Manual expense reporting is an unpleasant chore for many companies. Employees have to compile a big list of their expenses every month and hope that they’ve made no mistakes and that they will receive their money promptly without being able to follow the status of these expenses.
At the end of the month, these reports pile up on the desks of the finance department. Checking every single receipt is a time-consuming and laborious task.
But that’s not all, the receipts are also archived, which means that conventional expense management requires not only time but also storage. And both mean extra costs – employees’ and approvers time and storage space. Definitely an outdated process.
- Paper invoices have no place in the digital age
- A beauty contest for expense management solutions
- Time saving through mobile expense management
- Rydoo convinces Fritz Kola as a competent partner with the right digital solution
- User experience and functionality are top priority
- The journey together has just begun
Paper invoices have no place in the digital age
This is exactly what Fritz Kola’s finance team thought. Since its founding in 2002, the Hamburg-based beverage manufacturer has developed into a well-known company that now operates in 25 countries and continues to grow strongly.
With more than 200 employees and a large sales force, Fritz Kola has a lot of expenses. Up till now, manual expense reports and the associated copying of receipts, checking by internal staff and waiting for reimbursement have been part of the normal routine.
For the digitally well-positioned company, such a paper-based process seemed outdated and no longer compatible with its sustainability strategy.
There had to be a better solution that would simplify the billing process and automate document verification, and also minimize the volume of paper and reduce the approval process and workload for all parties involved. In short, expense management had to be changed from a process reminiscent of the 1980s to the digital age in order to continue to meet Fritz Kola’s requirements.
A beauty contest for expense management solutions
In January 2019, a project was set up to find a suitable digital expense management solution. The decision-making body consisted of representatives from various departments so that all needs could be covered across all business units.
“Finding a new expense solution was, however, only part of the task. It had to be simple and self-explanatory and provide real-time savings in order for our employees to really choose and use it.
For this reason, representatives from all departments, but especially the field sales force, the internal sales force and our finance department were involved in the decision-making process,” explains Kerstin Hainke, Head of Finance at Fritz Kola, who accompanied the process from the very beginning.
„It was important to us that everyone benefited from the change and that the digital solution relieved our employees and satisfied them.”
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Fritz Kola placed high demands on the solution right from the start and defined clear goals in order to be able to make a well-founded and quick decision.
After the team had gained an initial impression of the providers in the market, six companies started the test phase in March 2019, during which the various expense management solutions were put through their paces. In addition to the points mentioned above, the following requirements were defined:
- easy to use
- good user experience
- uncomplicated expense processing and error checking
- easy to integrate with the interfaces of the software systems that Fritz Kola already used
- ready to use in all markets in which Fritz Kola is active and, for example, covered the different tax rates
„Of course, hosting security and data protection also had to be guaranteed and archiving and storage had to be compliant with the different accounting guidelines of the countries“, Hainke continues the list.
“Even though we were initially only looking for an expense management tool, in the long term it should also be possible to make travel bookings via the platform of choice. Therefore, it was also important that the provider offered a 2-in-1 solution for travel and expense management, so that in the long term the entire process could be mapped via the same app.”
Rydoo convinces Fritz Kola as a competent partner with the right digital solution
After two months of intensive testing, Rydoo prevailed over its competitors and was implemented throughout the entire company in the following months in order to completely digitalize the manual billing process by December.
The decisive factor in the decision was the comprehensive overall package that Rydoo offers its customers and which best met Fritz Kola’s criteria. “In our ‘Beauty Contest’ Rydoo took the lead. The look & feel of the solution convinced our entire team.
Rydoo is uncomplicated and self-explanatory. While competitors work with rather bulky tiles, Rydoo is agile and intuitive. In addition, the cost-benefit calculation was right – an essential point for every investment. We were sure that our employees would save valuable time with Rydoo and that the company could save costs,” says Hainke.
It was not only the solution itself that was the deciding factor. The Rydoo team was well-informed about Fritz Kola and was a competent advisor throughout the entire process.
“Our process manager and the Rydoo team were in close contact from the very beginning. Thus, a good relationship was quickly established. With this Rydoo set itself apart from the competitors. We were very surprised that some suppliers did not even know that we produce Cola and not car parts. It was refreshing to have Rydoo as a contestant. From the first interaction until today, the team has been informed, up to date and has had a clear plan for the future. Furthermore, discussions with existing Rydoo customers strengthened our decision. Therefore, we feel well-prepared with Rydoo now and in the future”, Hainke continues.
Time saving through mobile expense management
A highlight of the Rydoo solution is the line-by-line expense model. This saves the Fritz-Kola field staff from having to create long reports at the end of the month, and paper doesn’t pile up on the desks.
Employees can invoice receipts directly with Rydoo and find out immediately whether their expenses will be and have been reimbursed. This speeds up processing and payment and minimizes the error rate.
This process is facilitated by the scan function, with which even multi-page receipts can be scanned simply using a smartphone and is forwarded directly to the internal sales office for approval in just a few clicks.
A further plus point for Fritz Kola was the simple administration of per diems, which compensate for the additional expense of meals. These are stored in Rydoo for each country respectively.
This makes administration much easier, especially when employees travel to different countries, as is common for many Fritz Kola employees.
User experience and functionality are top priority
“Of course, no solution is a sure-fire success. For example, we need to pay attention to what categories we set up. Our employees also need to be disciplined in their use to ensure that the solution achieves the desired effect. But it’s no comparison to the manual process that we had just a few months ago,” adds Hainke.
“Rydoo gratefully accepts suggestions for improvement and is very interested in offering its customers a good experience. The feedback from our employees on Rydoo is very positive. After less than a year of use, we already see how Fritz Kola has benefited from using Rydoo – especially the field sales force and internal sales force.”
Hainke also sees many advantages for the finance department in the future: “We are currently in the process of applying the various analysis possibilities that Rydoo offers. By evaluating the expenses in our company, we can determine what the biggest costs are and if we can minimize them or adjust processes to save money. But we are just at the starting point here, as we only started collecting the data a few months ago.”
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The journey together has just begun
Corona reduced the billing volume at Fritz Kola, as there were no more business trips and customer visits. Nevertheless, the switch to a digital tool came at the right time, because with all employees working remotely, paper-based billing would have been too complicated.