This demonstration showcases a day in the life of a cost manager. Using a single user interface, a cost manager is able to rely on exception reporting capabilities to alert him/her of potential cost over runs. The ability to drill down from an aggregated level to a detailed line item view allows the cost manager to obtain the transparency he needs to understand both the magnitude of the costs as well as those specific items that are contributing to these costs. The cost manager also has the capability to confirm or dispute cost items so that further action can be taken for those items which he/she has exception.
In the first scene, My Spend, the cost manager for North American Support begins his day by reviewing the spending activity for those areas that he is responsible for in controlling costs. Selecting the My Spend application on his Launchpad, he is presented with a componentized view of spending costs by department. This is exception type reporting since thresholds have been set for which alerts have been defined. Notice the red vs. green status of the various types of costs that are incurred in each department.
He sees very clearly that in the Eastern Sales region costs are exceeding budget by 25%. He selects the Human Resources section and he can see the total Actual and Committed vs Budget costs for that area and that this area is contributing 13% to the overall 25% overage. He is curious as to what the spending activity has been for this area so he selects the View Expense Detail function. At this next level of aggregation he can see the various types of cost
categories and the actual and committed vs. budget spending. He sees a category = Costs that is 40% over budget which is contributing to the overall overspending.
He wants to focus on the Costs category so he selects this to drill further down into the details to see what is included in this Costs item. Here he can see that the Costs are made up of travel, spending and operating supplies. He expands the travel item and sees that external procurement costs are significantly over budget . He selects this item and the option to View Line Items. He sees the break out between actual costs incurred to date and committed costs.
Returning to the Expense Type view he looks at the trend of these costs by selecting the View Trend function.
At this point the cost manager can take action. He can reject the outstanding committed expenses for example and stop any further spending in this area. In the second scene, My Unusual Items, the cost manager is presented with cost items that have exceeded defined limits – another exception type analysis tool. He selects the My Unusual Items application from his Launchpad. He sees that employee training is exceeding limits by 400 EUR. Based on his follow up he confirms that this is acceptable. He selects the CONFIRM function and is able to document his acknowledgement that this item is acceptable. By doing so the exceed limit status is now changed to “cleared” status.
In the cost manager’s review of Personal Expenses, he discovers a discrepancy and selects the DISPUTE function. He is able to document the reason for his dispute.
Both applications provide the cost manager transparency into the spending activity for those areas which he is responsible. Exception analysis allows him to focus on those areas of greatest risk so he can act quickly to minimize the adverse impact to the company’s bottom line. All this can be accomplished through a single user interface that captures significant volumes of data, aggregates this data and then presents this in a meaningful way that can be clearly understood and acted on by the end user.