Your organisation’s employees are its most valuable asset. It’s therefore incumbent to keep these employees safe, such as a secure work environment and eliminating travel to high-risk areas. Physical security must be backed up, however, with data security, to ensure that both corporate and employees’ personal data is kept safe.
Canada has a broad range of regulations ensure that individuals’ data is kept secure, whether this is related to their employment or their own personal information. At a federal level, these regulations include the Privacy Act for federal government data, and the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) for the private sector. All provinces and territories also have a similar set of regulations for data privacy. In addition to the regulatory requirements, many organizations just have concerns about hosting employee personal information in U.S. data centres, due to the USA PATRIOT Act.
These regulations and concerns can pose several challenges to Canadian businesses who want to offer next generation cloud-based solutions. Do the vendors have the required security certifications to satisfy the appropriate regulations, and also, where is the data stored? For many public-sector institutions in particular, it isn’t permitted for personal data to stored outside Canada, and even for organizations who do allow non-Canadian data centres to be used, hosting data in a location where it’s subject to foreign government regulations isn’t best practice. Foreign data hosting is not only bad for business, but it can make those whose data is stored feel considerable vulnerable – not something any organisation wants for its team members.
These requirements pose a particular challenge for expense management software. Personal information such as employee bank account details (for expense reimbursement), where they have travelled, and how and where they made purchases is an intrinsic part of expense management. As a result of the traditional lack of expense providers that use Canadian-based hosting solutions, many organisations are faced with a Hobson’s choice. They can use a cloud solution which is hosted outside Canada, and put their employees’ data at risk (and also potentially expose the organisation to government penalties), or stick with outdated manual expense solutions – typically receipts and spreadsheets – which may be secure, but offer a highly degraded use experience.
Expense automation companies have been slow to address this challenge. However, Chrome River has taken this challenge head on and is now fully hosted in a Canadian data centre. This provides customers with the opportunity to host and retain all data within Canada and reduce much of the concern for location of employee’s personal information. As a result of this move, Chrome River is the only global expense and invoice management solutions provider which is able to offer this service.
So if you’re a CIO or IT director, you’ll never have to worry about whether to opt for a great software solution or complying with data security regulations for expense reporting – you can have it both.
Read the full press release about Chrome River’s Canadian data centre.
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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.