Technology Trends 19 Aug 21 Rashmi Kapse

Shiva Kumar was very annoyed.  This was the 3rd time in this year that his SOs had received incorrect reimbursement of Travel allowance from the finance team, and they had come grumbling to him. He totally empathized with their frustration. His reimbursements had been delayed too. 

Shiva was an ASM for Unicorn Snack Foods, a company that made a wide variety of biscuits,  wafers, and namkeens. He was aware that tallying bills, getting approvals, and settling expenses required a lot of manual work and were prone to errors. He himself was unhappy with the way sales expenses were managed in the company because of the time wasted on manually processing and settling expenses. Most importantly,  he had no visibility on his cost heads and neither on the expense ratios against his sales teams.

Unicorn Foods deployed the TA/DA feature in the sales force automation app they were using within a month, and Shiva and his team silently thanked automation technology for making their lives a little easier. 

We’ve seen many of our customers face the same challenge, and realized that having an expense management solution was a burning need for brands present in general retail. 

To resolve this challenge, the product team at FieldAssist created a transparent Expense management module called TA/DA Settlement. 

Here is how you can simplify allowance, motivate and charge the sales team and make your finance team extremely relieved!

Simplified steps for the Sales Team:

  1. Automated Travel Allowance (TA) & Dearness Allowance (DA) claims: Once all TA/DA policies had been configured in the SFA app, the SOs can easily put in their claim by choosing the travel date, travel type, and type of calculation on either actual billing or kilometers traveled. They can also upload the photo of the bill, after which the process automatically sent it to the immediate manager for approval.

2. Customized Qualifiers for Other Expenses: Within the sales force automation field app, each member of the sales team can see a customized form of applicable “Other Expenses” based on his designation. The claim thus entered can be sent for approval/rejection decision to the immediate manager after which it is added to the expense report.

Customized workflows For the Mid-Managers: 

  1. Manager-Editing Rights for Expense Report: The managers can see the entire expense report for their sales team and can easily edit the TA amount, DA amount, and Other Expense values filled by employees, wherever required, before giving their approval.
  2. Approvals on the Go: For the field force, this feature was a godsend, because the manager can directly approve/reject the expense values filled by his team right on the SFA app itself instead of wading through emails or physical applications.  Easy to view expense claims means quicker revert from the manager.
Features TA DA

4. Access to Expense Reports: As all ASMs, managers, and Admins can view all the settled expenses filed by their sales team, there is greater transparency in understanding the cost heads.

5. Expense to Sales Ratio:  For mid-managers like ASMs and RSMs, having 24/7 access to expenses to sales ratio helps them get clear visibility on how each person is performing vis a vis the expenses incurred.

Faster turn around for  the Finance Team:

  1. Automated TA/DA expense sheet with real-time updates: With the TA/DA module, the app automatically calculates the DA for each SO based on the type of travel, city-grade, and designation, and creates a centralized, auto-updated expense sheet of verified data.
  2. Faster expense reconciliation: The finance team no longer needs to go through piles of physical bills and invoices to tally with the approvals or recalculate every single expense to ensure accuracy. All data is available to them in real-time to initiate the reconciliation process really quickly.
  3. Quick Settlement and Claim Based Approvals: Once the mid-managers have completed all decisions of approval or rejection from their own dashboards, the accounts team can quickly settle the amount for each of the expenses by putting actual reimbursed values against the ones approved by managers.

In Shiva Kumar’s case, his team was motivated to work harder because the TA/DA module freed up significant time that they could now invest in more strategic pursuits. It also crunched up the entire cycle from the date an expense was filed to the date it is approved by almost 60%.  

More and more companies are realizing that organized expense settlement  workflows are more of a hygiene factor that  :

a) boost a salesman’s productivity once he knows that a major part of this salary is not stuck in operational red tape  

b) reduce accounting errors and inefficiencies and make the accounting process more streamlined with greater accountability. 

If you’d like to know more about how the TA/DA feature can wipe away your sales team’s reimbursement woes and make your finance team much more agile, let’s talk!

Rashmi Kapse

Rashmi joined the FieldAssist family recently as a Content Specialist. She spent 11 years in the Executive Search business before changing tracks. As a Content Specialist for the past 8 years, she writes on Sales Tech, HR Tech, FMCG, Consumer Goods, F&B and Health & Wellness.

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