Two Sides of the Same Coin – T&E Expense Reporting & Payroll Integration
Here is a frequently heard request from Accounts Payable departments (AP) in companies around the world –
‘Can we integrate T&E with our Payroll system to issue reimbursements faster and error-free?’ And a very pertinent request at that – considering that AP is largely responsible for issuing T&E reimbursements.
A recently conducted survey, with results displayed below, showed that at least 74% of T&E reimbursements fall largely within the domain of AP. This becomes an additional burden to handle for AP among other important tasks. Plus, the ripple effects of delayed reimbursements or wrong reimbursements affects the heart of the business: the morale of the workforce. So it really is a no-brainer to automate this process through integration.
And this fits into the overall theme for companies in the 21st century which is – religiously examining ways towards becoming more efficient and effective at what they do. And on that list is frustration and delays with T&E reimbursements for employees after a trip. This is especially true after an international trip where the employee could have sizable out of pocket expenses with imminent due dates on their credit cards. Therefore integration of T&E and Payroll systems is paramount and companies are investigating in more detail on how to maintain a seamless integration between these two systems which are essentially two sides of the same coin.
Payroll systems look at an employee at one point in time, chiefly, what is that employee’s salary or hourly wage today. They automatically calculate net pay for a given pay period, federal, state and local taxes, deductions for such items as health care copays and contributions to charities etc. These systems also automatically cut checks to employees or have their pay automatically deposited into their bank account.
T&E Expense Reporting systems, on the other hand, help manage the employees expenses from a trip. If the company utilizes a corporate card, then the employee submits those expenses are part of the same system. The key pieces of the expense transaction includes details about the trip, expense type, vendor and mainly the receipt of the transaction.
The benefits of integration between these two systems are:
– Reduce reimbursement time
– No more manual keying of data in multiple places
– Utilize the existing flow and scheduling for T&E reimbursements
– Real-time visibility of reimbursement status for all parties
– And most importantly, the emotional aspect – employees expect the company to reimburse them for out-of-pocket expenses ASAP. And by automating the process as much as possible (which in turn reduces errors, delays and frustrations), it shows the employees that the company cares!
So how does this typically work?
The natural next step for T&E data after it has been reconciled in the expense reporting & ERP systems is sending it to the Payroll system. Think of it as ‘Passing the expense report data baton’!
Here is how it works in steps –
– Once the expense reports are approved within the Gorilla Expense web application, Gorilla Expense can automatically generate 2 files 1) Payroll file precisely in the same format as expected by your payroll provider 2) GL File precisely in the same format as expected by ERP System
– The payroll file can be imported into the Payroll system to issue reimbursement
– The GL file can be imported into the ERP system for GL entries
– If the Payroll system setup for T&E reimbursements is the same as payroll, then the employee will be reimbursed for T&E expenses during the next payroll cycle
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or if we can help you manage this process more efficiently for your company.
Great post! This is similar to the way we do it today. The integration could be better but the best way to achieve that is to bring T&E and Payroll together at the same time. But how many companies do that?
We just signed up for Ceridian and would be interested in learning about how Gorilla integrates with Ceridian. I think from a priority standpoint, most companies will integrate credit card and ERP before they even think about Payroll. But it is an important piece of the puzzle. Enjoyed reading this article.