Episode 560: Reason for Not Using Cloud Expense Management System (2)

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Operation: Reporting and Reimbursement of Expense

We have realized systematization of "Expense Report flow" in cloud based workflow! (See Episode 559

Primarily, various other "Business flow definitions" are set in the Workflow platform. Therefore, it is not necessary to re-log in to the "system for expense settlement" even for expense reporting.

Moreover, the stagnation situation in Steps such as "Section manager approval" and "Department manager approval" is visualized on the Business flow diagram. The employee who makes report for, the boss who approves on it, and the directors, everybody makes confirmation about "what kind of report is on which Step" occasionally! And there increase cases where advice and comments about others' output are given! As you see, knowing "where the bottleneck for stagnation is" Is really important!

Challenge: Real Time Aggregation

However, it is somewhat doubtful about "whether the settlement list and the total settlement amount are accurately recognized?"

In other words, there are also mixed a large number of applications that ended up as "cancellation of expense reporting". Just simply aggregating all reports will not be the "accurate total expense".

Well, should I better using "expenses settlement cloud" which is specialized for expense settlement work?

[Expense Report flow-Status Control]

Solution: Managing Business Status

For the business operation which "Issues" are aggregated from various viewpoints, we will consider giving the original "Issue status code" that unique to an Issue.

In this Expense Report flow, a Data Item (Numeric type) "Settlement progress status" is defined. And it is automatically overwritten according to the progress of the Issue. That is, "+1" is given when the first step is completed, "+10" if the second step is completed, and "+100" if the third step is completed. In addition, applications rejected on the way will be "multiplied by -1".
  • 0. In preparation for application (Initial value)
  • 1. Application done (expecting approval by supervisor)
  • 10 to 99. Section manager approved (expecting for confirmation by accounting)
  • 100 to 999. Department manager approved (expecting for confirmation by accounting)
  • 1000 and over. Approved by Section, Department managers and accounting
  • -1 to -999. Withdrawn by applicant
  • -1000 or less. Rejected by accounting

A "section manager" who wants to suppress expenditure, for example, he would like to aggregate and monitor Issues of "approved by himself" (status: 10 or more) and "approved by himself but rejected by Department manager" (status: -100 or less)". If you monitor on a monthly basis frequently, you should better set a filtering as the following.
  • "Issue status code" is "more than 10"
  • "Date of payment" is "later than the 1st of the last month"
  • "Date of payment" is "earlier than the last day of the last month
  • "Assignment of Claimer" is "Sales department"
* #today.addMonths(-1).getFirstTimeInMonth()
* #today.addMonths(-1).getLastTimeInMonth()

Discussion: "Flag as discontinuous value" and "Numeric value as continuous value"

"Issues to be aggregated" are different even for Section manager and Department manager.

The Process owner who designs the Business Process should exercise imagination on "how in-house users want to aggregate and analyze" and "what kind of aggregation or analysis should be performed by the in-house users".

  • Issues flowed through the Workflow
  • Issues that are flowing on the Workflow
when you want to group by these, you consider "management with Flag" firstly. You can easily create filtering according to your needs, for example, by giving Data Items such as "Section manager approved" and "Department manager approved".

However, management with Flags tends to complicate refinement of conditional expressions as the number of Flags increases. Also for data analysis and data aggregation, it becomes difficult to extract "similar matters". (Data mining, Cluster analysis, Business Process improvement)

If similarity concerning Issue status of business operations can be represented by "numerical value", we will actively consider "management with numerical code". If the attribute value of the Issue is managed as a continuous value, not only you can easily maintain the filter which you use daily, but also you can easily extract and aggregate in various groupings (clusters). (To be exact, discontinuous discrete values.)

[Expense Report flow-Status Control:"1. Report" screen]

<Data setting screen>

<Error setting screen>

<Data Items list>

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