Dimensions maximises compliance with accurate policy and VAT validation

Background

Dimensions is one of the UK’s leading suppliers of bespoke corporate clothing, designing garments for a wide range of organisations. From travel and hospitality to retail, Dimensions clothing is worn by employees from a number of high street favourites including Waitrose and Sainsbury’s as well as fast food chains such as KFC and Greggs.

Forming part of Menswear House UK (MWUK), Dimensions employs approximately 700 members of staff, of which around 500 claim expenses and 200 do so on a regular basis. With such a large network of employees the business sees an average of 90 expense claims per month. With this in mind, the HR department were keen to reduce the level of administration involved with expense tasks such as logging mileage. Instead finding a solution which meant these actions could be completed in both a timely and accurate way.

Folding paper processes

Pat Woodfield, HR Director at Dimensions explains: “We knew that a new digital expenses system would be beneficial to our employees and make their lives easier. The previous system was entirely paper-based and quite often we would find that receipts were being lost. Not only did this make life difficult for claimants but also for our HR and finance teams who found it hard to trace multiple claims.”

With the HR team keen to reduce the flow of paper into the department and the finance function looking to ensure policy compliance, Dimensions chose to implement Selenity Expenses across the business.

Launched in September 2018, the deployment process included a secure migration of all employee data across to the new system and a pilot group was put in place to test the system before go live.

Expenses in the palm of your hand

With many Dimensions employees often working out of the office, the availability of Selenity’s Expenses Mobile app supported the flexible approach to working and ensured that employees could claim expenses on-the-go.

“For our employees who are frequently out on the road and incurring the most costs, the mobile app has made a vast difference. The majority of our employees use the mobile app when they are traveling or going abroad for site visits. It’s very easy for them to take a picture of the receipt on their phone, update the claim and submit it there and then. We found that with the previous paper process, some receipts were being lost and claims bundled together,” explains Alice Kidd, HR Administrator at Dimensions.

Pat goes on to explain how Selenity Expenses has also benefitted the reimbursement process. “We run expense payments twice a month and this frequency means that employees will always have their claims refunded in no more than two weeks. Selenity Expenses has made life much easier for the finance department as they no longer have to supply company credit cards or cash advances. Not only has this alleviated security risks but it also means the process is straightforward for employees and as a result they’re much happier.”

Saving time and money

Since replacing their entirely paper-based process with Selenity Expenses, Dimensions has maximised compliance through intuitive policy and VAT validation features and generated significant cost savings.

On top of this, with the new digital system they’ve seen a reduction in the overall time spent submitting, processing and approving expenses claims across the business. From employees and line managers right up to the finance and HR departments, the solution has made the process more efficient and increased productivity.

Pat adds: “As a manager it was easy to spend anything up to, two hours a week checking and validating expenses, whereas now it takes minutes - there’s been a huge saving in time”.

Automating for great accuracy

Features such as policy reminders have helped to ensure adherence to the company’s expense guidelines as well as helping line managers and administrators approve claims quickly and easily. Additionally, with the system automatically calculating the correct amount of VAT for expense items such as business travel and subsistence, the finance team are able to ensure they are receiving maximum VAT recovery.

Pat explains: “Selenity Expenses has increased the accuracy of our VAT reclamation and helped us avoid under claiming on items such as fuel and staff benefits.”

The simplicity and functionality of the system has given Dimensions administrators more transparency when approving claims.

Alice explains: “The mobile app has made life much easier for line managers, with one click approval they can send claims straight to payment on-the-go. Or just as easily question a claim if an out of policy flag is raised.”

Accurate mileage validation

With paper forms and numerous ways to calculate distance travelled, the HR and finance teams had little control over the consistency of the mileage claims being submitted by staff. With the company’s policy now front and centre, employees are able to simply enter the start and finish postcode for their journey and Selenity Expenses instantly calculates the correct mileage for them. The system also helps to reimburse claimants based on their fuel allowance and the accurate rate for the type of car they drive.

Effective implementation and training

With a brand-new system being rolled out across the business, the HR and finance teams were keen to not only ensure a successful implementation but also that significant training and support was given to employees.

“The Selenity team mapped out our implementation plan and it was very clear what we needed to do and what was going to happen next. The whole process was very organised and felt like a well-trodden path. We had a day and a half of training and also made sure that instructional videos were uploaded to our intranet so that employees always have resources to hand,” says Pat.

The Selenity team created a training guide detailing every section of the system, which has proven useful for enrolling new members of staff on the platform and completing inductions.

Pat concludes: “Through our annual survey we’ve had really positive feedback on the changes we’ve made. We’ve made life easier for our employees and taken away the hassle involved in submitting, approving and reimbursing expense claims. The easier we can make these processes for employees the happier they are and the more productive they become – a win all round really.”

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