienced talking to three different people in customer service. If I were a betting man, I would gamble that you have called back in, only to find out that no notes were entered. Now you can play the game of which one of the three told me this or that. Not with ExpenseAnywhere! Our hold times are usually less than a minute and we handle most issues in real-time. We offer our live support, online support with chat, and a “Tell Us” system as well. We love suspenseful movies as much as the next person, we just don’t want it played out in your office.