For many organisations with employees travelling regularly for work purposes, it is important to carry out administrative tasks, such as logging mileage and expenses claims, efficiently and accurately. It’s no secret that paper-based processes are cumbersome and present many challenges for both employees and their managers. With digitisation sweeping many sectors, especially healthcare, there is a keen focus, now more than ever on replacing manual practises, enhancing reporting functionality and ultimately driving efficiencies through data collection.

In order to better understand cost drivers and streamline the expenses process many organisations are adopting digital expenses solutions. It’s important that organisations implement systems which can be customised to reflect their expense policy and also integrated with existing Electronic Staff Record (ESR) software. Only having one system to update will be of huge benefit to administrative staff, creating greater efficiencies and time savings. As well as giving them peace of mind that any updates to employee information, such as change of address will be replicated across the board and information will always be up-to-date. Additionally, involving and working closely with other departments such as the IT team will ensure that organisations understand the requirements of their employees, changing technological landscape and ultimately implement a solution which matches the organisations current and future needs, as well as driving transformation and decision making.

Training is a key component to digital success

By digitising the expenses process, organisations can reap many benefits such as a reduction in average mileage costs and an understanding of how employees interpret or misuse the expenses policy. However, for a successful and smooth transition to a new system, training is a key component as well as managing staff expectations from the beginning to the end of the change process.

As part of our own digitisation we implemented Selenity Expenses which also supported our flexible approach to working with its mobile capabilities. The new system also coincided with a number of other digital transformation initiatives being introduced throughout the organisation. During the implementation it was key that we ensured all users were fully informed, comfortable in what they are doing and understood how to claim for the right items and amounts. Whether it is an electronic training package or delivering face-to-face training, employees will need guidance and a little bit of support to start with. Investing time and effort in training not only ensures employees are comfortable with new processes but also makes them feel engaged. Additionally, championing the solution and marketing training packages to the wider organisation not only increases awareness of new technologies but also ensures that the solutions will be readily adopted and used.

Increasing accuracy and efficiency

Having a system tailored to the needs of the organisation not only raises the transparency of procedures but also reinforces company policies, leading to more accurate and consistent expense claims. After going through this process ourselves, we learnt that there had previously been variation in the methods used by employees to record journeys – with some using odometer readings and others calculating distance with online route planners.

Features such as policy reminders, mileage verification in the form of GPS capture and postcode to postcode look ups, all help to increase the consistency of mileage claims submitted by employees. For business administrators this means that claims are often easier to review and approve and there is much less checking and chasing for additional information. Streamlining processes such as corporate travel and expenses also provides organisations with the ability to look at how services are delivered and if there’s a way to improve them and make them more efficient.

Enhancing the reporting process

Digital systems provide a higher a level of transparency and many organisations can harness this detailed information and use it in a meaningful way. By capturing expense information centrally, operational teams are able to continually use real-time information as a tool to help transform the organisation. Not only helping to drive decision making but also allowing them to challenge certain claiming behaviours they may pick up on – something you wouldn’t get from a paper form.

Finally, digital systems allow teams to identify patterns in the data and pass those insights onto managers and senior business figures. The transparency of digital expense systems can also help operational teams to field inquiries from the finance department and compare statistics, such as looking at how the average mileage claims compare from one service to another. Harnessing data in this way enables organisations to provide effective value for money services, ensuring that the right people, are in the right places, doing the right things at the right time.