BCD Meetings & Events has released Expense, a secure tool for capturing, verifying and reporting nonemployee expense reimbursement. The new feature, particularly valuable for use with health-care professionals at medical meetings, is the second product on the MeetingSource by BCD Meetings & Events platform. The company launched Simple Meetings, a self-service booking tool on MeetingSource, in late April.
Reimbursing nonemployee travel expenses usually requires some workarounds to processes that are increasingly automated for company employees. "The challenge with nonemployee reimbursements has traditionally been the cost associated with providing a license to an internal expense system, or the time and effort involved in a manual submission, verification and reimbursement process," explained Ted Stone, senior vice president for global technology and products at BCD M&E. "MeetingSource Expense provides the attendee, from HCPs to speakers to VIPs, a straightforward and secure means to submit their expense data while providing our clients an elevated level of data accuracy and compliance confidence."
MeetingSource Expense is flexible: Organizers can add attendee information from any registration system and then configure fields at the individual-meeting level to use different expense categories and subcategories. Expense data can then be exported to a CSV file. In future updates, the data will be able to be extracted via an API and integrated directly into the customer's accounts-payable system. The API should be available in the fourth quarter of this year.
The web-based, mobile-friendly tool is straightforward for the end user, as well. Attendees can upload their expenses via smartphones daily as they incur them, or post-event from their offices.
The biggest benefit of the new tool, according to Jeannie Griffin, vice president of product and technology solutions, will be streamlined workflows and more reliable numbers. "MeetingSource Expense creates process efficiencies for our teams as well as our customers," she noted, "providing more time to focus on accuracy and data transfer."
BCD M&E intends to release more tools on the MeetingSource platform before year's end, according to Stone.