Expense Reports for teams

One of our first use cases was by  Axtelecom. This local Brazilian telephone operator asked us how they could use bkper to control expenses of their team in the field. With a little guidance they immediately saw their opportunity and started to work with bkper taking benefit of collaborative and real time expense registration. The success of this use case is strongly related to team member support. The simplicity of the mobile App and the discovery that recording expenses on smartphones simplified things, by eliminating most of the reimbursement bureaucracy,  made them push for bkper. 

According to Axtelecom management, benefits published as success case lay in the low acquisition cost, minimal impact on operation and actual cost saving changes in gathering, consolidating and approving team expenses. 
Feel free to copy this book and add your own accounts, groupings hashtags etc... or just check it out for your own inspiration when setting up your own books. 
So what do you need to do to create your own book for expense reports?

Team members

The first thing you want to do is to get your book ready for your team members. Start of by creating one account per team member and the easiest thing is to just use their names. In this template book we created a team of three members:  Jacob, Patricia and Robert, grouped as a Team. As the book also covers reimbursement it is important to have their real time balances, so we also made these accounts permanent.  

Getting your team members on board would be the next thing to do. It always seems that Involving team members with financial systems has this intimidating  going live air to it but we promise that with bkper, even with larger teams (30), it only takes a few hours to get up and running. 

The ultra simple interface is very intuitive so team members can start on their own by digitalizing receipts to record along with their expenses. Motivation, as mentioned before, comes naturally as they (very quickly) realize that using bkper actually speeds up reimbursement for them. 

Now share the book with team members' google (associated) accounts and the book is ready for them to start recording expenses. 


Team member accounts are not enough, right! So we also have to create some expense accounts; The trick is to keep them as simple as possible. You could, in fact, work with just one  Expenses account but for this example we created TransportationLodge and Food accounts grouped as Expenses. Don't create accounts for all imaginable expenses, to keep things effective just create a few generic accounts. 


With team member and expense accounts ready and everyone in the field recording expenses we are done, right?

Almost! Remember that team members started to record expenses on their own. They are recording expenses in natural language. A value, an image of the receipt and one or two hashtags as a description and that's it. They have no idea about your accounts (and don't need to). 

Bkper automatically ties these natural language entries with the right accounts and the final thing to do is to help bkper find the right accounts; So in the beginning someone with Editor privilege helps the Bookbot to understand how to tie team member entries to the right accounts. After completing entries a few times you will notice that bkper auto completes the accounts for you.

Now you are done! Accounts are set, team members are recording expenses and bkper is completing the accounts for you, and you only post (approve) expenses every ones in a while. 

Operation & Reporting 

Now that you have the expense reports up and running you can work out some goodies for your operation. Show approval and reimbursement status in your book; As bkper is totaly integrated with Google for Work you can easily send automated reports with the Google Docs Add-on for bkper or you can publish a dashboard with company expenses information using the Google Sheets add-for bkper.  

Embedded in bkper is the workflow for approval and reimbursement of expenses. Basically, posted records are approved expenses and checked records are expenses paid back to team members. Expenses always enter your book as drafts, so posting drafts represents expense approval, actually changing team members balances. Expense reimbursement can be consolidated in the book with  the green check.   

Send  automated up to date reports to inform customers about project expenses with the bkper add-on for Google Docs. 

Publish a  Dashboard to keep team members informed about expenses and available budgets with the bkper add-on for Google Sheets.

There are also tons of other stuff you can do with bkper integrations; incoming and outgoing webhooks allow you to integrate your book with practically any other tool or app in any way you want or need to. 

If you use bkper for expense reports and have any comments or suggestions, share that experience with the bkper community on twitter by adding @bkpercom to your tweets. 

Some notes about this example book for Expense Report for teams. 

Jacob is the owner of this book and has the Editor permission to approve and consolidate the expenses of Patricia and Robert. 

This team of three members agreed to only reimburse expenses that have the geolocation and the receipt attached. 

They also decided to use simple #hashtags as descriptions and when an expense is linked to a specific project to annotate that project hashtag ( #bkper and #google_for_work) in the entry.

At the beginning of each month the book shows the reimbursement with an external link to the bank transfer.

The first two entries of this example book are to consolidate the bank and cash accounts with their actual values.

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