Expense Management in Dynamics NAV

Handling employee expenses is a very time consuming task for many companies. When I worked as a global erp architect for GN Store Nord, and traveled a lot to our subsidiaries using Navision. Each month I spent approx. one full day of making travel expense reports based on my batch of receipts. Then it took one of the accounting employees about the same amount of time, one day pay employee (in our department at least).

So in 2005 we started implementing a system to handle this. We did find a few "candidates", not anything made in NAV. The integration into NAV and the whole project took way longer than expected. But it didn't take them long, before the costs had been paid. With the new system we were able to handle it in hours, rather than days. We still had to handle the paper receipts manually, but got the reporting and approvals online, and had it integrated with credit card statement imports.

In 2005 systems like this were a huge investment and only really attainable for companies with +100 users.

In 2015 this is something any NAV customer who just have a few employees with lots of travel could justify investing in.

Today Danish ISV Continia released their Continia Expense Management. Continia is most know in Denmark for being the company that about 25 years ago released NaviBanking, now known as Payment Management, something a lot of Danish Navision customer here uses. Lately they have also become known for being the company behind Document Capture. They didn't develop this product, but bought it from the developer Tommy Olesen, who now is working in Continia. Here he and Claus Lundstrøm (known for his NAV report designer/RDLC blogs and courses) have been the product managers for their new solution.

Continia Expense Management is build on the same platform as their Document Capture (DC) solution. In fact DC needs to be installed on the end-users NAV, but if they are not using it directly, then they don't have to add it to their license. It is basically a smartphone app (available Windows Phone, Android and iPhone) connecting to Continia's internet server (continiaonline). On the app the employee is able to upload receipts via pictures taken with the phone (or alternatively attaching emails). After adding base information to the receipt, like was it paid with credit card, amount, currency, description, dimension etc., then the employee can upload it. The employee doesn't have to be a user (neither full or limited) in NAV.

In NAV the accounting user can now synchronize the receipts uploaded by the employees to continiaonline, into NAV. The approval process kicks in, where the approvers will be using a web portal to approve the expenses. Same portal as used by Document Capture. The employee can follow the approval progress via their smartphone app. Additionally credit card statements are imported, allowing to apply the employees reported expenses to the transactions on the credit card. Any transactions without receipts are "kicked" back to the employee, who needs to account for the transaction by attaching a receipt.

When approved the expenses are transferred to the general journal and posted, just like any other expense made manually in NAV.

This was just a very quick introduction to what it can do. I can recommend that you go to http://continia.com/profile-(4).aspx to read more ad watch their webinar. Continia Expense Management be available for NAV 2009 R2 (classic and RTC), NAV 2013, NAV 2013 R2 and NAV 2015, and is released today at 12:00 CET.

I have great experience with the add-on products from Continia. They are on of the few ISV’s in the NAV world who I can always trust delivering great products. And I’m sure going to try out Expense Management my self. Not that I’m travelling that much in my current job, but just to be able to help my own clients using it.

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