Vancouver Airport Authority
Voted ‘Best Airport in North America’ in 2017 for the eighth consecutive year in the Skytrax World Airport Awards, Vancouver International Airport (YVR) was in search of an easy-to-use, mobile expense reporting solution to automate its manual processes.

The Challenge

YVR had a completely manual expense process. Users had to complete an Excel expense sheet, print it and attach hard-copy receipts. The expense sheet then needed to be walked to the appropriate manager for approval, and then walked or mailed to the accounts payable department. Accounts payable staff had to review every line against the receipt and manually enter the expense report into the Oracle ERP for payment. YVR decided it was time for a change – time to automate the workflow, increase staff efficiencies, reduce redundant processes and provide data and transparency for accurate spend analysis.

The due diligence process

After issuing the RFP, the YVR team had demos of the shortlisted solutions, and also conducted in-depth reference checks. Five solutions were considered before YVR made the decision to select Chrome River EXPENSE as its expense reporting solution. Simplicity of the user interface, partnership with U.S. Bank for corporate cards, mobile capabilities, and comprehensive spend analytics were key factors in the final decision.

Vancouver Airport Authority

Vancouver Airport Authority is a community-based, not-for-profit organization that manages Vancouver International Airport (YVR). As Canada’s second-busiest airport, YVR welcomed a record 22.3 million passengers in 2016. Fifty-five airlines service YVR, connecting people and businesses to more than 125 non-stop destinations worldwide. In 2017, YVR was voted “Best Airport in North America” for the eighth consecutive year in the Skytrax World Airport Awards.

Integration with surrounding technologies

It was important to YVR that Chrome River EXPENSE provided seamless integration with YVR’s U.S. Bank corporate cards. Since Chrome River and U.S. Bank are long-time partners, this requirement was easily met. Another important technology consideration was that Chrome River needed to easily integrate with YVR’s Oracle E-Business Suite R12 financial system so the duplicative process of entering expense reports into the financial system after reports were submitted could be eliminated.

Employees love the simplicity

YVR employees like the intuitiveness and simplicity of the user interface. They also love that the allocation coding is simplified for easy entry of expenses and that their expenses are approved faster through automation, ensuring that they are reimbursed quickly.

Implementation and go-live

YVR’s training and ‘go-live’ was a two-phase process. In the first phase, 100 employees received training before they started using EXPENSE. Three weeks later, the remainder of YVR’s employees went live. Training was mandatory for management prior to going live. All other employees had the choice to be trained pre- or post ‘go live.’ The trainers conducted 45 ninety-minute training sessions. Corporate card users received an additional 30 minutes of training. Once-a-month training continued for six months to ensure all employees had the opportunity to join a training session. Employees were also provided with an internally developed FAQ document and a Quick Reference Guide.

During training, employees found they liked the intuitiveness and simplicity of the user interface, making training a breeze and allowing trainers to keep reference materials to a minimum.

The employees really like the ‘Snap & Send’ feature, and we encourage them to use it, so they don’t have to worry about saving or losing their receipts while traveling.
Diana Vuong, Controller
Vancouver Airport Authority

Why Chrome River?

YVR chose Chrome River for many reasons:

  • Simple user interface
  • Partnership with U.S. Bank for corporate cards
  • Manager visibility into expenses
  • Line level receipt attachments make it easy for the Manager and the AP department to review the expenses
  • AP department visibility and tracking of expenses
  • Visibility into approval process for employees
  • Full mobility for traveling employees
  • Deep insights into spend through Chrome River ANALYTICS
  • Chrome River’s compliance with Canadian law to maintain a data center in Canada

Clear benefits of MERCURY

Employees like the simplicity of the software and the automated approval process that allows them to check the progress of their own expense report approval. They also like that they can enter expenses, and “Snap & Send” receipts on their mobile devices while traveling.

Management appreciates that built-in compliance checking lets the software allow or deny an employee expense. They also like the ability to quickly and easily approve expenses on their mobile devices. And, management uses the analytics tool to further analyze spend for trends and fraud, and flag them for continued review.

Accounts Payable (AP) is much more efficient now that expenses no longer need to be manually entered, and are automatically loaded into the Oracle financial system. The functionality that allows employees to attach receipts at the line item level really simplifies AP’s process of checking expenses. AP also likes the built-in compliance rules that run expenses through compliance checking before ever landing on their desks.

Flexible, built-in compliance

“Built-in compliance rules have been a tremendous benefit of the solution to help us enforce our policies and to identify violations. We are also pleased with how flexible the rules can be and how easily and quickly they can be changed as our policies change and evolve. Chrome River’s software easily evolves with us.”
Diana Vuong, Controller
Vancouver Airport Authority

Ongoing support

Both the Chrome River help desk and project manager have been quick and efficient at responding to cases. The project manager is always willing to step in to assist on urgent and complicated issues even though the project is completed. It gives YVR a great feeling of confidence in the Chrome River team that they are willing to go over and above in order to help. 

Our organization views this as being a very successful implementation, including buy-in from the CEO to staff-level employees.
Diana Vuong, Controller
Vancouver Airport Authority

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