‘’The only thing that really matters when you are a care business is the quality of care you deliver’’ – Prestige Nursing’s Managing Director.
And that is why, today, Prestige Nursing is one of the UK’s most reputable private-nursing-care and support-care agencies. “Treating clients as family” is the company motto, so it should come as no surprise that in their last client survey, 94% of clients were satisfied or very satisfied with the level of care and support Prestige Nursing provides.
A people-oriented company, Prestige Nursing focuses on both the quality of life of its clients and the comfort of its own employees. So, how does Prestige Nursing improve life at work for its 150 employees? The answer is simple – by listening to their needs and engaging with them. In this case, that meant ending those expense headaches.
Rydoo lets us see what’s happening on both sides. It’s a good PR tool for finance – we are not the bad guys anymore
Because there’s a story behind every project, we wanted to know more about Prestige Nursing’s road to expense-management automation from the people involved in the project, Chief Accountant Raja Qaisar and Senior Accountant Cindy Woo.
Before Rydoo, the company’s expense management process was manual and time-consuming.
As Cindy explained, ‘’Employees used to use a paper copy of the expense-claim form and manually list all the transaction details. Once that was done, expense claims would be first authorised by line managers and then submitted to the finance department in head office. Once it was signed by the financial controller, it would need to be signed by the directors and then processed in our purchase-ledger department. Once entered and posted, we would send the reports to our internal systems and finally reimburse employees.’’
Nursing Prestige was employing a paper-based process with a lot of manual work at every level and a long reimbursement period. ‘’Typically, it would take two to four weeks to check all the information (dates, nature of expense, amount and the account to be charged to) and process the expense report.’’ But this period could be even longer if anything suspicious was found, such as errors or duplicates. As Cindy explained, ‘’We would go back to the claimant and ask them to confirm or correct the information as many times as necessary until they provided the right information. We would basically restart the whole process again.’’
Typically, it would take from two to four weeks to check all the information and process the expense report.
Raja emphasised that calming employees’ frustrations was a key motivation in the reinvention of the process. He explains that there was, for example, no visibility on the status of expenses, ‘’Employees wouldn’t hear from anyone and wouldn’t see their money in their bank accounts for a long time. I certainly think it left a lot of people thinking, ‘why does it take so long to process my expenses?’’ It was also frustrating for the Finance team, because ‘’We would need to find out where exactly everything was and, at that time, tracking down expenses was hard for us.’’
Apart from saving time and gaining control over the whole process, the new expense management tool needed to solve the lack of visibility on the status of expenses. It also needed to help the Finance team better track employees’ expenses and speed up the reimbursement process.
Prestige Nursing’s CFO, Steve Murphy, decided on Rydoo, and Cindy and Raja started the implementation project. There were some difficulties along the way, but thanks to a close working relationship between Nursing Prestige and Rydoo, issues were solved and lessons were learned.
‘’At first, it was challenging, but I think the fact that you get online help was most beneficial. When you log onto Rydoo and submit your question, somebody comes back to you. That was really helpful. I think with the passage of time, things gradually got better and better.’’
When we asked Cindy and Raja about their main requirements for an expense management tool, they quickly agreed – saving time and better control. ‘’The whole process needed to be quicker and we wanted to have a better-controlled environment.’’
I think the fact that you get online help was most beneficial. When you log onto Rydoo and submit your question, somebody comes back to you. That was really helpful.
The benefits in finance are obvious for Raja: ‘’Instead of two to four weeks, it takes just two days to process everyone’s expenses. All expenses.’’ But for Cindy, ‘’As an accountant, I do like the feature of getting the report in the click of a button. We also have a better expenditure overview – we are now able to categorise expenses. We couldn’t do that before.’’
Instead of two to four weeks, it takes just two days to process everyone’s expenses..
‘’We can download the report with all the expenses information and, within around seven hours, it can be uploaded and paid within the next few days. So, the time saving is a lot for the Finance team.’’ Cindy was also impressed by the reimbursement period, which has decreased, ‘’Before Rydoo, it was two to three weeks. Now it’s three to four days.’’
When it comes to mileage tracking, the Finance team is now able ‘’to have a general standard, and clearly sets and applies rates in the platform. There is no issue of every individual traveller coming up with different figures. Now, there is one figure and they can’t choose whatever they want to.’’ Furthermore, Raja explains, ‘’This also helps employees save time. It encourages people to submit expenses online and regularly, rather than accumulating them. As soon as the mileage is done, you just put it through straight away and it takes less than 5-10 minutes.’’
From the user’s side, visibility has increased as well. “They submit their expenses and see that it’s there. They can see whether it’s approved or not. Once it’s approved, they can see that it has gone to the Finance team and that they’re going to get paid in the next 2-3 days. Of course, from our side, that means more control.’’
As Raja confirmed, ‘’The feedback so far has been really positive – the tool is very user-friendly. Employees use it and enjoy using it. They find it very straightforward.’’ Another positive mentioned by Cindy is the fact that employees don’t need to keep (or indeed lose) receipts anymore, ‘’Less filing, less paperwork and less stamping – all very positive.’’
Has Rydoo also improved the relationship between employees/users and the Finance department? Cindy is emphatic in her response: ‘’Yes, because there’s less frustration between the users and the finance function. A lot of the time we didn’t know what each side was doing. Rydoo lets us see what’s happening on both sides. It’s a good PR tool for Finance – we are not the bad guys anymore.’’
Rydoo lets us see what’s happening on both sides. It’s a good PR tool for finance – we are not the bad guys anymore…
70% of Prestige Nursing staff have worked there for more than five years and 30% of the staff for 20 years or more. Building a team of passionate people who go the extra mile includes rethinking your internal processes and relieving as much as possible your employees’ frustrations. Expense management tools can help your employees focus on the jobs they love.