How to Simplify Time and Expense Management with Mobile Apps

November 9, 2016

Posted by Ron Mechling, PSA North America Solution Director, NetSuite

After a lengthy assignment at a client site, a long plane flight home and unpacking, the last thing a professional services(opens in new tab) road warrior wants to do is sit down for the dreaded chore of entering their time and sorting through a pile of expense receipts.

Mobile apps for time and expense entry alleviate the pain. On-the-go consultants can dispatch with time and expense on the fly — over lunch, from a hotel room, the back of an Uber car or on the plane flight home. That not only saves time and effort for the consultant — it accelerates back-office billing and financial reconciliation.

As mobile devices play an ever-greater role in how services are delivered, industry leaders are equipping teams with mobile tools to streamline business processes and maximize productivity. A modern mobile and social work environment also makes firms more attractive to prospective millennial employees and improves workforce retention.

And with many engagements for ad agencies and IT consultancies shifting from retainers and flat fee work to project-based services, fast and accurate time and expense management is increasingly important. Newly enhanced mobile apps from NetSuite OpenAir give PS teams an intuitive and powerful solution for managing T&E.

Inspired by leading consumer mobile apps, OpenAir mobile apps for Android and iOS deliver richly functional T&E tracking tools that users have come to rely on through the OpenAir website. Both apps are available now at the Apple AppStore(opens in new tab) and Google Play(opens in new tab).

Intelligent Time and Expense Software

OpenAir takes mobile apps to a next level with intelligent time and expense software(opens in new tab) that’s contextually relevant. For instance, users will find payment types and receipt status pre-populated with default values. Foreign exchange rates can now be based on the date of a receipt. Taxes are automatically calculated based on where an expense was incurred and the user’s home location. (Some functionality differs between Android and iOS versions).

NetSuite OpenAir for Android (left) and iOS.

By better handling T&E details in the mobile app UI, OpenAir reduces reconciliation and guesswork by back-office staff so that time and expenses are settled faster, billing speeds up and project managers have more timely visibility into project financials. Other features include:

  • Instantaneous synchronization with your OpenAir account for up-to-date client, project and task data.
  • Ability to attach receipt images or other files from a phone’s camera or storage.
  • Improved security and single sign-on with Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML).
  • Swiping to navigate timesheet calendars.
  • PDF viewing in your preferred PDF viewer.

OpenAir has been investing in mobile functionality since 2000, with the introduction of mobile support for Palm Pilots and Internet-enabled phones. The updated mobile apps equip professional services teams to maximize productivity and minimize data entry chores to better focus on service delivery.

All OpenAir customers can try the newest version that includes all the features mentioned above with the latest release. OpenAir is committed to continually improving your experience on the app, and recommend you keep up to date with the latest version as soon as it becomes available on your iPhone or Android device.

Mobile apps are among a number of OpenAir enhancements as we work to extend leadership as the world’s #1 cloud-based professional services automation (PSA) solution. Be sure to catch the recent blog post on our new Project Status Summary(opens in new tab) feature, delivering a single snapshot of key project metrics, and contact us for an OpenAir demo and services value assessment(opens in new tab).

NetSuite has packaged the experience gained from tens of thousands of worldwide deployments over two decades into a set of leading practices that pave a clear path to success and are proven to deliver rapid business value. With NetSuite, you go live in a predictable timeframe — smart, stepped implementations begin with sales and span the entire customer lifecycle, so there's continuity from sales to services to support.