Travel and entertainment expenditures had exceeded $500 million globally at one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. Because of its size and international footprint, too many expense policies and practices were in use across different regions and even within the same country. This lack of a standardized system was yielding incomplete and inaccurate expense reporting. The organization needed to improve expense reporting processes throughout the company and implement an automated T&E expense system in business units across the US, Latin America, and Europe.
Approach: Think + Do
First, we developed comprehensive requirements for a new process and system. Next, we performed analysis to determine the gap between the existing situation and the desired state of operations. We acquired a deep understanding of both the existing infrastructure, and local regulations and policies to be able to recommend improvements flexible enough to accommodate the needs of each business unit.
We delivered an 80% decrease in manual audits by automating audit rules for non-compliant expenses. We reduced cycle time by 30% for expense report creation and submission. We reduced overall process cycle time for a range of functions from back-office to corporate card transactions. The results fundamentally changed the organization’s process on a global scale, eliminating duplicate work previously conducted at multiple locations, eliminating cash advances from the cashier’s office (thereby removing a manual process and its additional labor costs), and automating audit processes to reduce data entry errors by 75%. After the success of the initial pilot and rollout, we performed upgrades, integrated an acquired company’s systems, and rolled out the system in 15 additional countries.