Expense management solution helps streamline processes of international hospitality chain.
”Before, the expense management would take at least 10 hours every month, and now the process is almost instant”.
– Loïc Ramos, project manager, Châteauform
Châteauform is an international hospitality chain providing luxury conference venues and meeting rooms for professional events across Europe. Originally founded in Persan, France, it has more than 1,000 employees in the UK, France, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Belgium and Germany.
Châteauform’s accounts department had a long-winded process for managing staff expenses. It involved recording all of the expenses into an Excel spreadsheet that then had to be printed out, approved by a manager and finally, reviewed by the accountants. This administration was extremely time-consuming, taking 10 hours a month to carry out. “The process had to be simplified and automated, as files were sometimes lost and the workflow wasn’t efficient,” said Loïc Ramos, Châteauform’s project manager.
It was time for a change. Châteauform needed an automated solution to its problem, so the accounts team could efficiently manage staff expenses without needing to rely on the IT department.
Fujitsu RunMyProcess developed the solution for Châteauform in just one month. The application is hosted on Google Sites and integrates Google Apps, allowing Google OpenID authentication from any location.
The process is launched when an employee logs into the application using the Google ID and submits information on the expense. The application reviews the personal data of the employee and forwards the expense note to the corresponding manager. The manager receives an email notification and can either approve or refuse the expense.
If approved, the expense request is then sent to the accounting department for validation. Once validated, the accounting department can easily export all pending expense reports in just one click. The application automatically exports the data in a text format for the ERP of the accounting department and in a .csv format, used for managing salary payments.
The employees of Châteauform can now rapidly submit and track their expense requests. Up to-date information on all employees of the company can be viewed at all times by the account administrators. When an administrator edits an employee’s file or creates an account for a new employee, the application automatically updates the data on all employees within the application, to ensure that the records are up-to-date.
Châteauform can now easily manage and update personnel records and staff expense requests. This is without the need to rely on IT professionals – giving its accounts team full autonomy over the system.
The developed application has helped Châteauform to simplify its processes ultimately, save the company time. Prior to having the application introduced, it took at least 10 hours a month to process staff expenses and now, it is almost instant. It has also improved the transparency of processes so that staff can accurately record all expenses, making it easy for the accounts team to export data to manage the payments.
Migration from Google Apps to Office 365
In 2013, Châteauform approached Fujitsu RunMyProcess because they wanted to migrate from Google Apps to Office 365. “We adopted a different CRM, and Office 365 provided better integration and compatibility then Google Apps,” Loïc Ramos explained.
Fujitsu RunMyProcess supported Châteauform during the migration, replicating the already developed expense management solution on Office 365. The new version of the solution maintains its user friendly format with easy navigation between the expense requests and reports.
As the application no longer supports Google OpenID due a specific request from Châteauform, the administrators can now manually generate and reset an employee’s log-in details within the application. For the future, Châteauform is considering additional development of the application, through the introduction of an automatic password generation function. This will help to further automate the workflow.
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