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Seeing the wood for the trees

Seeing the wood for the trees

Keep on top of your spend

Greg Cole

According to a study produced by the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT), the average UK worker will claim a total of £134,617.84 over the course of their working life, which equates to around £3,365 per employee per year.

Given that most companies will have several employees claiming expenses, it is important that you have a system of checks and balances that ensure the expenditure is a valid business expense, is deductible when it can be and helps you understand that spend, so that you can drive cost saving changes.

Zetadocs Expenses help you manage this expenditure effectively by providing you a system that ensures each item of expenditure is easily captured on a phone, coded automatically then gets approved ahead of being automatically exported into Dynamics NAV or Business Central for reimbursement or reconciliation. It also now offers you greater insight into that expenditure.

Gaining deeper insight

Finance teams like to keep their chart of accounts tidy. As a result, we find that most travel and subsistence expenses end up in a small number of buckets or G/L accounts, typically too few to do any form of decent analysis at a more granular level to spot trends and anomalies.

That’s where the Zetadocs Expenses Reporting feed comes to your aid. It enables you to quickly identify trends in expenditure at the more granular expense type level. Its far easier to spot a trend on flight spend at the expense level, than at the chart of account level of “Travel”. This would require you to dig into each purchase invoice line coded to Travel, then sift out airfare from trains, taxis, and other modes of travel. Not a fun task and very time consuming if you only rely on G/L accounts.

Reporting feed

Learning a new reporting or analytical tool is never that much fun. All finance teams are already very comfortable using Microsoft Excel for detailed analysis and some are now using Microsoft PowerBI as their business intelligence tool, given its integration with Business Central. As Excel and PowerBI are great at consuming external data sources that auto refresh, we decided to create the Zetadocs Expenses Reporting feed.

The Zetadocs Expenses Reporting feed uses the OData standard to present your expense data for use with these popular tools. Once connected to the feed, you can then use the flat expenses table to slice and dice your expense data with your analysis tool of choice.

We’ve made each column in the expense table easy to understand and have also defined each one in the Zetadocs Expenses Help along with details on how to connect.

Reporting template

The Zetadocs Expenses Reporting template is a PowerBI template that presents a set of visualizations and standard reports out of the box. We’ve chosen to display what we think are the most useful charts below, which can be drilled through to see further details, right down to the individual expenses.

Zetadocs livery

If you use Business Central or NAV Dimensions and have made these available for selection against Zetadocs Expenses, then we’ve provided Department and Area charts for further analysis of your departmental and area (or project) spend. These can all be viewed per month, per financial year or overall spend. If other Business Central Dimensions are more useful, then they can be simply configured in Zetadocs Expenses system settings to be used instead. You can also customize the template using the PowerBI desktop app if needed, then publish it for wider use within the business.

Try it yourself

The Zetadocs Expenses Reporting feed is now available for all accounts and we will be previewing the Reporting template during this quarter.

If you are interested in previewing the template, then let us know by emailing and we’ll enable it for you and help you hook it all up.

You can also see this feature in action on a webinar we recently hosted. You can watch the recording here.

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