Why is it important to mobilize your Oracle iExpense process?
This post outlines the cost savings you’ll see when you mobilize your Oracle iExpense process properly. The original post appeared in a Linkedin Group discussion (view the original here).
While many companies have focused on making their AP Invoice processing digital, much less attention has been paid to expense reports submitted by employees. Reducing costs for vendor invoices is a no-brainer from a cost point of view, however improving the expense report process not only reduces costs but can also dramatically improve employee satisfaction. There are quite a few methods for processing expense reports –
Here’s what we see in many companies that use Oracle’s E Business Suite:
- Expenses are entered by the employee in Oracle iExpenses. Employees print the final expense report summary, staple supporting receipts to it, and mail the packet to their Expense Accounting group. The Expense Accounting group then scans and enters each of the receipts into the employee’s Expense Report in Oracle. This is an extremely manual and expensive way of processing expense reports. Some of the scanning and data entry can be outsourced, but even then annual costs are almost $9K per 100 expense users — not to mention loss of employee productivity and frustrated employees.
Expense Report Scanning Costs: @ $.85 per Expense Report = $4,293
Storage and Destruction: @$3.00 per Box = $19
Labor Costs to Open/Mail/Stamp/Prep @ $13.81 per hours = $4,603
Costs per 100 Expense Users = $8,915
- The second process we see is for the employee to enter expense reports in Oracle iExpenses, find a nearby scanner to scan all receipts, and then attach the scanned PDF file to the expense report in Oracle. While this is certainly better than a completely manual process, it still requires the employee have a scanner readily available and remember to safely retain all the receipts until they are ready to submit. Finally, the expense accounting group has to look through each of the scanned receipts and pull their hair out trying to figure out which receipt belongs to which expense line. The costs incurred here are reduced versus option-1, but this is certainly not the most optimized method.
- The third process option is to use third party tools and systems for expense reporting and interface the expense reports in Oracle AP. While these tools do have better usability and mobile apps, you end up having two systems, increased accounting challenges, two sets of workflows, and the loss of the advanced functionality like project integration, alternate approvers, etc that Oracle provides. The costs here are also higher due to additional licensing, maintenance, updates and integration.
In the United States, the smartphone market is significantly penetrated, with reports showing over 80% of all adults already using an Android or Apple device. These mobile devices are powerful productivity tools that include everything from cameras to scan receipts, GPS for location and mileage tracking, Internet connectivity for online submission, and more. The apps on these devices certainly set the bar high for usability. Any expense reporting app that makes use of these features and tightly integrates with Oracle iExpense, will win the crown for the most cost effective and employee delighting way for submitting expense reports!