As a global consulting company that employs around 1,500 people at 12 locations in Germany alone, Mazars is a role model in many areas. That is why the innovation drivers in matters of legal, tax and auditing are currently going through a large-scale conversion process, the so-called 3D project for digital transformation at Mazars. Rydoo turned out to be the ideal partner for it.
“Expense management also plays an essential role in our core business. Here we regularly show our clients potential improvements, ” explains Finance Director Christopher Korduan in a joint conversation. “In my opinion, this is the greatest compliment: at Mazars we not only use Rydoo ourselves, but are so convinced of the range of functions that we actively recommend the app.”
Digitization at Mazars pays off
The Mazars team completed the implementation of Rydoo at the end of February 2020. The first lockdown followed immediately in March. “We are lucky that we made the leap before Corona. Looking back, Rydoo made a significant contribution to us remaining functionable during this challenging time. ”Cumbersome paper expenses were digitized. As it turned out, this happened just in time, as many employees now work from their home office.
Mazars provided the right incentive for working from home. Mazars has it’s own online collaboration portal, Mazars Signals, that enables document sharing, approving declarations and gives 24/7 access to all information. Rydoo supports various digital innovations like this one by integrating with different apps such as Dropbox and Slack. They can be used intuitively thanks to the appealing interface.
Sarah Goertz, Senior Manager at Mazars, reflects:
“Ease of use was a decisive factor in choosing Rydoo. We liked the fact that even first-time users who are not digital natives were quickly familiar with the billing processes. We consistently get positive feedback. The majority of the workforce is enthusiastic about the simplification of work that Rydoo brings in day-to-day business.”
Easy administrative activities improves the working atmosphere
As part of the changeover, it was particularly important to those responsible at Mazars to learn from past mistakes. “On closer inspection, it was immediately apparent how senseless and downright harmful parts of well-tried systems were. I will never forget how a frustrated colleague got angry about our outdated registration process for receipt accounting. He was able to list over 30 individual steps”, says Korduan. “Rydoo, on the other hand, convinces with an uncomplicated single sign-on. Now this frustration has completely disappeared.”
Apart from the monetary gains that go hand in hand with streamlining the accounting process, the focus of any digitization project for Mazars is always on relieving the workforce.
“Even if we don’t save several hours of working time every day with every automation, the switch is extremely worthwhile. Let’s just think of the exhausted advisor who arrives home on Friday after a long flight. With the Rydoo app, he can read in, tick off and forget all the receipts on the taxi ride back from the airport. An incredible relief for everyone involved. Another important factor is the signal we give internally. A tool like Rydoo shows that we value our employees and their commitment.” according to Korduan.
Oliver Theobald and Lorenz Gebhardt, partners and managing directors at Mazars, are also convinced of this. In the course of an interview during the Rydoo Take Off event, they addressed essential values such as openness, curiosity and patience. “Digitization and innovation cannot simply be arranged top-down. Behind this is a comprehensive project that can turn the corporate culture inside out. There is a certain resistance to change in almost all structures. However, once the team notices the huge efficiency gains, there’s almost no need to persuade them and to get them to change their behavior.”
Settle accounts on the go with Rydoo
Mazars would like to stop analog process as much as possible in their way of work. Efforts are less about digitizing the business model and more about changing and/or further optimising the underlying systems. As recently demonstrated by a study commissioned by the Federal Association Bitkom, two thirds of companies that had already digitized their business processes were better equipped for the challenges of the corona pandemic. “Optimizing a process helps far beyond the digital advantage,” Goertz adds. “Rydoo ensured the right level of efficiency. Before the changeover, it took, on average, 4 months from the time of a trip and the time of billing. We were able to reduce this value significantly.”
Thanks to the transparency with Rydoo, the Mazars workforce experiences this benefit first hand. “I can check at any time what the status is of my expenses. Has the receipt already been checked, when was the payment initiated? A godsend. This also means that significantly fewer inquiries end up with our administrators. Those who travel a lot for work enjoy this user-friendliness.”
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A digital workflow adapted to the user
The more employees enter their data in a system, the more insensitive it must be to input errors. Especially when several thousands of employees work with it at the same time. Rydoo uses special algorithms to ensure compliance with the expense policy. “If someone submits the same lump sum to us twice a day, the app automatically detects the error and immediately shows a message for correction. The same applies to certain issues that are not allowed to be submitted according to the legal requirements.”
Rydoo provides detailed reports for financial accounting – a must for the tax and legal experts at Mazars. Relevant tax regulations are taken into account on a country-specific basis. “Our team no longer has to manually enter or check anything. Rydoo gives us the maximum tax rates. If we use other values in the company, we can easily adapt them,” says Goertz. As a result, this means that all accounts with Rydoo are GDPR compliant (GoBD in Germany). She also endorses that “Mapping the workflows for submitting and checking, e.g. through the transparent presentation of the business travel guidelines in Rydoo, helps everyone and is a huge relief.”
Depth instead of breadth - the advantages of a best practice solution
“We came from a completely different world,” says Korduan. “In the past, everything had to be filled into a lengthy form and then packed in an envelope with the associated receipts. This was then sent to our colleagues in Hamburg for evaluation. Because of this process, it was not uncommon for invoices to accumulate and sometimes end up as a huge pile over several months. That was extremely inefficient and was understandably not fun for our controllers.”
Since the use of Rydoo, however, the feedback has been positive from everyone. In general, the various digitization measures at Mazars initiated a rethink. “In the future, we no longer want to control all processes via a single system. These software battleships are considered an all-in-one solution, but in reality often require a general overhaul and only slow themselves down. With the help of specialized tools, the foundation are made so that employees can fully concentrate on their value-adding activities.”
“The majority of our consultants travel a lot. The speed of implementation plays a major role here. The main reason against an all-in-one system was the lengthy implementation effort involved.” says Christopher Korduan, Finance Director at Mazars
The implementation of Rydoo went so smoothly that Mazars had a team with a handful of people for all locations in Germany. In the test phase, far more people from the operational business were ultimately involved – including Finance Director Christopher Korduan himself. “We are very happy with the results. As the saying goes: time is money. As a service provider, every hour counts.”