The Covid-19 pandemic has created many challenges to businesses globally. Yet, it has brought several interesting opportunities that streamline the day-to-day work through digital transformation, which enables smoother, more efficient, and cost-saving processes. It is highly essential that companies secure their businesses against discrepancies, fraud and error while creating a better work environment for their employees.
Employees encounter several challenges with their expense reporting. For example, you have a very important lunch meeting with your client. You paid for the expenses in advance, then you must go back to your office to file reimbursements with all the necessary forms, vouchers, and summaries. You must go through the usual manual process before you get back what you have spent for.
Expense reporting can be processed faster but it will require the company to automate its system and forgo the numerous paperwork.
Fortunately, there’s one system that is already available in the local market and it’s called cExpense, by ComBTAS Philippines.
BusinessMirror was privileged to have an interview with its CEO for APAC, Ehud Kremer, who said: “Most companies now in the Philippines have realized the importance of creating a digital footprint and revolutionizing technology within their workspace. Since the pandemic unexpectedly put some businesses at a standstill or slowed down their operations, ComBTAS Philippines answers the difficulties that most businesses are going through.”
cExpense is a fintech solution which automates corporate expense management and receipt tracking, with an end-to-end platform. It was developed by ComBTAS LTD, an IT software company that started in Israel in 2007. ComBTAS recently opened its door to the Philippine business market.
Ehud Kremer said the creation of ComBTAS came at a time when there were many business processes in Israel that were managed manually. To date, the solutions developed by ComBTAS are being used by companies located across 40 countries globally.
“When you are doing manual processes, you are focusing too much on the administration, on the paperwork, on how to bring this paper from one person to another. And during the manual process, there are a lot of things that get lost,” Kremer said.
During this interview, Abby Platero, CEO of ComBTAS Philippines, added that cExpense caters to the Philippine market because there are still many businesses that keep track of their expenses manually, and most companies have employees who engage in multitasking.
“If they have this system, they will save on resources. Instead of one person doing all the scanning, the checking of receipts or reconciliation, the system will do it for them. In short, cExpense’s main goal is to transform businesses from the manual process to the automated process. Every business is our potential customer, and they can range from MSMEs, to corporations, larger corporations and even conglomerates,” Platero said.
It was Kremer who pushed for the creation of a ComBTAS office in the Philippines. BusinessMirror asked him, “Why the Philippines?” To this he proudly replied, “It is a very developed market, and it is going for more digitalized systems. The Philippines used to be a market that worked very conservatively on manual processes but in the last few years, it has become more and more digitalized. “
In a short span of time in the Philippines, ComBTAS has been able to sign up clients from real estate, financial services, trucking, transportation, construction, and other business industries.
“No matter how small they are, they know that they have to transform digitally to be more competitive. This solution is good for Philippine companies because it costs a lot less and very user friendly,” Platero said.
Digital system and its benefits
To determine whether cExpense would fit their needs, Platero said the first thing the companies would be asked about are their pain points on employees’ expense reporting.
“We have a client who is into diverse businesses and their monthly petty cash per department used to be P50,000 or so, which is funny because it is supposed to be just a petty amount. For some, on a manual process, cash advance request usually takes a month. With this tool, it can be done even in just few hours, with very few clicks. Another problem is budget visibility. Well now, approvers can have a quick view of their budget and current expenses prior to approving any request” she said.
BusinessMirror asked Kremer: “What are the other features of the cExpense that can minimize users’ worries?” His reply was, “cExpense can be any employee’s best friend. The system knows how to send notifications to users, approvers, and relevant processors in every step of the way. It informs the user when the request has been approved or declined (and why), when the cash is ready for pick-up, when an employee needs to submit their liquidations, etc. All templates are highly configurable to adapt to the naming conventions adopted by the corporate clients.”
With a digital system of doing things, businesses will be able to save a lot on resources and time and will allow them to focus on their core businesses.
cExpense has digitalized the process of scanning or taking photos of expense receipts or price quotations, encoding all entries, and forwarding all this information to the approvers, across all devices (through web or mobile app – Android or IOS). Once fully approved, the system can connect to the client’s ERP solution to do the postings automatically eliminating the need to manually encode each entry.
It has a swift implementation capability on either cloud or on-premise, providing you much required flexibility and security.
C-Expense has lots of canned analysis reports within the system that relevant persons may generate anytime, with advanced filters to see reports for a certain period, per cost center, per employee, etc. Even if the company has no ERP, the system can generate reports on its own.
cExpense lifts out the heavy pain points and reduce risks in your expense management and budget disbursement.
ComBTAS Philippines has taken the cExpense fintech solution one step further by partnering with GCash, Philippines’ biggest mobile wallet, that will further expedite the reimbursement process. Kremer described ComBTAS’ partnership with GCash as game changing.
“Through cExpense, you can monitor your travel and non-travel expenses. If your company is registered in the cExpense, you can send your list of expenses through the server. Then, the company, through their GCash Enterprise wallet, can send the money to your personal GCash wallet. Easy as that. cExpense is now accessible on the GCash Mobile App, under GLife,” he explained.
When asked why they decided to partner with ComBTAS, Tek Olano, Chief Financial Officer of GCash, said, “ComBTAS helped GCash improve its spend tracking and liquidation process through its streamlined, end-to-end dashboard, enabling optimized operations on a work-from-home set up. It is straightforward and intuitive to use as well as saving employees’ time for better productivity.”
However, Platero clarified that if clients decide to sign up for cExpense, GCash, along with other disbursement options, is viable.
“If you prefer the way you do things, like including all cash advances or reimbursements in the payroll, or claiming cash from the office cashier, it’s possible. Though we recommend having GCash simply because it makes the process much easier and faster, especially for out-of-office employees or simply just being in this evolving workplace nowadays,” Platero said.
One happy client is MGS Construction Inc., a Quadruple A construction company with a broad range of capabilities and massive resources with nearly five decades of experience and expertise in most aspects of the construction industry.
“A lot of technological advancements are happening in MGS on our Road to Digital Transformation. cExpense is one of the applications that we have examined carefully for potential and possible application in the business” says Vivian Martin, Chief Information Technology Officer of MGS Construction, Inc.
She added that MGS decided to avail of the cExpense Management solution from ComBTAS in their desire to streamline processes and find a faster and convenient way to request reimbursements/cash advances. This solution has been a big help since it promotes a unique and faster paperless approval. It makes their business processes more efficient. Plus, it provides auditable records and ensures compliance.
“This system saves our employees’ time, reduces our costs, and minimizes errors thereby increasing productivity. Being in a construction industry, our field employees can now expediently and easily process their expense reports from anywhere, no excuses for late liquidation. Processing time becomes efficient once documents have been transmitted to main office since requests are already pre-approved in the system. It promotes quick resolution of issues as it eliminates sending and returning of hard copies. There is also visibility of previous requests which helps in tracing of expenses for future reference.”
“As far as the implementation process is concerned, it was swift and easy. We hardly even felt the onboarding tasks.” says Martin.
Have a seamless mobile experience through our cExpense Mobile App when doing your expense reports.
Before BusinessMirror ended this interview, Kremer summed it all up, “cExpense gives amazing benefits to its users by providing faster and simpler processes, seamless employee’s expense reporting, fewer delays and errors, improved budget and expense visibility, promotes operational competence and productivity, corporate expense policy enforcement, elimination of human fraud, error and other irregularities, simplified reporting, among others.”
So let ComBTAS bring you this new age, smart and efficient technology and see how you can transform your business to create new, or modify existing, work processes, culture, and experiences to meet changing enterprise and market requirements.
For any inquiry, you can send a message to SalesPH@combtas.com.