The firm wanted an automated solution that would increase employee efficiency by eliminating two-step data entry while enforcing the firm’s expense policies and accelerating the approval time.
Haynes and Boone’s labor-intensive, manual expense and invoice management involved a two-step procedure that required employees to enter data into a spreadsheet and then send it through interoffice mail for approval. After approval, the spreadsheet was forwarded to AP for entry into the firm’s Elite Enterprise financial management system. The firm wanted an automated solution that would eliminate two-step data entry while enforcing the firm’s expense policies and accelerating the approval time. They wanted an approval process and a travel pre-approval process with an audit trail and greater employee accountability for expense spending and budgets. The finance department was keen to simplify and speed up the employee reimbursement process. The core team looked at two Expense and Invoice Automation Systems: Chrome River and Concur. The team felt that Chrome River’s extensive legal industry experience made them the stand-out choice to ensure the project would be a success. Another factor was Chrome River’s ability to easily integrate with ancillary technologies used by the firm, including the Elite Enterprise financial management system and Elite 3E; Interaction CRM; Global Exchange foreign payment processing; and American Express.
Founded in 1970, Haynes and Boone, LLP is an international corporate law firm with 17 offices in Texas, New York, California, Washington, D.C. and Mexico City. Haynes and Boone is ranked the 98th largest law firm in the nation by the National Law Journal.
Haynes and Boone began implementation of Chrome River EXPENSE, rolling it out to their accounting department first. After training, the accounting department went live on EXPENSE, and then it was rolled out firm-wide. The firm next implemented Chrome River INVOICE. Since the interfaces for EXPENSE and INVOICE are the same and the users were already familiar with EXPENSE, they didn’t require the same level of training. INVOICE was rolled out to the accounting department first and then implemented firmwide a few months later.
Now expense reports are automatically checked for compliance with the firm’s expense policies and flagged if they fall outside of the guidelines. The expenses are automatically routed to the appropriate approver, who can review the details online or via a mobile device. Enforcing adherence to the firm’s expense policies allows the firm to require greater accountability for expenses and their associated budgets. Haynes and Boone’s manual invoice process was also automated, and the business rules and approval routing rules for these expenses were configured into the Rules Engine. Automation has very simply reduced the time it takes to approve and pay an invoice. And, as with EXPENSE, users love that they can track where an invoice is in the workflow process simply by checking the INVOICE system. Another benefit for the accounting department is a reduction in the hard costs associated with the purchase and storage of paper, thanks to a paperless system that uses electronic copies of invoices.
Haynes and Boone users enjoy the ability to flexibly configure many functions on their own without Chrome River’s assistance, including adding GL accounts, mapping to GL accounts, adding vendors, and reassigning approval roles when someone goes on vacation or leave. As Haynes and Boone continues to evolve, it frequently modifies approval levels and routing rules to adapt to changing business needs.
Haynes and Boone users appreciate the many benefits they are realizing as a result of automating their manual expense reporting and accounts payable processes. They have reduced the amount of time it takes to approve and pay invoices and expenses. They have also met their goal of minimizing the turnaround from the time an expense is incurred to the time it is reimbursed, billed and collected, which allows the firm to recover costs more quickly, reduce write-offs, and improve employee satisfaction.
- Implement a paperless expense and invoice management system
- Enforce firm expense policies
- Provide better expense and spend visibility and greater accountability for expenses and budgets
- Implement approval process audit trail