No need to crunch the numbers; there’s a high cost attached to keeping expense management processes in the dark ages, and company leaders have spoken up about it.
The scary truth was revealed in a recent survey conducted by global virtual payments solution provider Conferma, who polled 250 U.S. Chief Financial Officers in company sizes of 500+ employees to find out how they are managing their expense policies and procedures. They discovered the average annual total cost of managing business expenses is over $1 million—and collectively, $33 billion is lost each year.
What’s at the bottom of this? Outdated expense management systems of course, which are all but stopping even the largest and most successful businesses in their tracks. Here’s why:
The survey revealed what we already knew, and the evidence adds up to a remarkably cumbersome situation:
An average of 328 staff members are authorized to make purchases on behalf of the company,
66% of the CFOs say their current processes take too much time, and
58% say their current ways of doing things cost too much money
Expense management systems put into practice before the digital age simply pull at all the wrong resources, relying on time and money that could be better spent elsewhere in the business. Innovative leaders are eager to turn that around—invest in solutions that save them time and money and allow their employees to focus on more strategic revenue-building endeavors.
This is a big problem: employees in today’s omnichannel marketplace are using different methods to make payments and claim expenses. Cash, credit cards and checks; in-person, online or via mobile device; it’s getting more and more complicated and harder to control spending without the use of modern-day technology. And when you consider that many companies use a combination of paper, computer spreadsheets and web-based software to manage expenses on the back-end as well, it’s no wonder details can slip through the cracks.
They’re Steeped in Tradition
When a company is committed to maintaining manual processing for the sake of “this is how we’ve always done it,” we can blame tradition for all of the costly bottlenecks and workarounds. Without an automated solution, employees are using their own (probably inefficient) methods to keep track of receipts, proceeding through a stodgy, paper-based expense reporting process and then waiting around for reimbursement (and that’s just the employee!). Company expense administrators grapple with the flip-side of the equation, shuffling paper, reminding managers to sign-off on expense reports and spending an inordinate amount of time matching and reconciling.
Ready for the Future
Fortunately, there are solutions available to help companies streamline their processes and save costs. Nexonia Expenses is an automated, cloud-based expense reporting solution that digitizes virtually every step of the process. It brings the business of expense management to the present. Through its user-friendly web interface or mobile app, employees can create, approve and process reports, and consider their outdated process a thing of the past.Why Forward-Thinking Companies Are Dumping Their Old Expense Management Systems and Investing in ProgressVIEW VIDEOGallery
The following article has been transcribed from an original NetSuite ERP and Nexonia Expenses webinar. We had some really great customer questions during that session, so we’ve sliced and diced the best parts for you below.Personally, I've been creating, submitting and approving expense reports for quite a few years in a variety of roles in different companies. When I ask someone about their current expense reporting process and they tell me it’s manual, we both exchange a pained look. Because we’ve both been there: trying to submit expense reports, copy and staple receipts, struggling to provide the right details. I’ve heard common stories about employees wasting a day or more trying to do their expense reports. And that doesn’t even begin to touch on the time involved from a finance team side of things with approvals, compliance and entering the information into the accounting system.
There's the challenge of timeliness: trying to get the expenses in on time, chasing down employees to submit before the close of the books at the end of the month, following up with these employees to get their credit card transactions and receipts, the annoyances are seemingly endless. With paper receipts, there's also the issue of visibility, storage and trying to track people down or find receipts that should have been included with the report. Suddenly, these receipts have a way of disappearing from the expense reports when you're trying to find it during an audit!
With manual expense reporting, there’s data re-working that needs to be completed by the finance and accounting staff. If you’re someone at this end of the process, you're probably familiar with all the corrections to expense reports that you’ve had to adjust, making sure things are coded to the correct GL account, for example.
A financial administrator needs to keep on top of obtaining outright compliance with their corporate expense policies. Frequent expense report submitters will, of course, probably know the policies backwards and forwards, but your occasional once a month expense reporters, well, they probably don't know the policies. They'll likely have a lot of questions. And really, that's resulting in more re-work on the approval side of things. And more back and forth.
And finally, there’s the challenges of reporting. If your expense reporting systems are spread out across Excel sheets, NetSuite ERP system and your credit card company, trying to compile everything in just one place to simply get a report can be a headache. Getting any visibility about where you stand with the expenses can be difficult, not to mention the challenges of corporate credit card reconciliation, personal credit cards, and for travelers, having to deal with foreign currency exchange rates and value added tax systems.
Well, that's where Nexonia comes in. Nexonia Expenses provides an end to end expense solution, from the creation of the expense report, through the approval process, and exporting into NetSuite ERP, all fully integrated with your NetSuite system.We're constantly enhancing our integration with NetSuite, and we currently have over 300 settings available with the NetSuite integration. As a result, there’s a lot of configuration that can be done to your Nexonia account, so we’ll try and address just a handful of questions we tend to get during a demonstration of our NetSuite and Nexonia Expenses integrated solution.
Q: "Is there a way to limit which customers, departments, classes and projects are available to the user according to what group they're in?"
Absolutely. Nexonia has some fantastic filtering abilities. We can actually get quite granular in terms of showing the employee end user only what we’d like them to see, tailoring these settings so that these users see only what is completely necessary to complete their expenses.
One of the most common features we integrate with is NetSuite Project Resources. This means that we copy the same project resource assignments from NetSuite, and apply them as filtered values for the user. You can manage resourcing in NetSuite and know the employee will be only be allowed to choose from their assigned projects when coding expenses.
There are also ways to restrict visibility and filter values within the Nexonia configuration, such as filtering expense categories by role or project, or filtering which departments, locations, or classes the user can choose from. There's all types of different ways you can filter those results, showing the employee only what they need to see in order to do the expense, not overwhelming them with every option available under the sun.
We can also use a NetSuite’s custom field checkbox if you only want select dimension values integrated into Nexonia - if you don’t want every employee imported into Nexonia as users, we can filter and only bring in the ones you want.
Q: “Does someone need to be a NetSuite user in order to use Nexonia?”
Not at all. The Nexonia Implementation team would simply need the person to be set up as either an Employee or Vendor in NetSuite in order to generate a Nexonia User account for them. We would only need one NetSuite user with Administrator credentials in order to integrate Nexonia and NetSuite. This allows us to have the permission to integrate via web services.
Q:“Am I just limited to reporting on my NetSuite dimensions?”
Nexonia supports a vast array of custom fields; whether you require them and we integrate them with a Custom Field in NetSuite, or they exist solely here on Nexonia as a way to enforce a unique policy rule, or as a way to gather information that you want for reporting. For example, say we create a custom field for your expenses called, 'Paid To Vendor'. Now, since the credit card transactions provide the vendor, we can automatically map that value into its own reporting field on the expense item - you’d be able to now run reports on spend by the business you bought from and explore some preferred vendor discounts!
Or, let’s say you have a field called ‘Business Purpose’, where users have to state what the reason for that trip was. Those fields can be a text-only form where they manually enter in information, or they can be drop-down menus that are pre-populated with information you've set up in the system.
Q: “Do you support different rates between different subsidiaries in the USA and Canada?”
Yes, absolutely. Let me walk you through something that works in the background of the Nexonia platform. It's called ‘Regions’. What this means is that we can set up different regions and have different default rules in place. For example, you can have default currencies for your Canadian employees and your U.S. employees. In a NetSuite Single Entity account, you can create Regions in Nexonia. With a NetSuite OneWorld account, we’d create your Regions automatically based on your entities - each Entity becomes a Region.
Now with Regions, there's a number of things we can support with that. For example, the filtering of specific customers or projects, or even specific categories. With the Expense categories, you can set up all these rules and policies, and basically dictate exactly which rules are in place for which Regions.
If you have a limit of $50.00 USD per meal for the U.S. employees, but let's say $40.00 CAD for Canadian employees, you're going to have those different rules in place, and the system will support them. In this way, you can set up different rules and policies for your different Regions. Now Regions are typically geographic. But you can actually apply these to any other grouping concepts you need. What I mean is, Regions can be geographic regions for different locations you have, or they can represent different corporate entities that we can support.
Q: “My employees always forget to add in notes on the billable expenses - how can I fix that?”
The Memo Field on the expense item can be made mandatory. That means that if an employee doesn’t add a memo, the item wouldn’t be able to be submitted. We can filter that requirement, so the memo could be made mandatory for specific expense categories, or only made required in the event of an expense policy violation.
If there’s specific details you want from employees, you could create a custom field for that and make that a requirement for submitted expenses. And, if the expense approver isn’t satisfied with the memo, they can reject that report back to the employee to clarify.
Q: “Does a user receive an email for each overdue expense report, or just one email a day, telling them their expenses are overdue?”
Good question. When you use Nexonia and have an overdue expense report, you’ll receive a summary email. So, if I have five credit card charges that I haven't expensed yet and they're aging past a certain point (let’s say five business days), I just get one email at the start of the day with a list of the outstanding credit card charges. So, yes, you won't be bombarded with five different emails at once, the reminder will just be one summary email at the start of the day.
Q: “Does Nexonia support credit cards issued from most major financial institutions in North America?”
We support integrating via a number of transaction sources, and we're continuously investigating other availabilities for further credit card feed advancements. So yes, we integrate with the vast majority of credit card institutions across North America and also support several others from around the rest of the world as well. This means credit card charges would appear in Nexonia after posting, and be available for coding or reporting. You get visibility into credit card based spend sooner, rather than waiting until the point when the statement comes in or the expense gets submitted.
Q: “Is receipt-matching based on the amount or are there data points?”
Receipt matching is based on date and amount information stored at the receipt image level, and matched against the expense item - either one you create as out of pocket or (my favourite timesaver) against the credit card transaction data.
As best practice, I photograph and save my receipts. I add receipt data, either manually or via OCR, and when I go to do my credit card expenses, the receipts are matched with the transactions already - I just need to confirm it’s the right receipt it’s found and I’m set!
Q: “Is each specific expense approved, or can all expenses on one report be approved in one approval?”
This can work either way. Essentially, the way it works is that all the expense items are submitted within the expense report. These expenses exist as line items, so you can either select the entire report and all the items in it and sign off on them, or you can pick and choose exactly which ones you want to approve and which ones you want to reject. Now, that's just the default value. You don’t have to bottleneck the process and hold up a large reimbursement while you try to clear up that $5 parking expense you have a question about.
We can also set up certain features in place so you can make it all or nothing if you need that feature in place. If you want all of the expenses to just simply be approved within one report, the user won’t be able add any more after that point. That's a default we can set up in the system as well.
Q: “Can the Approver, such as the Accounting Department, edit the expense on behalf of an employee for minor changes?”
Absolutely. Depending on how you want to craft the approval process, you can give your approvers the ability to make edits. When they make a correction for something, the employee will also get notified via email that something was changed. That way, we’re encouraging clear communication and keeping the employee in the loop.
You can also grant this overwrite editing ability to every Approver in the process, or just certain Approvers - it’s entirely up to you. Let's say your expense goes through to a reporting manager, and then to a project manager, and then to the accounting department for final approval. You could very easily have it set up so that the manager and the project manager only have “approve and reject” abilities. But Accounting, the final approver, can have the ability to make edits or changes. So again, Nexonia Expenses is fully configurable. It doesn't have to be all or nothing. You can grant that ability to specific stages of the approval process if you want to.
You can also add proxy permission to specific users in Nexonia. Proxy settings are automatically defaulted features for any administrators in Nexonia, but we can also add this feature for other specific roles. For instance, if managers need to be able to view expenses for all of their direct reports, we can support that, not a problem. If you want specific employees to be designates or proxies and create expenses for other employees, such as an executive assistant for a bunch of executives, Nexonia can support that as well.
Q: “How does the data transfer between Nexonia Expenses and NetSuite?”
The synchronization against your NetSuite instance runs every 24 hours. At approximately 4am while you’re asleep (unless you’re one of those early risers!), the system automatically looks for any changes you made to your NetSuite dimensions that day and updates Nexonia with those changes, while also exporting fully approved expense reports to NetSuite. Of course, you can also do this data synchronization manually, whenever you want at the click of a mouse. With expense reports, Nexonia also sends a PDF copy of the expenses, along with all the expense data into NetSuite. That way, you’ll have a record with full receipt information easily accessible for any future auditing situations.
Now when it comes to exporting data, we’re not limited to just sending it to NetSuite. We can also support simultaneous exports wherever you need them to go. For example, if you need information to be sent to Bill.com for payable reimbursements, Nexonia can send that information over as a separate report. If you have an in-house system, we can create separate reports that you can pull fully formatted into your local system. If you need the receipts sent to a third party such as SmartVault, or you need your expenses sent for reimbursement for direct deposit via ACH or through ADP, we can make that happen. The efficiency of Nexonia means that we can break out simultaneous export reports and send them where they need to go.
What to expect next...
As I mentioned before, there are hundreds of different features we can turn on or off with the Nexonia-NetSuite integration. There’s a lot of advanced features that Nexonia offers and I know it can look overwhelming. However, we will actually be with you live on the call during the implementation phase. We'll book some time with you, and walk through the setup of your account. We'll work with you to get your layout correct; make it as easy as possible, and as intuitive as possible for your employees to do their expenses. User training and accessible support are also included with the service, because setting our customers up for success is the cornerstone of our success. You can call us. You can email us. We're more than happy to help.
It’s always easier to see how Nexonia Expenses integrates with NetSuite, especially as it relates to your unique account settings and policies. Book a personalized demo and see it for yourself.How to Get Optimal Expense Reporting With NetSuite & Nexonia: Your Questions AnsweredVIEW VIDEOGallery
We’re constantly enhancing our integration with NetSuite, and we currently have over 300 settings available with the NetSuite integration. As a result, there’s a lot of configuration that can be done to your Nexonia account, so we’ll try and address just a handful of questions we tend to get during a demonstration of our NetSuite and Nexonia Expenses integrated solution.
Step aside desktop computers; the spotlight has now shifted to mobile as the star in the purchasing world, and this isn’t likely to change anytime soon. Mobile purchasing has taken off with great speed and it’s rapidly becoming the preferred method for conducting product research and purchasing decisions. How has this come to be? We’ve taken a closer look at this rising trend and the contributing factors to this development in purchasing behaviour.
Smartphone Accessibility at Your Fingertips
Now more so than ever before, we are witnessing a swift rise in the use of smartphones as a society, relying on them to keep us connected to the world no matter where we are. Consumers are constantly on the move; whether they’re running from home to the office or they’re en route to catch a flight for a business trip, life moves very quickly in the 21st century. For this reason alone, smartphones have become a highly utilized tool for consumers who are trying to keep up with their busy lifestyles. In xAd’s 2015 Mobile Path to Purchase report, researchers disclosed that in 2013, nearly half of consumers thought that their desktop computers were the most important research tool for making a purchasing decision. However, only three years later this figure has decreased to merely 43%.
[caption id="attachment_18234" align="aligncenter" width="952"] Source: Mobile Path to Purchase: Reaching a Moving Target to Win in Mobile, Adx and Telemetric, 2015[/caption]
Tablets and wearable devices are also gaining great traction with consumers, and the innovative advancements with these pieces of technology are making it even easier for consumers to purchase anywhere at anytime.Smartphones provide accessibility for consumers that they didn’t have 15 years ago, and because of this they are able to research and purchase desired products no matter where they are.
Mobile Optimized Websites and Emails
As consumers have switched their focus to mobile, retail and service providers have quickly followed suit. As of February 2015, 64% of decision-makers read their e-mail via mobile devices as opposed to desktops or laptops, and as a result companies have quickly jumped on the mobile bandwagon by creating intuitive mobile platforms. Responsive website designs and mobile optimized emails are making mobile purchasing even more appealing and accessible for consumers. This also includes creating easy to find and strategically placed Calls to Action (CTA) that will allow their consumers to “add to cart”, “buy now”, “learn more” or “request a demo” at any point while browsing the mobile site. By 2017, mobile devices will make up 87 percent of the total sales of Internet-enabled technology, and that figure will only rise from there on out.As smartphone usage has and will continue to grow exponentially, companies have to keep up with how their consumers are buying. This means adopting mobile-friendly resources to keep these consumers connected and informed at all stages of the purchasing process.
Fast, Reliable and Simple Purchasing Process
With access at your fingertips and website designs that are built for mobile navigation, the mobile purchasing process couldn’t be easier. Mobile credit card integrations are also making the purchasing process even faster for businesses, including instant synchronization with expense management solutions (such as Nexonia Expenses) and accounting software or ERPs. Nearly two-thirds of Americans own a smartphone and 19% of Americans rely on a smartphone for accessing online services and for staying connected, so to say that consumers are dependant on them is an understatement. Mobile devices and tablets are now acting as a primary research tool, an essential medium for conversing with fellow consumers and an easily accessible credit card when making purchases. Surfing the web looking for products and solutions couldn’t be easier (or less painful) than ever before! Check out It’s Time to Include Mobile in Your Travel Program for more insight on the integral role that mobile plays in the modern organization. The Rise of Mobile Purchasing: Are Desktop Computers Becoming Obsolete?VIEW VIDEOGallery
Mobile purchasing has taken off with great speed and it’s rapidly becoming the preferred method for conducting product research and purchasing decisions. How has this come to be? We’ve taken a closer look at this rising trend and the contributing factors to this development in purchasing behaviour.
Who ya gonna call (when you have a question about your Nexonia account)? Why, none other than our exceptional Customer Support team, whose remarkable reflexes and friendly approach to customer interactions has resonated with the administrators and users we serve. These Nexonians work hard to problem-solve everything from quick account fixes to complex accounting software data exchanges, making them an efficient unit and an integral part of the Nexonia experience for our customers. As Lead of the Level 2 Support team, Vishnu Singh has been with Nexonia long enough (a solid two and a half years) to see just how quickly progress has been made with the evolution of Nexonia’s products. In an interview with Vishnu, he reveals what working on Nexonia’s Support team is like, how his role has evolved and what makes working at Nexonia so great.
JILL: Naturally the first thing I’m going to say is: tell us about yourself!
VISHNU: I was born in London, England and moved from the UK to Canada when I was only 13 years old. I started high school in Toronto then completed post-secondary, and I’ve pretty much been a Torontonian ever since. I actually studied Journalism in University, which seems like a separation from what I’m currently doing now but there’s an element of customer service in journalism, just as much as there’s an inherent need to be a skillful storyteller in a Customer Support role. As a Support member at Nexonia, one facet of my job is to take large chunks of technical information (whether that be a feature request or a bug) and distill it into a cohesive and straightforward way for our customers to understand. At the end of the day, all that our customers want to know is whether their system or feature will function properly, so it’s up to me to relay important information in a way that makes sense to them and addresses their question directly.
JILL: It’s great that you’ve found a way to incorporate your communication studies into your daily work. So, how did you find your way to Nexonia?
VISHNU: Right before I joined Nexonia, I was looking for new work and a friend I follow on Twitter pointed out that someone she followed was tweeting about an open position that sounded like something I’d be interested in. So I followed up with Mark, the Customer Support Manager at Nexonia (who had been tweeting about the job) and we chatted back and forth for a bit before I came in for an interview. That was two and a half years ago, and at that time I think I was employee number 28. The office was much smaller back then; there were only four people who worked in Customer Support (including myself) and we all took on both a support function and management of implementations for our customers. Our team has grown quite a bit since then!
JILL: How has your role changed from the time you started at Nexonia to now?
VISHNU: The company has grown quite quickly in the past two years, and I’ve since moved into a different role. In order to scale our growth, what I worked on originally is now being handled between 3 different teams (Implementation, Support Level 1 & Support Level 2). Now, my job has become more focused on managing my team, following up with them and making sure they’re not being overloaded. My role as a Team Lead means that I have less tunnel vision; I’m not just thinking about myself and my own work, I’m able to see the bigger picture much better.
JILL: As a senior member of our Customer Support team, can you tell us what your day-to-day is like?
VISHNU: The Customer Support team at Nexonia is broken down into two levels, and my team (Level 2) deals with the more complex questions that roll in. When support tickets do come in, they are evaluated and assigned to Level 1 or 2 immediately. Compared to other support agencies out there, ours has a very quick turnaround for responding to support tickets. We often have meetings with our product development teams, as well as representatives of the various accounting software solutions we integrate with, in order to better tackle these ticket queries. My team also handles any corporate credit card questions that customers might have. Generally, when things are going well I really don’t have too much direct contact with customers, but I’m the first point of contact if things need to be escalated.
[caption id="attachment_18215" align="alignright" width="444"] Positive feedback from a Nexonia customer regarding working with Vishnu.[/caption]
JILL: Can you tell me about something you were really proud of while working at Nexonia?
VISHNU: Even though the front end of Nexonia is easy to use, the product in the backend has a lot of moving parts, and depending on the customer’s account, it can be quite complex to set-up. My proudest moment involves helping to set-up a very complex customer account on my own. Once that account goes live and is running on its own, it’s like “I made that possible!” It’s a really good feeling, especially when you can make even a complex process very straightforward for a customer.
JILL: What appealed to you about working at Nexonia? What do you enjoy most about working here?
VISHNU: First and foremost: the people here have created an amazing culture. These are people that I instantly connected with, and who I also enjoy hanging out with outside of work hours. I also find the growth and changes at Nexonia to be both exciting and challenging. It’s a great place to grow your career at because you’ve got a strong team who are all rolling up their sleeves to build better processes from the ground up.
JILL: When you’re not at work, what do you like to do?
VISHNU: I used to spend my money on going to films, buying new records and trying new craft beer from independent breweries. Now, I’m spending my hard-earned money on diapers and other baby supplies! My son is now five months old, so my main hobby at the moment is being a dad. We plan on travelling to the UK in the Fall to do a bit of a “baby tour” with my extended family there.
JILL: And finally, besides Nexonia's mobile apps, what are some of your favourite apps that you use?
VISHNU: At the moment I don’t really have a favourite app, especially considering I’ve been through four or five new phones in the span of the last year (a number of “butter fingers” incidents involving a jacuzzi, a lake and a concrete sidewalk)! I do, however, spend far too much time on Twitter (hey, it’s how I got this job) and my Instagram has become a collection of one of two things: beer or baby photos.Want to join this team? Nexonia is hiring! Visit our Careers page for more information on the opportunities available.Nexonia Employee Spotlight: Customer Support Team LeadVIEW VIDEOGallery
Who ya gonna call (when you have a question about your Nexonia account)? Why, none other than our exceptional Customer Support team, whose remarkable reflexes and friendly approach to customer interactions has resonated with the administrators and users we serve.
Move over limo and keep idling taxicab, because more people are hopping into ridesharing vehicles when they’re on the job. The rising popularity of sharing economy services in the B2B market is largely due to the fact that people are using them in their personal lives. If your colleagues are comfortable connecting with an Uber driver to provide transportation to and from a party or sporting event—and the experience is easy and convenient—they’re going to want to call on Uber when they need a ride to a client’s office or the airport.Travel managers have to ask the question: How will ridesharing services impact our T&E policy and expense management process? To help you answer the question for your organization, we’d like to share some insight to help guide your policies and procedures down the increasingly popular ridesharing path. Consider what B2B sharing services can bring to your travel program:
1. The Value Prop Trifecta
It’s hard to argue that by putting services in the hands of the people that use them, the sharing economy delivers hard-to-beat value. More companies are taking advantage of ridesharing services because they save time, money and reduce hassle.
Time-savings – Why wait in a long taxi line when an Uber driver can pull up at the curb in less than 5 minutes? Uber can give companies nearly $447 worth of employee time back, factoring in not only the time waiting for taxis and limos, but also the time saved from filling out expense forms.
Cost-Savings – Receipts for limos and rental cars can really add up. Businesses find that Uber is 40% less expensive than taxi services, and employers can save about $900 per employee per year by utilizing their service.
Convenience – It’s simple to transact with ridesharing service providers and drivers, as B2B users have access to advanced or on-demand booking. And payments can be handled automatically using a corporate credit card through the service’s app or via the rider’s personal credit card. Plus, if traveling in an unfamiliar city, it’s easier to get transported by a local than relying on public transportation.
2. Relevance and Momentum
Business travelers are using these services outside of work and their companies are starting to take note. As of September 2015, over 50,000 businesses were enrolled in the Uber for Business program. But let’s take a deeper dive into the research showing growth potential:
Ridesharing is on the rise. The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) Foundation’s 2015 Ground Transportation Studyshows the most commonly used methods of ground transportation for business trips Rental cars (36%), taxis (24%), chauffeured transportation (13%), and ridesharing companies (11%).
Ridesharing is preferred. A full quarter (25%) of business travelers participating in an ExpertFlyer.comsurvey said they now use rideshare services, such as Uber or Lyft, rather than a traditional taxi (17%).
3. Easy Implementation, Seamless Integrations
While companies iron out the details related to sharing economy services—like addressing duty of care issues and formally working new vendors into their T&E policies—getting up and running (make that driving) is generally simple. Cloud-based administration means employees can simply download an app and travel managers don’t have to worry about investing in any additional software programs. Plus, service providers can help ensure business accounts are set up with company-specific controls and sync up with their travel management software solutions.Your employees have the option to start using Uber for business purposes today and they can submit their digital receipts easily into Nexonia Expenses. We also recommend that you read How Business Travelers Can Live Like a Local for a list of helpful apps to use while on the road.3 Reasons to Include Ride-Sharing Services into your Corporate T&E PolicyVIEW VIDEOGallery
Move over limo and keep idling taxicab, because more people are hopping into ridesharing vehicles when they’re on the job. Travel managers have to ask the question: How will ridesharing services impact our T&E policy and expense management process?
The Nexonia Development team in Montreal is high performing engine of individuals who are responsible for designing, building and bringing to life Nexonia’s innovative products and solutions. Day in and day out, these teams strive to ensure that we are constantly improving our products and integrations to not only meet but to exceed all of our customers’ expectations. This requires a huge commitment from every department, however it is the responsibility of our strategic Quality Assurance (QA) team to oversee and make certain all releases - including new integrations, product lines or product features - are flawless before they reach our customers’ hands. There are many QA divisions, however it is the responsibility of the Mobile QA team to test the Nexonia mobile apps thoroughly, ensuring that all of our new feature releases are highly functional and can be rolled out seamlessly.So what does a day in life of a Mobile QA Analyst look like? I got a chance to sit down with Sonia Howa, our accomplished Mobile QA Manager, and learned about her career path, hobbies and life in and out of the office.
MADDY: First off, tell me a little bit about yourself!
SONIA: I was born in Paris, France, and spent my entire life there until I moved to Canada 4 years ago. Back home I have a pretty big family with 6 siblings - three brothers and three sisters, who are all still living there. I went to school in Paris and after completing my degrees I worked for a while until I turned 27 and decided that I really wanted to discover the world. There were lots of places I could have gone, although I was offered a career opportunity by a consulting agency in France that would allow me to move to Canada, so this is what brought me here!
MADDY: Where did you attend school, and what did you study while you were there?
SONIA: In high school I was very interested in literature, though when I started university at the world-renowned university La Sorbonne, in Paris, France, I decided to study Internet Technology (IT) and languages because I love to speak. I speak English, Italian, Spanish, French - which is my mother language - and a bit of Japanese. My second professional degree was a Masters in Computer Science from Paris-Est Marne la Vallée, and a fun fact about this university is that it’s very close to DisneyLand Resort.
MADDY: What were the subjects that really stood out and defined what you wanted to do with your career?
SONIA: I was really interested in studying how people speak their native languages; learning the origins of how words were formed and first created, why we say one word in a certain way and not in another, and the formation of sounds. I was studying Linguistics and IT while also taking some courses in English, Spanish, Italian and Japanese. This was a big challenge for me because it was mixing such different subjects - literature, linguistics and IT - and using different parts of the brain.
MADDY: Tell us a little more about your first job that brought you here to Canada.
SONIA: In September 2012 a consulting firm contacted me while I was living in France and explained that they had a lot of clients in North America, more specifically in Montreal, and that they were looking for a QA Analyst to relocate there. I came here to visit a few times before making my decision because I wanted to see what Canada was like and if Montreal would be a good fit for me or not. And from the second I arrived I was very surprised because the way of life here is so different from Paris; less stress and the people are so much happier. It's really quite different! The mix of nature and city was perfect for me, so I thought, "Okay. Let's make the move and we'll see how this turns out.” With that, I sold most of my belongings in France, packed up what I had and came to Canada with a great job offer. I started working as a QA Analyst for a company called LVL Studio that specializes in entertainment and second screen applications and I was in this role for a few years.
MADDY: Sounds like that was quite an adventure in itself! How has your career path led you to work at Nexonia?
SONIA: It's a funny story actually because the person who got me my job at Nexonia in Montreal was Julia [Gerdil]. We had worked together previously (with Quentin [Bricard] as well), and then our paths crossed again after we had both left that company. That’s when she contacted me about working at Nexonia. I had been working at another QA consulting job for about a year and a half until Julia called me out of the blue one day and said, “I'm working for a company that is trying to build a strong QA team. Currently there are 3 people on the team who focus on QA and product development, but I know that you're a QA Analyst so this could be a great opportunity for you to join our growing QA team!" I came with no real expectation of what this new role and department in the company would look like, but it was a very exciting opportunity! When I first met the Montreal development team, I could see that everyone was really passionate about the company and product. Nexonia was in a huge period of growth and there had not been an official QA “team” until I joined the other QA Analysts there. Nexonia’s solutions were attractive to me even back then and I could see its potential. Even though it was a big change from the entertainment and gaming industry that I had been working in previously, I knew it would be a great challenge. I’ve been working for Nexonia for over a year and a half now...time flies!
MADDY: How would you describe Nexonia's culture? How do you think it influences the company's success?
SONIA: The culture here at Nexonia is very different from other companies I’ve worked for, in the best way possible. When I first started, there were approximately 25 people working out of the Montreal office so it felt like a big family - and it still does! The culture at Nexonia is very friendly, collaborative, and supportive. When any of us see something that we could do or an area that we could change, the team supports one another and says, "You have an idea? Push it and let’s make it happen." It has allowed us all to feel like our ideas are very valued and respected.
MADDY: What's your favorite part about working in the Montreal office?
SONIA: One of the main reasons I enjoy working here so much (and of course it’s not a surprise) is my colleagues, they're awesome! I really love them, seriously. I'm very engaged in the social committee because it’s a great way to strengthen my relationships with my coworkers. That's the part that I love the most about working at Nexonia - everyone feels like a big family, and it’s a great place to spend your working life. I can see that people are very happy here because we're doing so much great development, both in our products and in our company. It's not just about the work we do here at Nexonia, everyone really appreciates the whole experience. A company can be successful and have a great product, but if the atmosphere isn’t welcoming then people are like zombies coming to work every day - which isn’t enjoyable for anyone.
MADDY: I'm sure your day changes all the time, but what does a typical day look like for a QA Manager at Nexonia?
SONIA: A typical day could start with a few meetings, the first being with my Mobile QA team to hear all of our updates, clarify problems that anyone may have and to discuss upcoming development and planning requirements from us. This is when we usually address all the projects that need to be tackled that day or week and make sure that everyone has everything they need to get the job done. My day also usually involves analyzing QA requests, investigating various issues and reviewing my team’s priorities for our overall QA strategy. I also spend some time creating test plans and test cases, as well as executing these tests and coaching my team. At some point in my week I like to spend some time investigating and researching new improvements for our QA processes, which will help the efficiency of my team.
MADDY: What's your favorite part about your job as a Mobile QA Manager at Nexonia?
SONIA: My favourite part about being a Mobile QA Manager is being able to see the end of a sprint when we're about to release it. There's a positive vibe coming because we know that we're achieving something great, and that all of our customers will appreciate the updates and features once they’re released.
MADDY: When you're not at work, what could you be found doing in your spare time?
SONIA: I like to work out at the gym so I work out a lot! I also love going to movie theaters and I can be found there very often watching the newest releases - I'm a movie addict! I enjoy all genres and usually make my selections based on what’s new in theaters that week. Also, if anyone wants to challenge or quiz me on any movie or TV show, you know where to find me!
MADDY: What are your favourite mobile apps on your phone?
SONIA: My favourites are mainly social media apps - Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and many more!Nexonia Employee Spotlight: Mobile Quality Assurance (QA) ManagerVIEW VIDEOGallery
The Nexonia Development team in Montreal is high performing engine of individuals who are responsible for designing, building and bringing to life Nexonia’s innovative products and solutions. So what does a day in life of a Mobile QA Analyst look like? I got a chance to sit down with Sonia Howa, our accomplished Mobile QA Manager, and learned about her career path, hobbies and life in and out of the office.