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. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Bermuda Triangle? Perhaps. Fraud Triangle? 100% Certain!

It all comes down to three items. Opportunity- Motivation-Rationalization. I've worked for some large global corporations over the years. There really isn't much I haven’t seen. I still recall an out of town seminar where a seasoned employee showed up for training hung over, in a ski mask, shorts, and wearing rollerblades. It was winter! I was thinking of a gentleman that I shall simply call Ron. This time it was summer.  Ron was an Account Executive working with me in a large global telecom company. We were just handed our shiny new corporate Visa cards, and given a crash course in what was allowed and not allowed to be put on the card. It was 1999 and not every company was up to speed on why they needed to automate their expense programs. In fact, many companies both large and small still use manual entry and paper even now. Shocking I know.

Let’s get back to Ron. During our business training trip, Ron decided that he no longer liked the swim trunks he brought and would purchase another pair on his corporate Visa. He also felt that it was not an issue to take out a few people in the training class for drinks and dinner….on the corporate Visa card. As he returned the room that evening, he explained that it was not big deal because companies never catch these items. Strange as it seemed, he was never even asked about the charges. I was shocked. It was not until a Manager overheard him explaining how he put winter tires on his personal vehicle with his corporate card, that he was found out and let go. That was a year later. In his defense, he had more of a case for snow tires that he did for swim trunks, but it mattered not in the end. 

Obviously this was long before I was in the T&E space, but I think back to those moments often  when I speak to a company who is relying on the folks in the back office to examine each expense report line item and look for policy breaks. I think back every time someone in a company tells me that they don’t have fraud issues at all.

The fact is that T&E fraud accounts for 14.5% of all fraud in a company.  In fact, JP Morgan reported that Travel & Entertainment  spending is currently at $156 billion annually and is expected to reach $186 billion annually by 2015. Middle market companies were responsible for the largest growth in T&E spending since 2008 at 9.7%. Applying statistics on fraud losses and expense reimbursement fraud losses to the current T&E spending, it is estimated that over $1 billion is lost each year to fraudulent expense reimbursement.  

Perception is reality. Another employee was known as “Two Dinner Joe”. He would order two dinners to go. Sounds simple and honest right? Wrong. He would make sure they were not put through the system as takeout. On the receipt it would look as if he ordered them at the restaurant and ate there.  He would then expense the dinners as if he took out a potential client. In his mind, the company surely had the money to spare, so he and his wife ate on the company card a few nights a week at home.  Once again, no automation was in place, and he never got caught. While it may seem comical to some, it is theft after all. There is a reason why so many companies are automating their AP these days.

I know that these examples seem almost humorous, but in reality, it happens more than most realize. Contact us to learn how we can help. 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Are you still on the ground looking up at the cloud?

What does the future hold for companies regarding travel and expense that are not yet in the cloud? Here at ExpenseAnywhere, we keep our finger on the pulse. Why? Simply put “We owe it to our current clients and future clients”. It is difficult to look ahead, yet if we study past trends, many times we can get a sense of the road coming toward us. Far be it for me to consider myself a fortune teller, but being in this space for many years, I tend to possess a sense of clarity and the ability to see through the fog of press releases from companies promising the world. 

I tend to see past the shadows of the so called “Next Best Thing” software. The T&E / AP Spaces are full or start ups and well, fall downs. From the East Coast to Silicon Valley, you can find remains of the fallen. 

We consider ourselves innovators with true staying power in the cloud space. We strive to deliver perfection and improve on it any chance we get. Yet there are some companies still behind the curve, not utilizing automation , and still doing things manually. I think of them often, I really do. I ponder the potential profit leaks unable to be salvaged by the lack of automation. 

The question becomes clear. Why not jump on the cloud? According to a recent Aberdeen report, moving to the cloud has become a front line initiative for many companies going into 2015 as you can see below.

There are some compelling reasons to jump on the cloud. Many driving forces are giving companies an appetite for change. If you view the below, you may find your company falls in line with one or many of these examples.

When it comes to T&E automation, many times there are more factors than just saving money and finding and repairing those potential profit leaks. The information below speaks to a polling that was conducted to find the true frustrations within companies. 

In the end, every company has two things top of mind. How to attract and retain top talent, and how to do more with less. Companies many times fail to realize the importance of automation where these initiatives are concerned. It is no secret that happy employees tend to stay longer. Talent is attracted to companies with vision. If you are still on the ground, take a look up in the clouds, we are there waiting for you. Talk soon.