Adam Rusch's office used to be filled with stacks of paper. As controller at Novum Structures, a contracting architectural firm in Menomonee Falls, Wis., Rusch oversees employee expense reports and reimbursements. The company's accounting department would be inundated with printed reports passed from employer to manager and finally over to them. "It was just piles and piles of paper," he says.
Last year, Rusch and his team switched over to the Concur digital automated platform, and now the process of tracking, filing, and reimbursing expenses has been totally transformed. If it’s possible for Novum Structures, your company can see similar results as well.
Here are some surprising ways switching to Concur helped simplify the process and grow the business's bottom line.
Time saving -- not just for managers, but also for employees.
Before shifting to Concur, Rusch and his team had to manually set up reimbursement payments for all of their 120 employees. What used to take up four or five hours of his day reviewing and setting up payments to employees each week now takes one to two hours max. Concur's automated system, which records and reports expenses in real-time also lets Rusch and his team keep up with expense reports throughout the week, rather than waiting until Fridays to plow through stacks of paper.
"It's so much easier to do it more frequently so you don’t create a backlog for yourself," he says. "It helps us focus on daily tasks like our financial reporting and ways that we can improve our department."
Automating the system hasn't just saved time for the accounting department, it's also simplified the process for employees and managers across the company. Novum works on construction projects across the country, which means employees are constantly traveling and tracking their expenses. For those employees who frequently travel, ExpenseIt from Concur is an app that reports and captures spending in real-time, auto-loading transactions, rather than requiring employees to keep a paper trail of receipts.
"The report basically writes itself," Rusch says. "Everything now is able to be accessed digitally. The ease of use saves so much time."
More accurate reporting and smarter spending.
Time saving is not the only benefit Novum saw when it switched to a digital system with Concur. Accuracy was another big advantage. Before making the switch, manual errors from inputting the wrong information to coding a number incorrectly were a recurring issue. "It was quite easy to code a number wrong when the process was so manual and time-intensive," Rusch says.
Using a digital platform also created a wealth of data on spending that gives the company a much clearer picture of how and why money is being spent. "We could see very easily where we could save money and where employees were getting a little liberal in their spending,” Rusch says. "We could take a high-level look to see gross amount of dollars."
As a result, Novum's credit card bills have gone down 35 percent year-over-year, saving the company about a $1 million annually, according to Rusch. And rather than paying vendors using credit cards, employees are able to go directly through accounts payable on larger purchases, saving the company on credit card payment fees. As a result, Rusch has seen the company's credit card bills go down by up to $70,000 each month, increasing cash flow.
More direct communication with employees.
Cutting out the paper trail and digitizing the process also means that accounting has a much easier time getting in touch with and keeping employees up-to-date on the process and where they're at within it.
If, for example, an employee is expensing something he or she shouldn't be, that information is available to accounting right away and they can reach out to let the employee know. "We can communicate instantly within the system. Previously, there wouldn’t really be a back and forth," Rusch says. "Chances are the employees would have done the same mistake two or three times by that point."
Keeping track of employees' expenses, communicating with them in real-time, saving on costs and streamlining the reporting process has transformed the way not just managers, but also employees work.
Make managing expenses even smarter. Download the free expense policy template from Concur now.