Deutsche Bahn running better with travel expenses app

Deutsche Bahn (DB) staff now also have a mobile application which allows them to log and manage their travel expense accounts, whether with a private cellphone or company cellphone. They have the benefit of a convenient, straightforward and contemporary solution – any time and any place. A travel expenses app was developed jointly for this purpose and is not only impressively user-friendly but has also been passed by the relevant tax office. DB Personalservice first had to overcome certain obstacles placed in the way by the tax authorities in order to obtain permission for travel receipts, such as hotel bills, taxi receipts, etc., to be scanned in digitally by app and destroyed by the employee after two months. Previously, the original travel receipts had to be submitted – a condition imposed by the tax office.

Now it is much easier to process expense claims for business trips: simply enter the travel data in the app, scan in the receipts and press a button to send the information to the DB personnel department – done. The travel documents are then sent by tablet or smartphone together with the travel expense claim. SPS processes all the data on the incoming travel expense claims on a daily basis and sends them to the Deutsche Bahn personnel department. The digitized documents are read with OCR text recognition software, checked manually, and archived if necessary.

HR management further digitized

“The good thing about the travel expenses app is that we receive digital input data which we can immediately process with automation systems, saving us the trouble of scanning sheets of paper,” said Oliver Hebold, Head of Projects and Information Logistics at the Personnel Service Center of Deutsche Bahn AG. “The staff at Deutsche Bahn benefit from a simple, convenient and secure service to which they have mobile and international access at all times.” DB relies on the secure mail solution of Swiss Post, IncaMail, for the transmission of travel expense data.

The data are therefore very secure and the staff can use their existing email addresses for the service. Deutsche Bahn has also been offering its employees the facility of the high-security digital dispatch of their pay slips via IncaMail for some years.

Deutsche Bahn processes 1.2 million business trip accounts per year

The travel expenses app was developed within three months from the idea right through to the first pilot project.

“We only managed to follow through with a project of this kind in such a short time by running the process swiftly and efficiently,” said Roland Wacker, Strategic Account Executive. “Instead of bringing a technical specification for roll-out to the table, we started with a dummy application or a mock-up, in other words. So everyone could see straight away what still needed to be improved.”

Not only does the app record data and receipts but it also runs plausibility and integrity checks. Users can log in at any time and see the current status of their travel expense account claims. The new app has been growing in popularity among the staff at a rapid rate for some months and already half of all claims are now submitted in this way. This is because the process of reimbursing travel expenses has not only been digitized but it has also been simplified and streamlined. The company processes around 1.2 million business trip accounts per year.

About SPS

We connect the physical and digital worlds

SPS is the leading outsourcing provider for business process solutions and innovative services in document management. A strong international client base relies on SPS’ ability to envision, design and build end-to-end solutions, and to be its trusted advisor for the key value drivers in BPO: location strategy, process optimization and technology, such as intelligent automation. Headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, SPS’ approximately 8,000 employees and specialized partners span the full range of the industry with a focus on banking, insurance, telecommunications and healthcare, addressing customer needs in more than 20 countries.
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Janet Tarzia, Head of Marketing & Communications – SPS North America
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