In Enterprises Account, Contact, Lead, Opportunity (Sales), Service, and Support information are typically managed in the CRM systems and Expenses are tracked in the ERP systems. To put it in simple words, when expenses are incurred, CRM knows the purpose whereas ERP knows the cost. To get a complete picture of the cost spent for a purpose (e.g. How much sales team is spending on an opportunity) is always challenging as expenses in ERP are associated with the cost centers and ERP has no knowledge of purpose to tie the data with CRM.
With the Trip Influence app, SharSolutions is providing a solution to publish expenses information in CRM where by business is provided with a complete 360-degree view of revenue and expenses in CRM that include answers to the following key questions.
- What is the cost of the revenue?
- How much as an organization are we spending on a client?
- Are our travel expenses justified?
*Along with expenses data in CRM, data is fed into ERP to ensure ERP has all the data it needs for resource planning.
Sample charts providing information at Account Level and Opportunity Level
Currently, Salesforce does not provide out of the box expense tracking application. Trip Influence application complements Salesforce by becoming the missing piece in cost or expense tracking. This document will go through the features of this application and the steps users must follow to bring the most out of the application.
Trip influence revolves around following concepts
- Trip Purpose
- Trip User
- Trip Expense
- Trip Expense Sharing
The Trip object represents a trip. This entity stores the status of the trip such as ‘In Planning’ and the start and end date of the trip.
The Trip purpose is a junction object that connects the trip with the purpose. Purpose can be any record in the CRM standard or a custom object record. For example, for the Sales team visiting a client for an Opportunity, the opportunity record is the purpose; for Account management team visiting a client for relation building, the client Account record is the purpose.
A Trip can have one or more purposes. E.g. A Sales Manager visiting Arizona on multiple opportunities.
Trip User object represents a user on a trip. One or more users can go on a trip. Once a user is added to a trip, the system automatically provides the user access to the trip record so that the user can enter his/her expenses.
Trip Expense object represents the expenses incurred.
Trip Expense Sharing
For the expenses that are shared among multiple users, (e.g. A rental car shared by two users on the trip), this object holds the share information so we can accurately know the cost spent and cost contributed by each user to the trip.
Once the Trip Influence App is installed and configured by Admin, users can access the app in the app listing on the Salesforce display Top right drop-down panel.
Depends on the Permission configured by Admin, Users will see either all or subset of the tabs.
Note: Trip Purpose Category Settings is only available for the Admin.
Depends on the permissions configured, certain users with Trip Manager or Trip Admin permission can create Trips. Just like any Salesforce object tab, users can use the Trip tab to create Trip.
On the Trip Create Panel, enter the information about the Trip and Save.
Associate Users to Trip
Once a Trip Record is created, the first and foremost step is to associate the users who will be part of the Trip. To easily add/remove multiple users to/from the Trip record a custom UI named “Manage Trip Users” is provided with the application. “Manage Trip Users” page is available on the Trip record detail page’s Trip User Related List.
Manage Trip User UI Provides two means of loading users
- Easy UI (On the Fly search)
- CSV Import
Once the users are filtered or loaded into available users panel, To add users to the trip, follow these steps
- Select the users in Available users panel (Panel allows Multi item selection Use CTRL + or SHIFT + to select multi records)
- Once Available user records were selected, use the Add button in the middle to move the items to the selected user records
- Save the changes.
Similar to add users, to remove, multi select the user records to remove from the trip in the Selected Users panel and use the Remove button in the middle to remove the users from Selected users. Save the changes.
By default, Easy UI will load first 1000 Salesforce Users of the system. If the org has more than 1000 Users, to enable selection beyond 1000 Users and also to narrow down the available users, the UI provides Filtering capability. To filter the available users, just type the start of the name and click filter.
If the Users for the trip is pre-known and are available as a CSV file with Columns
Use the CSV Import to load the entries of the file into available Users panel.
Associate Purposes to Trip
Purposes are CRM record, For example, If a Sales Trip is regarding an Opportunity, then the Opportunity record is the Purpose of the trip.
To easily add/remove purposes to/from the trip a custom UI “Manage Purposes” is packaged along with the app. Manage Trip Purposes” page is available on the Trip record detail page’s Trip Purpose Related List.
The UI provides three options to load the purposes.
- Easy UI (On the Fly search)
- CSV Import
- Report (Load records by running report)
Once the purposes are loaded into available purposes panel, To add purposes to the trip, follow these steps
- Select the purposes in Available purposes panel (Panel allows Multi item selection Use CTRL + or SHIFT + to select multi records)
- Once Available purposes records were selected, use the Add button in the middle to move the items to the selected purposes records
- Save the changes.
Similar to add purposes, to remove, multi select the purposes records to remove from the trip in the Selected Purposes panel and use the Remove button in the middle to remove the purposes from Selected users. Save the changes.
Easy UI provides searching Account, Opportunity and Case records for associating them with Trip as Purposes. Type the start of the purpose name and click search to list the matched records in Available purposes panel. The UI will load up to 1000 purposes that match the search string. As captured in “Add Purposes” section, Move the record to Selected Purposes panel and save to create multiple purposes for the Trip.
If the purposes for the trip is pre-known and are available as a CSV file with columns
Use the CSV Import to load the entries of the file into available Purposes panel.
The purposes listed in the Salesforce Reports can be used to associate purpose with the Trip. When opting for this option, Users will be presented with Reports available under “Trip Influence Data” folder for selection. After report selection, the user has to select the column in the report that is the purpose record. Once Report and the Purpose columns were selected, clicking “Run Report” will execute the report and load the purposes in the available purposes column.
Manage Purpose Weight
If the Trip is associated with multiple purposes, by default all the expenses are equally shared among the purposes. This may not be ideal. For example, If a user went on a three days trip and spent two days on one opportunity and one day on another opportunity, expenses have to share on the ratio 2/3 and 1/3.
Manage Weight Factors helps set up the expense distribution factor for the purposes.
Weight Factor is a factor, and it can be any number may be a percentage or may be a time in days or may be hours or any thing. As long as the factor type happens to be same across trip purposes, it is fine.
The formula to calculate weight on purpose is:
Weight Factor of the purpose / Sum of All the weight factor of the trip purposes.
If a user went on a three days trip and spent two days on one opportunity and one day on another opportunity, Setting the Weight factor for the first opportunity as two, and one for another opportunity, purpose, the expenses will be distributed 2/3 and 1/3 for the opportunities respectively.
By setting the Weight factors as 66.67 and 33.33 on the purposes, will achieve the same distribution.
The application provides a custom page for easy expense entering. This page is accessible from the “Trip Expense Entry” tab and also in the Trip Page, Expense related list button “Manage Expenses”.
The page, when launched from Trip detail page, has the Trip context and won't prompt for Trip selection from the user.
Trip Expense Entry
The page, when launched from “Trip Expense Entry” tab will request the User to select their trip first before Expense entry.
Trip Information section provides users with an easy UI listing the previously entered expenses and gives an option to enter new expenses.
To Enter new Expenses
- Choose the date of expense in the Date column.
- Type description of the expense in description cell.
- Make expense entries in the required cells.
- Save the changes.
To update an existing expense, update the amount, date or description and save. To remove an existing expense, remove the amount entry and save.
To add more expense than listed, use “Add Expense Row” button to add more expense rows and make entry.
The user can also navigate to the trip detail page by clicking on the trip link provided in expense page.
Note: If user Accesses expenses page via Manage Expenses button, then the user will be redirected to the expense page of that particular trip only.
The application maintains amount spent and amount contributed for every users on the Trip. For example, if two users are going on a trip, one user is paying for the Rental car (Say $200), and Rental car is shared among the users, then for User 1, Amount Spent is $200 and Amount Contributed is $100 and For User 2, Amount Spent is $0 and Amount Contributed is $100.
With sharing, users amount spent and Contributed are properly captured and there by App can properly report the over spender and under spender.
Expenses can be shared among users of the same trip. To share expenses, select the Expense sharing mode.
Select the checkbox next to expenses for sharing in expense table.
Specify the users with whom to share the expenses and specify how you like to share either amount or percent.
Save the changes.
Once the expenses are shared, shared expenses are shown along with a share icon.
By clicking on the share icon, user can able to see and edit the sharing record of that expense.
By default, All the expenses are split among the purposes as per the Weight Factor of the purpose as Weighted Expense. There are instances where expenses have to associate with a particular purpose. For Example, Amount spent on a Client Dinner should be associated with the Client Account Purpose as Fixed cost and should not be associated with other purposes of the trip.
To achieve this Tagging functionality is used.
To tag expenses with Purpose, select the Expense Tagging Mode
Select the Expenses for Tagging
Select the purpose to associate the expenses with and save.
To remove the tag information, select the Expenses that were tagged before and select “—None—“ Purpose and Save.
Next in Pipeline
Following are the few important features we envision for the future releases of the application
- Mobile and Tablet app for Expense input.
- Modules for various ERP systems integration
- Integration module to push and pull expenses information to and from offload data store.