Digital disruption: even tedious expense claims may be a thing of the past
Why would you digitally check-in to a flight via your smartphone, uber to your destination in another city or country, and conduct all your work digitally, only to arrive back in the office with a shopping bag full of archaic slips and receipts?
Every employee who has ever had to be reimbursed for an expense incurred while on the job knows the pain of keeping receipts and jumping through administrative hoops to get their money back.
Similarly, every administrator processing expense claims can relate to the pain of running after employees who have not submitted every slip or filled out every form. The result? Frustration, anger and often, unpaid refunds.
Former rugby star Dylan des Fountain and his business partner and wife, Joy, have come up with a fintech solution to help solve the headache for both claimant and claims processor.
Their newly launched app Slipztream uses Google’s Cloud Vision Technology which allows the information from a scanned receipt or skip to “populate the expense claim”. Employers, or administrators who approve claims, are then able to approve and reject claims through an online dashboard.
The creators say this eliminates the hassle of keeping receipts and the need to capture manual claims.
Their vision with the app is to turn the expense claim process, which is tedious at best, into a streamlined, simple and more productive experience for both the user and the finance team in an organisation.
The Des Fountains describe the app as “a proudly South African built, developed and owned mobile and desktop platform that allows users to easily snap, upload and submit expense claims instantly for approval”.
But just how time-consuming is the expense-claim process?
Citing results of their “time-savings research” in organisations using the app, the Des Fountains says “on average, 10 claims processed through the Slipztream application will save 7.83 hours of staff’s time”.
This, they say, increases incrementally. “When you look at 50 claims submitted and approved through the platform, it's a saving of 35.8 hours per month, while up to 500 claims submitted and approved will free up up to 350 hours a month.”
While companies that operate off very paper-heavy procedures may appear to be sluggish or unwilling to embrace new technology, co-founder Joy des Fountain told Money that “while companies are set in their ways, a change of this nature absolutely encourages the right behaviour”.
The introduction of TymeBank, SA’s first completely digitally operated bank and the Revenue Service’s overhaul of its eFiling platform to cut out paperwork for people earning less than R500,000 are but a few examples of how digital innovation can meaningfully impact our lives.
Earlier this week, TymeBank announced that it was on track to reach 500,000 clients by the end of June.
The Des Fountains are hoping for similar uptake of their digital solution.
Joy des Fountain says that while some organisations have taken on the app, Slipztream also encourages employees to use it for their claims process.
“Our approach is from the bottom up and top down. We have organisations that have taken it on and we work with them to encourage the right behaviour.
“We also obviously are driving staff on to the platform, some of which subscribe in their individual capacity and then simply send populated expense reports on for approval, not through the organisational setup.
“We hope that as organisations see how much easier it is for staff to submit the reports in a digital manner, they will roll it out across their entire business.”