The challenges associated with Travel & Expense Reports have been largely the same through the years and across industries. CFOs want visibility, vendors want timely payments, employees more so. Meanwhile Accounting professionals are trying to gather expenses, chase down approvals, get cheques signed all while they answer irate calls from employees and vendors. In the end expediency often trumps strategy. Policy compliance gets ignored. CFO's don't have accurate spend figures, vendors may charge interest, opportunities for savings through early payments are lost and the list of issues goes on. In reality most CFOs are more than capable of generating savings through better travel strategies, but only as long as they have the needed visibility. Manual processing brings the their capabilities to nought. In the meantime fraudsters continue to take advantage of gaps.
ERPs act as systems of record and store all the information they are fed. But there is much that happens manually and outside the system today. Invoices trickle in as per the accounting cycle of the respective Travel Management company, Credit Card company and other service providers. There are invoices, credit notes, credit card statements, expense reports, receipts and other expense documents all of which need to be manually matched and checked before they are entered into the ERP for further processing. Manual processes mean expenses often get processed in batches. Outlier expenses continue to trickle in. Even as the cost of processing each invoice adds up, [US$ 14.21 according to Ardent Partners EMBED LINK INTO THE UNDERLINED WORD (http://pages.taulia.com/05ArdentePayables_DownloadLandingPage-newsletterv2.html)], accounting errors creep in. We find that 9/10 companies are not accurate with their Travel Positioning. This in turn results in incorrect reporting of spend.
Considering we live in a day and age where an advertiser knows what you had for lunch and a website knows which insurance plan suits you best, isn't it time Travel Expense & Reporting starts getting closer to real time?
The key to real time processing lies in straight through automation. Curio has built exactly that. Curio aggregates real time fares from 700+ airlines, rates from over 300,000 hotels across the globe, car rental companies, cabs and more. But we don't just aggregate, we also fulfill. Now with hotel booking, ticketing, forex requests and more all happening through a single platform that directly connects users and providers, invoicing, approvals and payment is electronic, automatic and real time. Credit cards are integrated, so swipes for airfares, restaurants etc. are automatically picked out, listed and classified. Full integration with your ERP ensures that invoices or line items are matched with relevant documents and can go straight to the right general ledger account. Policy violations are flagged automatically and in real time. Airfares are logged after the trip is completed. In case of cancellations the entry of credit notes is also automated. So are credit card refunds.
Curio now provides Accrual Management on a real time basis. Month end provisions, forex advance revaluation, accounting for travel tickets during the period of travel (instead of accounting at the time of booking) and more are additional features. The entries are automated by integrationwith your ERP. This ensures that reports from the Expense Management System and the ERP are exactly the same at all times. Accounting is automated, thus strengthening Internal Financial Controls (IFC) and facilitating accurate spend reports.
Accountants can now focus on executing their CFOs strategies. With the clerical work taken care of they can stay on top of spends, provide better analysis, guidance and add value to business, taking the accounting function to the next level of business partnering. The scope for frauds is all but eliminated. In the meantime CFOs have visibility into the correct spend at a far more granular level. Travel is often one of the biggest expense for a company. How much do you think you can save with real time T&E Accounting? Do tell us.