Compass Health Network is a nonprofit health care organization that provides a wide range of behavioral health services and support, as well as primary and dental health services throughout Missouri. It was founded in 1972 and has more than 2,200 employees, submitting almost 1,000 expense reports per month. In this guest blog, Pam McCaslin, Compass Health Network’s assistant director of accounting, explains how the organization quickly implemented Chrome River EXPENSE to help it support its team as it became impacted by COVID-19.
We have several locations providing mental healthcare, substance use disorder services, primary medical care, and dental services. Within about a week of COVID-19 hitting, we sent all administrative staff home to work remotely, and temporarily closed some of our residential programs and office locations. We also changed job duties for many staff who had previously provided face-to-face services, so they could temporarily do it via phone, or in virtual settings.
Because our front-line staff are doing such essential work, our support staff has worked to make sure they have the things they need to continue providing services. Some of our most vulnerable customers are those with substance abuse or mental disorders, and that population is being hit the hardest at the moment. Our staff have tirelessly worked to help our clients and make sure they have a support system in place at this time by calling or virtually meeting with them as much as possible.
When COVID-19 hit, we already had Chrome River EXPENSE in place for our corporate credit card users, and had just completed the necessary steps to add out-of-pocket reimbursement requests as well. We were getting ready to roll that product out to a small group of test users to make sure we had the necessary tools in place. But when we got the word that we would be working from home, we only had a few hours to get systems in place that would function remotely for everyone. We decided to take the leap and roll out Chrome River EXPENSE to all 2,200 employees straight away.
Related: Virtualizing Financial Operations to Adapt to Increased Work from Home Requirements
Our old expense reporting system was very paper-intensive and dependent on printing out expense reports and then entering them manually. We knew this wouldn’t work with everyone working remotely, so we rolled out Chrome River to our entire staff about a month earlier than expected. We knew this was the only way we’d be able to get everyone reimbursed on time. With everything going on with COVID-19, and knowing that it was a financially challenging time for many, we wanted to be able to get our employees reimbursed without any delays.
Because we are a non-profit, we must keep a very good record of all expenditures, especially for everything we claim for COVID-19 since it’s such a unique situation. In addition to the expenses that employees submitted before the outbreak, there are a lot of new expenses for home office supplies, cleaning supplies, and other items that would not normally be purchased or expensed.
To help support this, we needed to add a COVID-19 category “tile” to our user interface so we could accurately track related expenses from both credit cards and reimbursements. So, we made an option specifically for this so it’s easy to pull these expenses after the fact. We submitted a ticket to Chrome River’s helpdesk to request the new COVID-19 tile, and the team set it up within the same day. Their responsiveness and professionalism were outstanding.
Related: Supporting Your Organization’s Temporary Transition to Work from Home
Of course, we were initially a little apprehensive about rolling the solution out across the organization in such a short period, but everything went incredibly smoothly. Our team members’ response to Chrome River EXPENSE has been very positive, and the online training resources and videos that Chrome River provides are a huge plus for bringing everyone up to speed quickly. It’s amazing that you can change the way you do business in about a week, and be back up and running pretty much as normal by using technology like Chrome River!
Our front line staff are critical to our clients’ health outcomes even during normal times, but during this outbreak their work is even more vital. We need to do everything we can to support their work and make their lives easier, and we would not have been able to reimburse our employees in a timely manner without Chrome River.
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Our choice of Chrome River EXPENSE was made in part due to the very user-friendly interface, easy configurability, and the clear commitment to impactful customer service – all aspects in which Chrome River was the clear winner. While Chrome River is not as large as some of the other vendors we considered, we found that to be a benefit and our due diligence showed that it could support us as well as any large players in the space, along with a personalized level of customer care.
We are excited to be able to enforce much more stringent compliance to our expense guidelines and significantly enhance our expense reporting and analytics. By automating these processes, we will be able to free up AP time formerly spent on manual administrative tasks, and enhance the role by being much more strategic.