FTI needed a tool that systematically enforced company travel policies on the frontend.
- 2,900+ in 24 countries on 6 continents
Challenges of a Manual Process
Due to their global footprint and vast number of employees who travel, expense management for FTI Consulting was an extremely important part of their consutling business. Their existing process was cumbersome and mostly manual. Their legacy system enabled employees to enter all expenses online, but then forced them to print the forms to submit for approval and send them via FedEx to their Annapolis, Maryland office.
Established in 1982, FTI Consulting is one of the leading providers of forensic accounting and litigation support services in the US. Their experts offer investigative services to companies confronted with problems, such as fraud, in order to assist them in their legal defense or pursuit of recoveries. FTI’s main clients are large business enterprises and major law firms.
Automating a Manual Process
In 2009, FTI decided to replace its existing system with Chrome River EXPENSE. FTI Consulting was in search of expense management solutions that could eliminate their paper intensive, manual processes and quickly integrate into their existing ERP system.
In addition to anticipated cost reductions from not having to send documents to the Maryland office on a daily basis, FTI was looking to simplify the expense approval process. Prior to Chrome River EXPENSE, employees were being reimbursed based on what they submitted; what was approved. In cases where some of the expenses were subsequently not approved, employees’ accounts were being placed on hold until they could reconcile the difference. This brought about headaches for the Accounts Payable department, as well as for the employees who had to continue to travel in order to fulfill FTI’s commitments to its customers. FTI needed a tool that systematically enforced company travel policies on the frontend. By addressing potential problems early in the process, FTI hoped that the backend work to identify and correct errors would be lessened.
With Chrome River, FTI was able to quickly configure their expense policies and define the appropriate expense routing protocols. Chrome River’s dynamic fields are configured to display based on the expense type, the charge code or even billable client, which benefits FTI end-users and their Accounts Payable staff because this made it easy to enter, track and manage each expense transaction.
When evaluating potential TEM vendors, Chrome River’s solution stood out from its competitors in three critical areas: intuitive user interface, ease and timeliness of implementation, and little training required. First they wanted a system with a very clean user interface and one that was easy to navigate. Chrome River uses web applications that behave more like desktop applications with powerful graphics, interactive experiences, and most important of all, fantastic response times. Chrome River’s implementation began with a deep understanding of FTI’s internal business processes and issues. Chrome River paired that knowledge with its cutting edge technology to design a total solution.
With Chrome River, FTI was able to quickly configure their expense policies and define the appropriate expense routing protocols.
Find an Expense Management System that would eliminate their paper intensive, manual processes, simplify the expense approval process and quickly integrate into their existing ERP system.
Quick Implementation and Rollout
The second key differentiator was the implementation experience and rollout timeframe. Chrome River required little capital outlay with no hardware to buy or software to install; whereas, other solutions under consideration required significant upfront investment. According to FTI’s due diligence, Chrome River’s competitors quoted installation times ranging from twelve to eighteen months; whereas, Chrome River was able to complete the initial setup and integration in less than three months. Currently, the solution is deployed in the US and UK, with plans to quickly expand into other global regions. FTI also plans to roll out Chrome River EXPENSE to Canada, France, Germany, and Spain.
Chrome River was able to complete the initial setup and integration in less than three months.
Replace its manual expense reporting workflow process with an automated workflow process that has built-in rules to ensure compliance by division and spend visibility across the organization.
Minimal Training with Easy to Use Interface
The final key differentiator for FTI was the amount of training necessary to get their employees up and running. Since they have thousands of employees traveling, downtime for training would have had a significant impact to FTI’s productivity and profitability. Because the system is so intuitive and easy to understand, FTI was able to rollout Chrome River’s EXPENSE with minimal training. Although not recommended, the majority of FTI employees began using the system without any formal training. This speaks to Chrome River’s superior implementation process and state of the art platform.
Because the system is so intuitive and easy to understand, FTI was able to rollout Chrome River’s EXPENSE with minimal training.
Intuitive user interface, ease and timeliness of implementation, and minimal training.
Clear Benefits after Automation
Although travel and expense management is considered a backroom operation, FTI’s incongruous process was beginning to negatively impact customer service delivery. Chrome River was able to bring state-of-the-art expense management to FTI within a very short time window. Expense reimbursements are now being made within five business days, cutting reimbursement time in half. This new solution also freed up employees’ travel accounts, allowing them to concentrate on their customers and business. Chrome River EXPENSE provided FTI with an extremely dynamic, user-friendly system that fits seamlessly within their infrastructure and, most importantly, meets all of FTI’s business needs.
Enforced company travel policies on the frontend, cut expense reimbursement time in half and freed up employees’ travel accounts, allowing them to concentrate on their customers and business.