Ryanair’s employee spend takes flight with Webexpenses

How do you handle employee expenses as Europe’s largest airline group, with 19,000 workers across 82 bases?

This was the challenge facing Ryanair Holdings, which had been using a traditional paper-based approach. It required paper forms to be filled and receipts to be posted off by claimants.

The inefficiency was frustrating for employees who faced long waits before costs were reimbursed. It was also contentious for the finance team who had to manually process all of the paperwork.

The solution they found was Webexpenses.

Ending the inefficiency of paper-based approach

Grace Crawford, Flight Operations Base Manager, explains some of the problems they were experiencing with a paper-based approach:

“Employees used to post in their expenses, so their receipts along with a document they used to fill out. We would then review the expenses when they arrived here by post.

“The employees were getting frustrated that it was taking such a long  time to get their expenses back and also they weren’t happy with the manual process of posting expenses.”

Choosing the best expense management solution

Ryanair Holdings considered several potential solutions before opting for Webexpenses. The system’s ability to adapt to the specific needs of the company was a major factor.

Sandro Percuoco, Programme Manager, said:

“We decided to go for Webexpenses because we found a solution that was absolutely able to meet our needs and had the capability to accommodate change and to be tailored for our specific needs.”

With close cooperation between Ryanair Holdings and Webexpenses’ support team, there was a smooth transition over to the new system. A phased approach was used to ensure a controlled changeover.

The new system reduces processing times, improves visibility for claimants and provides the finance team with much-improved reporting and financial modelling abilities.

Benefits of switching  to paperless expense process

Bryan Dunne, Head of Payments, says:

“Going from the old to the new system, the feedback has been very positive.

“It gives the claimants a lot more visibility of where their claim is. They know if it’s still with their manager for approval or if it’s with accounts for payment. The potential for time-saving is phenomenal really.

“From an accounts perspective, it could maybe save us a day and a half of processing. It also greatly improves our ability to archive and retrieve documents so there are many benefits.”

Ryanair Holdings has a fleet of over 470 aircraft with more than 3,400 daily flights carrying 154 million passengers each year to over 200 destinations.

The move to a paperless expense management process helps add to Ryanair Holding’s credentials as Europe’s greenest airline group with the lowest CO2 emissions per passenger kilometre of any major EU airline.

Take a look at the full Ryanair video case study.