Company accounts departments across the country are praising the latest developments in slow, complicated, counter-intuitive on-line expenses systems. The new version of ‘Tally’ for example, is said to exceed accountants’ every wish. In addition to presenting all the financial information in the formats that accountants need, it is such a pain to use that it actively discourages employees from spending the company’s money.
The need for employees to input lots of irrelevant, superfluous information regarding every claim and then itemise every expense to a minimum of three expense sub-categories means that employees can take up to three hours to compile even the simplest claim. Those employees asked to support a two-day overseas trip to support a major design review of a multi-million pound project face a minimum of three days’ battling with Tally on their return as punishment for their frivolity in claiming £500 expenses for their jolly.
The system also provides lots of opportunities for accountants’ amusement. Many accountants are employed purely to entertain the others by reviewing and rejecting claims on flimsy grounds in order to force employees to go into battle with ‘Tally’ again. Also, the questionnaire which comes up after the ‘Submit’ button is selected to ask each employee to ‘Evaluate Your Expense Submission Experience’ provokes some highly amusing responses.
However, the highlight for any accounts department is when they see an employee trying to claim late payment charges on his corporate credit card due to the excessive amount of time taken to submit, process and approve his previous expenses application. The latest on-line systems can guarantee this every time.
(Does anyone else suffer this pain?)