Expense Request Workflow

Effortless expense automation, freeing lawyers from non-billable admin work and finance teams from inefficient workflows

The Challenges

Law firms face the challenge of a high volume of client expenses. The manual submission of these finance requests involve rounds of communication between lawyers and the accounting team to collect the information required to process the request. For everyone involved, this process takes longer than necessary. Involving the approver relies on lawyers and the accounting team to contact the right person for approval, typically a Partner, and follow up for urgent requests. Given that thousands of requests are typically submitted, this unstandardised process is taxing for both lawyers and the accounting team.

How Checkbox Solves Expense Report Workflows

Challenges

How Does Checkbox Address It?

A high volume of expense requests need to be triaged for processing, consuming a lot of time.

Checkbox captures and triages information from users with smart, dynamic forms and in-built complex rules. This empowers lawyers to independently provide information and any required attachments to process the expense request without needing the accounting team. 
 
The generation of invoices and receipts is automated by populating underlying master templates with the data collected.

High risk of human error from manually calculating expenses.

Checkbox automates calculations by building in complex smart rules in the background.

Manual checking to ensure expense submissions comply with expense policies.

Checkbox can build expense policies into the tool itself through complex calculations and decision-tree logic to automatically check compliance. Additionally, the no-code interface allows the accounting team to make system adjustments without IT as expense policies change.

Expense requests that require approval rely on lawyers to manually seek and follow up with Partner’s approval. 

Seamlessly set up approval workflows in Checkbox that are determined by business logic. For example, if the expense is greater than $5,000, the respective stakeholder is notified via email to review and approve the spend. 
 
Checkbox’s automated reminder system can be enabled to notify approvers under specified conditions. For example, when an urgent request has been sitting with them for 2 days.

Minimal visibility into the expense status for employees.

Submitters can track the real-time status of their requests with the Checkbox dashboards where information such as request progress, approval status, and approval timestamps can be displayed.

Minimal visibility into the aggregate expense for the accounting team who need a central dashboard to make informed business decisions. 

Gain instant insights into the types of expenses and aggregate-level data through powerful and customisable dashboards. 
 
Alternatively, all data captured in Checkbox can be exported for use in alternative analytics tool, such as Power BI and Tableau. 

How Does Checkbox Automate This?

1. Business user accesses the self-serve tool from their company portal

A URL can be embedded inside the company portal, or iFrame can be leveraged to enable users to access the tool while staying inside the portal.

2. Business users provide information to process the expense

Smart forms with on-screen guidance enables a self-serve but intuitive experience for business users to provide necessary information to process expenses, e.g., expense amount, attachments to invoices etc.

3. Checkbox automatically checks whether the expense submission aligns with current policies

Checkbox can build expense policies into the tool itself through complex calculations to automatically check compliance.

4. Checkbox automates the decisioning process

The in-built decisioning logic to determine whether an approver is needed, and which level of approval is required is automated.

Checkbox’s automated reminder system can be enabled to nudge approvers under specified conditions. For example, when an urgent request has been sitting with them for 2 days.

Automated workflow emails notify the accounting team once a request has been approved.

5. Gain visibility over their expense status and oversee all reports

Request submitters can self-service and receive the latest expense status through the real-time customisable dashboard.

The accounting team can view and audit trail and transcript of all responses, actions and attachments for audit and record keeping purposes.

Submitted request details can be exported to expense reporting systems for processing such as Xero.

What’s the Return on Investment?

This depends on the size of the organisation and how many finance requests are submitted each year. For a mid-size organisation with about 1,000 employees, 3,000 finance requests are initialised each month and on average, 15 minutes are saved for each request.

Taking those figures, 9,000 hours can be saved per year by multiplying the number of finance requests with the time saved for each request.

Benefits

  •  Shortening the time for the accounting team to gather expense reporting information enables them to focus on high value strategic work
    Providing an intuitive, self-service tool for lawyers will minimise the time required by the accounting team to gather information and populate invoices and receipts.
  •  Reduce human error
    Streamline the process by retrieving data from other sources and minimising the re-entering of information into multiple systems.
  •  Maintain compliance with expense policies
    By building in expense policies into the tool itself with automated calculations and decision-tree logic, expense submissions are compliant by design.
  •  Increase visibility for business users on their request status
    Submitters can track the real-time status of their request through the Checkbox dashboard, including details such as the approval progress.
  •  Make better informed business decisions
    The accounting team can use the centralised dashboard to view an audit trail and transcript of all responses, actions and attachments, so business decisions can be made with the full picture to back it up.

Key Features

  • No code app builder & studio
  • Smart and dynamic forms
  • Decision-tree logic
  • Document automation and generation
  • Automated email notifications
  • Approval workflow automation
  • Integrations with third-party systems
  • Tailored dashboards

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