Friday, March 25, 2011

Rant of the morning - the world's most micromanaged expenses system

Heres how to travel anywhere in this company.

- Determine the need to travel exists.

- Fill out a travel authorisation request form, and have a general manager countersign it.  Which is really convenient if you need to travel tomorrow and the GM is somewhere else in the country.

- Arrange all travel, accommodation and hire vehicles etc via an online system.  This reserves the resources, but doesnt actually book them for real until the corporate travel agent micromanages them to ensure you havent done anything other than absolute least cost.  You cant actually print out tickets or check in until this is done, so good luck if you need to get moving quickly.

- Corporate travel agent (hopefully) OKs everything, you get e-mail acknowledgement, start printing out tickets and itinerary etc.

- Travel is booked back to the corporate account, but you pay for all accommodation, taxis, meals etc yourself, which you have to claim back afterwards.

When you get back:

- Create an expenses claim in a godforsaken Oracle based e-expenses system, complete with a million description boxes, drop down field (none of which adequately describe the entry you are making), general ledger codes, need to provide merchant IDs and ABNs etc.

- Print this disaster out, an e-mail notification also goes to your manager.

- Very carefully sticky tape all small receipts to sheets of A4 paper (apparently the world will come to an end if this is not done), and photocopy everything.

- Keep the copy for yourself for when accounts payable dick you around, give all the originals to your manager.  Assuming hes around to give them to.

- Manager OKs the claim in the e-expenses system and snail mails the originals to accounts payable.

- Accounts payable do precisely fuck all for about a week and a half, then e-mail you to say they are knocking the claim back because theres a molecule of ink in the wrong place, can you please correct this.

- Claim is eventually authorised about 5 minutes too late to catch the payroll run, so you get to wait another fortnight to get paid.

Telstra system:

- Employee has a corporate credit card.

- Any travel required is booked via online system, done immediately.

- Any and all expenses while travelling go on the credit card.

- At the end of the month, you get an e-mail asking you to reconcile your monthly statement.  You log into an e-expenses system, check the bill is right, and stick a reason and GL code on each line.

- Your manager gets an e-mail to authorise the payment, they click one OK button and the account is paid.

- You keep the receipts, save for anything over a threshold which you send to accounts payable via internal mail.

Perish forbid, but I have to say the Telstra system was a lot better.

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