New and Improved Expense Reporting Functionality in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012
Many of our clients that provide project-based services have a significant volume of expense reports that flow through their organization. Some of these expenses are simply internal costs that are booked to the General Ledger, but many of these expenses are often re-billed to clients. By ensuring that your organization fully recovers these billable expenses, you can avoid incurring costs that you shouldn’t be.
Many organizations still use a manual expense reporting policy where employees utilize Excel reports to track their expenses. This model is often error prone, and prevents the enforcement or validation of any expense policies that your organization needs to monitor.
Microsoft Dynamics AX has a comprehensive Expense Management system that allows employees to access a web-based self-service interface to enter and approve expense reports. With the Dynamics AX 2012 Professional Services industry solution, Microsoft has made some nice enhancements to the previous Expense Management functionality. Whether you’re tracking general expense reports or re-billable expenses for your projects, Dynamics AX has some great tools available for your employees to quickly and easily and their expense reports.
We’ll highlight below some of the more noticeable improvements in the Expense Management functionality in Dynamics AX 2012.
- Usability Improvements – The Dynamics AX Enterprise Portal underwent a major redesign for Dynamics AX 2012. Expense reports now follow the more streamlined SharePoint 2010 look and feel, making the interface much more visually appealing. In addition, Microsoft paid significant attention to trying to reduce the number of clicks and screens that were required to perform the typical expense reporting activities. These improvements make it easier for users to quickly complete their expense reports.
- Travel Requisitions – For organizations that require an approval process prior to booking travel plans, Dynamics AX 2012 has introduced a full Travel Requisitions module that allows you to submit a “request for travel” which can then be run through an approval process prior to booking. Any approved travel requests then automatically flow into the requestor’s expense queue for coding and submission.
- Improved Credit Card Integration – The previous version, Dynamics AX 2009, introduced the integration of credit card statements to help load and pre-code company credit card expenses. With Dynamics AX 2012, the usability gets a bit easier. Now, when starting an expense report, users are immediately presented with a queue of expenses from their corporate credit card which they can then select, code, and move into their expense report. This is just another way to get these charges front and center, and to make it easy for employees to incorporate the charges into their expense reports.
- Line-level Receipt Attachments – In Dynamics AX 2009, copies of receipts could only be attached at the expense header level. With Dynamics AX 2012, you now have the ability to attach receipts at the line level, helping users more directly associate their receipts with the specific expense that it was for.
- Distributions – For organizations that have to distribute expense amounts across departments, lines of business, projects, and even across legal entities, Dynamics AX 2012 now provides functionality to do these distributions while entering your expenses. After you enter an expense line, you can now access a “Distributions” feature that allows you to spread that expense amount across projects or organizational units, either by percentage or amount.
- Mobility – For Windows 7 phone users, Microsoft has also pre-built a mobile expense application that allows users to create an expense record on their phone, take a picture of the receipt, and then upload the data and the receipt to the Dynamics AX server. Then when the user logs in to process their expense report, the expense transaction and receipt are waiting there for them to finalize and submit.
These and other enhancements make the Dynamics AX Expense Management module more full featured and enterprise ready. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out.