Success Story / B. Metzler seel. Sohn und Co. / Professional Expense Accounting

User-friendly & time-saving

JobRouter® has already been a familiar system

Before switching to JobRouter®, Metzler was already using a program for electronic expenses accounting. However, the disadvantages perceived with this, were the significant expense that went into configuring the program, its handling (which was not user-friendly), and the high license fees per settlement. Since Metzler was already using the JobRouter® workflow management system (WfMS) successfully for various processes, the decision was taken to handle expense accounting similarly using JobRouter®.

A workflow that meets the special requirements

Alongside improving user-friendliness, the aim was to reduce the costs for maintenance and operation and to adapt the general process structure, but especially to save time for acquisition of approvals, and for Administrative Accounting.

This required a system that can be designed flexibly and, in particular, is capable of being configured and administrated in-house. In addition to the requisite standard functions (requirements from fiscal administration), there was also a need for individual arrangements, such as a minimum amount per expenses payment, to be specified. Whereas the old system only permitted recording and subsequent posting by Administrative Accounting, the new process was to be backed by a workflow reflecting the company’s particular requirements and capable of being adapted at any time.

Since Metzler was already using the JobRouter® workflow management system (WfMS) successfully for various processes, the decision was taken to handle expense accounting similarly using JobRouter®. In addition to relief the Administrative Accounting, the expenses accounting should be as simple as possible for those entering the data.

Success Story / B. Metzler seel. Sohn und Co. / Professional Expense Accounting

The expenses process flow

Professional expenses accounting

The process can be launched by any employee, using “Create expense account”. This allows the employee to record expense accounts for himself or, depending on the internal departmental arrangements, for other colleagues.

Simple reading of receipts

First, the calendar is used to select the trip start and trip end, and the purpose of the trip and the destination are entered in a free text box. The expense items to be recorded are broken down into expense categories. The available options are general expenses, hospitality, gifts, hotel expenses, km rate for car travel, overnight allowances, meal allowances. Depending on the previously-selected expense category, a further column displays a selection list of expense types. For the expense category “General expenses”, for example, the selection list displays taxis, rail travel, flights, etc.

The contents of these selection lists were defined on the basis of the specific requirements at Metzler. Since different data needs to be entered depending on the expenses category, an individual input screen was prepared for each category and the corresponding mandatory fields were defined. Expense details can then be used to enter corresponding information, such as the receipt amount, kilometers driven, set allowances, the currency of the receipt etc. In the case of foreign currency, the sum to be reimbursed is converted automatically using a stored exchange rate.

In the data entry dialog and in the input screens for the individual expense categories, the person entering the data is offered context-related instructions and help documents, such as extracts from the legislation, internal work instructions and user manuals.

Success Story / B. Metzler seel. Sohn und Co. / Professional Expense Accounting

These can be looked up if, for instance, someone is uncertain about the correct expense type or category, or if someone wishes to know how and in what order the data entry dialog needs to be completed. If the data entry is not made by the business traveler himself but, made by someone in his secretariat, the traveler receives the expense account for checking and approval, in a separate process stage.

Follow the rules with approval limits

Expense accounts below the authorization limit are directly passed to the administrative accounting. Expense accounts above the authorization limit first need to be approved by a line manager. If the account is rejected, the person recording the data receives the data entry dialog including a justification by the line manager, so that it can be corrected. Following approval by the line manager, the next stage is for the accounts to be forwarded to Administrative Accounting.  Before the expenses account is passed to Administrative Accounting, a cover sheet is generated automatically with a summary of all statement dates and items and details of the recorder, traveler and line manager, as a PDF which is sent to the recorder by e-mail.

Checking receipts

A print-out of the expenses account has to be submitted to Administrative Accounting for checking, together with all receipts. Submission of the original receipts is a pre-requirement for the accounts to be checked by Administrative Accounting. Expense accounts that have been checked and approved are automatically transferred into the bookkeeping system and shown for payment.

In the event of non-approval of individual items or of the whole account, Administrative Accounting can select the relevant message from a predefined list of error messages. After this, there is a stage where the expense account is returned to the recorder, who must either complete or correct the account. This process loop is running through until all checks by Administrative Accounting are successfully completed. All data and receipts submitted can then be archived in the archiving system.

Using a search function, any employee can inspect the status of current or processed expense accounts at any time.

Advantages for the management

  1. Cost savings compared with the old system
  2. Documentation and tracing of all activities
  3. Secure archiving and fast access to documents
  4. Minimizing sources of error
  5. Improved process quality
  6. Higher employee satisfaction
  7. Timely processing
  8. Control and transparency
  9. Reduced throughput times
  10. Reduced administrative effort
Success Story / B. Metzler seel. Sohn und Co. / Professional Expense Accounting

Advantages for employees

  1. Simplified expense recording
  2. Stored help instructions directly in JobRouter®
  3. Time savings
  4. Fast further processing of expenses claims

Project details

Customer B. Metzler seel. Sohn & Co. KGaA
Branche: Banking/Finance
Employees: Approx. 750
Operations: Approx. 100,000 p.a.
Database: Oracle
Special features: EASY archiving system
Business processes: Incoming invoice processing, Sales invoice processing,
Expenses accounting,
Debit notes, Sales invoice cancellations,
Staff admin, Accounting processes,
Archiving workflow
Company profile B. Metzler seel. Sohn & Co.

B. Metzler seel. Sohn & CoThe limited partnership B. Metzler seel. Sohn & Co. is a private asset management and investment bank based in Frankfurt and employs around 750 people. The 2010 annual report showed a consolidated balance sheet sum of EUR 3.7 billion. The origins of the Metzler bank goes back to 1674, founded by Benjamin Metzler as a trading company and is the oldest family-owned German private bank. Since 1971, Friedrich von Metzler is leading the bank as general partner in the 11th generation.

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