Taming the "Wild West" of Uber expenses

20 February 2019
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The rise in popularity of ride sharing apps has given business riders an easier option for ground transportation, but led to a wild west of manual, uncontrolled expenses for finance managers.


According to our initial customer research, ride sharing has eclipsed taxis in expense claims. Furthermore, Uber is emerging as the single most expensed brand. 

We are seeing a strong demand for Uber as a business tool, which means most companies are spending a lot of time and effort reconciling Uber expenses.

To make it easier to automate this process Uber for Business has embedded policy rules into the app and integrated with the Zeno expense system, giving finance managers greater visibility over the spend and control of Uber as a corporate travel option.

Serko is integrating its Zeno Expense tool with Uber for Business to make it even easier reconciling work trips for the finance team, as well as giving employees and customers a streamlined way to claim these as business expenses. The rider no longer needs to input their Uber expenses into the system – all the information flows directly into the expense tool.

The integration allows finance managers to use Uber for Business to set up rules and policies around the use of Uber for work trips.

 

Bringing ride sharing expenses under control

Companies now have the ability to create policies and control around Uber in a way that makes sense for their travellers’ needs and corporate trip policies.

Not only does it make it easier for employees or customers who travel for business to select a preferred ride option, but it also makes the process of submitting expense claims seamless.

For CFOs and finance managers, it increases visibility and control over data, which is captured automatically by the system and reduces errors through manual inputting into the expense management tool.

All trips and payment options occur in a central location that makes it easier to manage the growing use of Uber travel.

 

Drilling down on data

As the volume of ride sharing has ballooned, travel and finance managers have struggled to manage the various receipts in the taxi line item of expense reports. This volume has become larger and quicker than they can digest and understand.

And what isn’t measured, can’t be managed. By integrating Uber for Business into our expense management tool, this now provides an opportunity for these companies to understand how they can enforce policies for ride sharing options for their travellers, as well understanding security and regulatory issues.

By capturing data straight from the Uber app, finance managers can identify and manage the different vehicle types that employees can ride with, understand trends in cost per trip as well as manage spend allowances, times and dates travel restrictions. This leaves nothing to chance when it comes to ground transportation expenditure

While it’s going to be different for every company, the ability to view this via a dashboard and seamless reporting means companies can understand differences between 9-to-5 business meeting trips versus the potential for out of hours transport such as airport transfers.

It also gives companies the ability to understand trip trends at scale, and start predicting future trends of their travel expenses.

Finance managers can now download this data via a .CSV file withreview 25 fields of data where they can manipulate specific data points and understand predictive trends. For example, how many times do employees travel after hours? What expense codes they are putting in for 8pm on a Thursday night and what does this means for that trip?

Data flow automatically flows into a dashboard which gives CFOs a view of all the expenses coming into the system and makes expense forecasting for future periods far easier.

This provides three major benefits to the company and employees:

• Less time spent preparing expense claims by staff and less time reviewing and processing expense claims by finance;

• Greater visibility and control of expenditure for the CFO; and

• Improved governance, reduced fraud and misuse.



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