Automating Expense Reimbursements

Reduce time spent collecting, analyzing, and managing employee expenses.

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The Challenge

Each month, travel and event expenses are collected, summarized, and analyzed in order to match costs with successful sales. Previously, the accounting manager gathered Excel files from every employee and copied and pasted these in to a global Excel file. When the repository of these Excel files was moved to a shared folder (OneDrive), it was discovered that the data blending abilities of KNIME could be used to create the summary and, with the Table to PDF node, create a very simple expenses report.

knime_icons_rz Our Solution

A previously defined Excel template simplifies accounting file filling by each employee. A team of data scientists creates a KNIME workflow that can be deployed as an analytical application in the KNIME WebPortal. The Accounting Manager selects the starting folder, which contains different sub-folders (one for each month) with the Excel files of each employee and the summary Excel files generated from the previously executed workflow. The most recent summary Excel file is identified and split from the other files. Individual Excel files are renamed to avoid future reprocessing. After concatenating all the individual accounting files, the workflow appends the resulting table to the split summary Excel file and writes a new summary Excel file with the process date in the name. Lastly, a simple PDF report is sent to the HR manager with a list of all the reimbursements.

Why KNIME Software

KNIME Analytics Platform is used to collect and summarize employee expenses. Nodes like Excel Reader, Excel Writer, Table to PDF, and Copy/Move make the work of an accounting manager easier and less prone to errors. The workflow, deployed via KNIME Server, is available as an analytical application in the KNIME WebPortal. It provides a simple interface for users to enter expenses and the executed workflow automatically generates the required reports.

This Innovation Note was written by our trusted partner S-IN Soluzioni Informatiche.

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