Settling local and overseas business trip expenses is a process that companies would like to go through in possibly the least complicated and most automated way. TT PSC team has proven to properly configure Jira to work well in this context.
Transition Technologies PSC is Atlassian’s Platinum Partner, as well as it has Enterprise status. The company’s activities connected with configuration, implementation, and extending Atlassian’s products with the use of original applications require a strong team that deals with this area only. TTPSC Atlassian department means nearly 50 experts who can carry out not only simple orders related to e.g. selling licenses or software renewal, but also make more complicated projects – transferring a process connected with business trip expense reports to Jira was one of them.
Business trip expense report in Jira
Proper configuration of Jira and the right choice of extensions make it possible to implement functionalities for the management group, HR team, and users who send requests, in the program. Each group has power and possibilities according to their responsibilities. Because of that, Jira software can become a main tool for settling business trip expenses. The most important sections:
- Submitting absence declaration
- Business trips, including:
- Requests for a business trip
- Settling business trip expenses
- Calculation of subsistence allowance
- Settling mileage allowance
- Requests for down payment
- Settling other business expenses
- Providers and recipients (including additional, specific functionalities)
The system cannot also lack settings strictly related to users: they can change the settings of their accounts, check what projects they are assigned, how many open issues they have, as well as what groups they belong to. They have a possibility of choosing a language that they want to use in the system and can choose access – i.e. Choose whether elements that they create will be available to everybody by default, or not (they can also change it in the process of creating a particular object). In the next part of the text, we’re going to describe briefly the most important steps connected with reporting and settling business trip expenses in Jira.
Request for a business trip in Jira
Settling business trip expenses starts with submitting a request for a business trip by an employee; in Jira, we have treated it as a separate project for which a user determines a type of ticket; we called it “Trips and business expenses”, while the type of ticket is ”business trip order”. We can have any name here – the most important fact is for it to reflect the sense and the aim of the functionality as much as possible.
Submitting a request for a business trip in Jira requires an employee to determine all crucial information, such as country and city, destination, departure and return date, transportation, and costs. People who like, want, or are asked to give more details can enter it in the description of the request along with attachments. An additional option is a request for advance payment – we have created a separate, simple form that makes the request go to the finance department for consideration.
Saving a filled-in application for a business trip is almost the last step connected with sending the ticket – data has been entered and still can be edited. If the employee makes sure everything is correct, they choose the ”send for approval” command – the request goes then to a supervisor.
Business trip is related to employee’s absence from work, and that’s why we have implemented an additional solution that allows for avoiding misunderstandings. A user reports a date of absence and determines the person for replacement – that makes all his/her tasks for this period automatically assigned to the given person.
Settling business trip expenses in Jira
Business trips are closely connected with costs and the necessity to settle them correctly – the process does not have to be long and boring. Because of the right configuration, all activities can be performed in Jira software – which allows for reducing the time of document circulation, and information stays in the system. We also ‘skip’ the need to look for a decision-making person in an office and to generate additional expenses.
Settling business trip expenses in Jira is possible when an application for business travel gets a status ”waiting to be settled” (again, we emphasize that the names can be changed). A button ”settle business trip expenses” appears in a form, and it transfers the user to the right form and causes a change of the application’s status to ”in progress”.
Status “waiting to be settled is the last one BEFORE a business trip. The employee changes the status into “settle business trip expenses” after return.
In the screenshot above, there are examples of fields that should be filled in during the process of settling business trip expenses. What information should be included in the form depends on the agreement with a client made at the moment of discussing the needs connected with the program – we implement solutions according to the client’s requirements.
Taking international business trips into consideration, we have implemented currency converting in Jira (current exchange rent can be taken from the national bank website). The software displays the amount of money in the currency of the country where the business trip took place and in the currency of the country that the company works.
After an employee has filled in all the bars/windows, the form can be saved (with the possibility to be edited) or can be sent straightaway for acceptance.
We have configured the environment so that after clicking the “for approval” button all the expenses are summed up; a user receives information concerning a daily subsistence allowance, how much subsistence allowance was given to him/her (summing up the total business trip time) and how much has been subtracted. Based on those records and possible advanced payment, there’s a total amount shown which will be paid. Krzysztof Stefański, Atlassian Specialist, Transition Technologies PSC.
If, after calculations, a user can see a negative amount, they need to return money to the counter or transfer it to a company’s bank account. A business trip request is automatically closed and marked as ‘settled’ after being accepted by the financial department.
Program for business trips, additional functionalities
The above description concerns an individual action connected with settling business trip expenses: request for a business trip, request for advance payment, and settling business trip expenses after coming back. We know, however, that in most companies it’s just not enough. In Jira, you can successfully implement additional functionalities, such as e.g.:
- Calculation of additional subsistence allowance – necessary when, in case of one business trip, an employee spent time in more than one country. In this kind of situation, they have to create additional requests for each of the visited countries and connect it to the previous settlement.
- Settling mileage – necessary in case of every business trip. Settling mileage in Jira has been treated as a separate form (type of report), which needs to be connected with a request for settlement of all business trip expenses.
- Invoice Request
- Searching for requests – one of the most useful functionalities from both employees’ point of view and the perspective of HR and management.
Business process optimization
If your company is looking for solutions that will improve document circulation and project management (in the word’s broad meaning, regardless of industry type), we invite you to contact us. Well-configured tools by Atlassian will meet even the highest expectations and specific needs.