Pensions company Friends Life, is looking to drive down the cost of staff expenses by investing in an intelligent online expenses management solution. This solution (developed by Software Europe) is being provided by Friends Life’s finance system supplier, Advanced Business Solutions (Advanced) and is due to go live in June 2013. Advanced and Software Europe signed a partnership agreement in December 2009.
Will James, Head of Finance Systems from Friends Life Group, says, “Our current expenses solution does not have any in-built controls and so we are heavily reliant on line managers to effectively enforce our expenses policy. The new solution will automatically ask questions of staff at the point in which they enter their claims, cutting inaccuracies and inflated claims.”
Staff will be asked a range of questions as they enter their claims, such as whether the cost of a meal was for more than one person and if so, were they eating with a colleague or a guest? For mileage claims, the system will automatically suggest the correct mileage and if the mileage claim is more than the suggested figure, the member of staff will have to justify the difference.
Employees will be able to clearly see what they can claim for and the limits in each case and approvers will be provided with visible prompts for items that exceed limits or appear to be duplicates. This will more effectively support company policy.
James says, “We anticipate greater control over expense claims, reducing risk and allowing us to be smarter about our expenditure.”
In addition, the time taken to manage and process staff expenses is expected to reduce. James adds. “Staff will find the new solution much quicker and easier to use and because it is far more automated than our current system and interfaces with our finance system, we will significantly reduce the time and costs associated with processing claims.”