The main focus of this release was continuing improvements to reduce user friction and fixing bugs in both time and expense products. Read on for more details!
New CSV Export Fields
We’ve introduced three new CSV Export fields to Tallie, including User Class Default, User Location Default, and User Department Default. These new fields will populate the CSV file with the default class, department or location mapped on the user profile instead of those mapped on the expense.
When clicking Itemize in the middle of an expense create session, we’ll copy over any existing expense data to the first itemized line so it doesn’t get lost
Fixed the issue where the Tallie Time project list doesn’t load past a certain point
Fixedthe issue where Tallie Time projects were available to users who were not assigned to them
Fixedthe Semi-monthly pay cycle issue, to ensure it does not skip a week
Fixedthe issue where Tallie was unable to export vendor credits with class to QBO-connected Bill.com
Fixedthe issue where approvers, permissions, and bill & pay rates do not save upon creating a new user manually
Fixed the issue where the Remind Approver button is disabled if the report contains itemized expenses
Fixed Mass Update issues, including the internal server error that comes up when removing Location, Department, and/or Manager from people and the Select All option
We look forward to hearing how these upgrades have made managing your time and expenses even easier. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to reach out to our Product Expert team at email@example.com or by calling 888-874-1118 Ext 2.
Corporate travel is complicated for most parties involved. Employees hitting the road must ensure that all of their arrangements are in place and keep track of how much they spend throughout the trip. When each staff member returns, managers and accountants must make sure the worker is reimbursed for what was spent on food, transportation, lodging, and other required costs.
The majority of organizations deal with these struggles, particularly those whose employees travel on a regular basis. Some firms — 17 percent — have workers who travel 25 weeks or more out of the year and about half of all companies process 500 or more expense reports each month, according to Paystream Advisors.
Whether your business takes part in occasional travel or employees are leaving on trips every other day, your company most likely deals with the same headaches and complexities as other enterprises.
Reporting and Organizing Expenses: The Hurdles
Often, it's not the actual travel that makes things difficult for businesses and their employees. Reporting and organizing the associated expenses, processing and approving reports, and supporting quick reimbursement presents numerous challenges for companies both large and small.
But what pain points are shared among these organizations, and what can be done to address them?
1) Inefficient and Costly Manual Processing
Now that so much mission-critical business activity takes place in the digital sphere, there's no reason that expense reporting shouldn't be on this bandwagon. However, according to numerous studies, a surprising number of companies are still using paper spreadsheets and other manual processes for their expenses.
This is a challenge shared by 37 percent of organizations, according to a study from Paystream. Processing reports manually is also expensive and time consuming — PYMNTS.com reported that businesses using paper-based expense reporting waste a total of 3,000 hours processing by hand and correcting errors. What's more, each incorrect report costs a company $58 and 18 minutes to create and fix.
An advanced expense reporting solution like Tallie can help businesses eliminate error-prone and tedious manual processes with an innovative, mobile-friendly system. Reports can automatically be checked for errors, and the time it takes to process and approve these is considerably reduced.
2) Lack of Compliance with Spending Policies
Businesses put spending policies in place for a reason: ensuring that employees are reimbursed for corporate expenses while remaining in line with the company's budget. However, without granular visibility and categorized spending, it's difficult to spot any overspending or transactions that don't qualify for reimbursement. A report from Aberdeen Group found that 49 percent of businesses struggle when it comes to policy compliance.
Tallie can alleviate this pressure as well. When employees report a transaction, it is automatically categorized, providing report approvers with the necessary visibility. What's more, Tallie flags any spending that violates corporate policies, saving your company time and money.
3) Slow Reimbursement
Among traveling employees, one of the biggest complaints is having to wait long cycles for reimbursement. This isn't just frustrating, but it can also create financial stress for workers trying to make ends meet.
Businesses must better support their workers by processing and approving reports as quickly as possible to enable streamlined reimbursement. Tallie alerts approvers when reports require their attention and offers email-based approvals. These types of innovation can cut processing time by as much as two-thirds, allowing employees to receive reimbursement as quickly as possible.
In the current travel and expense management industry, there are more than a few choices available for businesses. The IDC estimates that the market for TEM software will surpass $2.4 billion within the next three years, with growth focusing around cloud-based and mobile solutions.
Decision-makers may be tempted to use the first big-name expense reporting system they come across, but with so much riding on the utilization, accuracy, and support of the solution, it's imperative that stakeholders choose one that will provide the most value for their traveling employees and accounting department. Most expense reporting software is pretty similar: Users create reports, categorize expenses, and input receipts by hand. This worked well for some time, but there is a more intuitive and intelligent process that can be used here.
When it comes to expense reporting solutions, Tallie is different. Here's how:
Eliminating the Manual Steps: Automatic Categorization
As opposed to beginning the expense reporting process by creating an expense report, Tallie focuses on the receipt itself. Users need not worry about manual steps, and can simply snap a photo of their receipt from their mobile device, send it to Tallie via our intelligent mobile app, and then move on to other business priorities.
Tallie leverages specially designed algorithms to squeeze as much information out of each receipt as possible. Once Tallie servers receive a receipt image, we draw details from the document, and automatically import them into the report. These variables include the cost of the transaction, the name of the company or merchant, and the specific expense category. This method eliminates the need for much of the manual human interaction users are accustomed to with other expense reporting solutions.
Applying Custom Corporate Policies
Tallie also enables stakeholders to include their business's unique travel and expense policies, enabling these rules to be applied to each transaction and associated receipt. We flag any action needed on the part of users according to their company's policies after we create the report, and intelligently categorize the expenses.
For example, let's say Jane goes out to lunch with a co-worker and business partner. After the meal, she snaps a photo of the receipt with the Tallie mobile app. Tallie creates the report and automatically categorizes it as a business meal. According to Jane's corporate expense policies, she must specify the number of attendees at the meal, so Tallie notifies Jane, enabling her to go into the report and make sure her report aligns with the business's expense rules.
This not only saves time and makes things easy for Jane, but also streamlines the report approval process. Because Tallie helps ensure accuracy and automatically flags any missing information or discrepancies, reports can be filed correctly the first time. Supervisors can review and approve reports much more quickly.
User-Friendly Interface: Reducing the Learning Curve
The software's intuitive and easy-to-understand user interface belie Tallie's powerful capabilities. While some decision-makers jump at solutions that provide a lot of bells and whistles, this isn't always the best choice — a system with features you don't need can translate to long training time for users and report approvers, reducing the overall return on investment.
Tallie, by contrast, provides a simple user interface that doesn't sacrifice overall use. This means end users and supervisors can begin using the solution right away. There's no need for extended training. Tallie supports the key expense reporting features today's businesses need in a streamlined, intelligent user interface.
Tallie: A Time-Saving, Intuitive Solution
Tallie's focus has always been on the end user. With Tallie in place, your traveling employees with have a simple and mobile-accessible solution capable of generating reports and automatically categorizing expenses for them. And report approvers benefit from automatic emails sent right to their inbox — reports can be reviewed and approved right from that message, saving time, effort, and money.
Incorrect and even fraudulent expense reports: No business leader wants to deal with them. But they do happen and can quickly become a costly problem.
According to a study from analysis firm Oversight Systems, 82 percent of fraud connected to expense reports stems from the actions of just 5 percent of employees. However, these incorrect reports can add up — The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners discovered that companies lose $150,000 annually to fraud. Worse still, smaller organizations with fewer workers can expect this cost to rise by about 28 percent.
Because reports containing mistakes or blatant fraud can take valuable capital away from other business priorities, organizations must address this problem head-on.
Something’s Not Right Here …
Fraudulent or incorrect expense reports can come in many different forms. Some issues may be a function of the intentional misuse of resources, while other situations may just be connected to human error. Overlooking or simply processing these reports can cause serious complications for report approvers, as well as the HR and accounting departments.
But what does fraud look like? And how does it differ from an incorrect report that contains mistakes, but isn’t maliciously fraudulent? Let’s examine a few scenarios:
Inappropriate reimbursement requests: One form of fraud takes place when employees include items in their expense reports for which they are not entitled reimbursement. These can include personal items, or other merchandise and services not directly connected to the business or the employee’s mission. As Sequence Inc. pointed out, some workers will miscategorize items in order to make them appear legitimate and avoid the scrutiny of report approvers.
Exceeding reimbursement limits: Many companies have per diem limits in place when it comes to employee travel. These can be connected to amounts spent on food, lodging, flights, and other items. Complications can arise when this limit is exceeded. In some cases, it may be an honest mistake on the part of a staff member who didn’t realize he had gone beyond his spending limit. These types of reports can also be connected with fraud, particularly if efforts are made to disguise the extra spending. For example, an employee may attempt to split expenditures into two separate parts in order to better align with spending thresholds. In any case, businesses must ensure that their expressed reimbursement limits are observed.
Padding transactions: In some cases, workers may attempt to report transactions as higher than they actually were in order to make a profit upon reimbursement. For instance, a $5 lunch may be inflated to $10, enabling the worker to pocket the extra $5. Small transactions like this are more easily overlooked — especially in companies that don’t require the original receipt — but they add up.
Common human error: As noted, not all cases of incorrect expense reports are fraudulent. Some issues, like listing the wrong transaction amounts, incorrectly adding up totals or other mistakes are just that — simple errors on the part of the worker. In these cases, though, it is equally important to spot and prevent incorrect reports to ensure the right reimbursement.
Fight Fraud and Errors With Advanced Expense Reporting
The ideal way to avoid human-error mistakes or costly fraud is with an advanced expense reporting solution that can take the heavy lifting out of checking and approving reports. This kind of innovative system provides mobile capabilities for employees, allowing them to easily capture their original receipts, and quickly organize their expenses. Transactions are automatically placed into the correct spending categories, each charge is matched to its appropriate receipt, and any issues or duplicates are flagged for report approvers. This not only helps workers avoid human error, but also makes it increasingly difficult — if not impossible — for a fraudulent report to pass through without scrutiny.
And that’s a wrap! Intacct Advantage 2017 has come to a close. We hope all who attended this year’s event left the city of lights feeling like high rollers. The conference floor was buzzing in Las Vegas. Thanks to everyone who stopped by to visit us. It was a thrill to debut our combined Nexonia and Tallie booth.
We hope you enjoyed the refreshments and gifts! If you were still up at sunrise, our hangover kits definitely came in handy. Whether you came by for a demo or to recharge your conference juices, we had a great time chatting with new and old friends.
Kudos to our very own Director of UX and Product Engineering, Claire Milligan, who took the podium for a presentation on driving accurate forecasting through employee engagement and financial tools.
And we’d like to thank all of our partners who joined us at Top Golf for our East v. West team shootout. It was a great opportunity to come together for some face-to-face time and friendly competition. We didn’t all hit the greens, but we all took our swings! Bringing so many powerhouse names under one roof is a clear indication of how quickly the fintech industry continues to grow. It’s an exciting time to join the conversation and collaborate with organizations working to better the accounting process.
If you’re still gambling with paper receipts and excel sheets, check us out here. We look forward to seeing you all again at Intacct Advantage 2018!