I Concur! InRule Simplifies the Management of Expense Approval and Value Added Tax (VAT) Decision Automation
I’ve been at InRule for nearly six (!) years and I always love to learn about customers using InRule in non-traditional ways.
Most recently, I learned that one of the “Big 4 accounting firms” is using InRule to automate decisions around expense management and invoicing. The initiative, taking place at one of the company’s larger regional offices, includes integration of InRule with SAP Concur, one of the most widely deployed corporate travel, expense and invoice management systems.
As you can probably imagine, a large, professional services firm with a traveling workforce serving clients in various countries has myriad and extremely complex rules over regional expense approvals and invoicing. Prior to this initiative, the rules were either in the heads of the approvers or hard coded into the firm’s legacy systems. As the firm continues to grow and the rules become more complex, this approach is no longer tenable. The firm needed to find a way to standardize management of the rules.
There are several areas where the firm believed they could leverage InRule. Their initial efforts focused on enriching expense transaction data by applying different paths of logic to firm-related vs. client-related expenses, enabling more complex expense exception logic, and determining if expenses contained recoverable VAT.
Intuitive and Easy to Pick Up
The team was able to put together these rules in InRule before they even went through formal training, and their initial development team described working in InRule as “very intuitive and easy to pick up.” For example, they found the data model easy to construct, and they were able to load existing reference data at runtime with a REST service request to a cloud-based API.
The firm is using Mulesoft as the middleware to integrate Concur, InRule and its general ledger. InRule will be self-hosted in the firm’s Azure tenant until approvals for full Azure cloud deployment are finalized.
The initial implementation team, comprised exclusively of technical users, deployed the solution this past autumn. Future plans include placing management of the decisions in the hands of non-technical business users, as well as expansion of the solution beyond expense rules and VAT requirements.
I look forward to updates from our team in the region regarding success of this project and results the firm has been able to realize by using InRule with Concur and plans for further use of InRule within the organization.