Financial Times - IE Business School Corporate Learning Alliance case study
“We saw a 50 percent reduction in the time needed to submit monthly expenses”
We spoke to Kristian Pedersen, Finance Director at Financial Times | IE Business School Corporate Learning Alliance, about how the company successfully implemented Zetadocs Expenses for Microsoft Dynamics NAV to manage company credit cards, cash expenses and car mileage.
FT | IE Corporate Learning Alliance is a joint venture between Financial Times and IE Business School. It combines world-renowned business journalists, academics and a global network of educators to co-create customised corporate learning programmes for companies looking to solve operational and strategic challenges. Its main customers are blue-chip companies in Europe, the Middle East, Latin America and Japan. With two main offices in London and Madrid, as well as a business development teams working in Germany, France, Denmark, Middle East and Japan, the company is growing rapidly. www.ftiecla.com
Background: the process before Zetadocs Expenses
The FT | IE Corporate Learning Alliance team quickly grew from a team of 30 to 60 global employees across two offices in the United Kingdom and Spain, including 10 working in other countries. The expansion led to an increasingly complex and time-consuming expense management process. The incumbent process was based on Excel spreadsheets, with team members having to match bank statements to receipts that had been saved throughout the month.
The expense reports and the related receipts then had to get approval digitally via email and physically on a hard copy of the spreadsheet. Any employees working outside the London or Madrid offices had to schedule in a monthly trip to the post office to send hard copies of their receipts to one of the main offices for approval. It was causing some employees to be up to six months behind on their expenses.
It quickly became clear that this manual, paper-based process was not a viable option for expense management in the long-term. The FT | IE Corporate Learning Alliance finance team was also aware that SaaS-based expense management solutions now existed and could bridge that gap in convenience and practicality for their team. It was important for them to find a solution that integrates seamlessly within their accounting software, Microsoft Dynamics NAV.
The FT | IE Corporate Learning Alliance team got in touch with their NAV Partner to ask for software suggestions. They first looked at using the expense management capabilities already available within Dynamics NAV but they did not meet their requirements. They compared Zetadocs Expenses with one of the other leading expense management solutions. Kristian Pedersen, Finance Director at FT | IE Corporate Learning Alliance and his team looked at product T&E management functionality, prices and the level of NAV integration and decided to implement Zetadocs Expenses. In Kristian’s words: “What won it for me was the integration with NAV. It was straightforward and easy - no workaround needed. The implementation went smoothly, your product specialist has been really helpful, professional and attentive. He helped us with our questions and has been great from a service point of view.”
Several months on from the implementation of Zetadocs Expenses, the FT | IE Corporate Learning Alliance team is happy with the results. Kristian says: “I haven’t had anyone saying we should go back to Excel spreadsheets.”
The duration of the expense management process at FT | IE Corporate Learning Alliance has decreased over 50%, from taking over two hours to submit required monthly expenses to approximately sixty minutes, as receipts are now stored and shared digitally. In Kristian’s words: “It’s all very convenient - we don’t need our teams who work remotely to send us hard copies of receipts anymore. No need to go to the post office anymore. It's simply more efficient and something I've had a lot of positive feedback about.”
As Zetadocs Expenses develops further, everyone using this expense management for NAV solution will always be on the latest version of the software, accessing the latest features. FT | IE Corporate Learning Alliance is now implementing more of the Zetadocs for NAV suite of business solutions, to help make their finance processes even more efficient.
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Kristian Pedersen, Finance Director, FT | IE Corporate Learning Alliance: “We selected Zetadocs Expenses over NAV’s native offering and above one of the more popular expense management solutions, because of its enhanced functionality and straightforward, easy integration with NAV, as well as its monthly product updates.
”To be able to do your expenses on-the-go and as you incur them is such an improvement, and the user interface is really simple. We were seeing that people were getting far behind doing their expenses. Since the introduction of Zetadocs Expenses, people get their expenses done much quicker and much more timely than what we’ve seen before.
“Our employees don’t have to sit down for over 2 hours to do their expenses, but only spend around 60 minutes in total adding them to the app. At the end of the month they simply gather and submit their expense reports, which is so much more convenient for our team.”
Chris Oswald, CEO, Equisys: "These days we all expect our mobile phones to help us out in our work lives as well as our personal lives – wherever we are, and whatever time of day. We’re pleased that Zetadocs Expenses is proving to be such a help to the FT | IE Corporate Learning Alliance team in its management of travel and entertainment expenses, which is a notoriously difficult business process to run smoothly using paper or spread sheets.
"A phone app for staff in the field, a desktop browser for use in the office and cloud software connecting it all to the finance system is the way to go. It great to hear that our integration with Microsoft Dynamics NAV is appreciated so much: it’s one of the reasons why NAV users are choosing Zetadocs Expenses."