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Uber + NOVA Entertainment: embracing paperless ground travel to save on time

November 13, 2018 / Australia

As Australia’s fastest growing entertainment company, NOVA Entertainment was searching for an easier way for their employees to manage their travel expense claims.

With over 225 travelling staff, including a large sales team that spends a lot of time meeting clients on the road, employees were spending significant time entering details for each trip, submitting the claim, and then waiting for the accounting department to review, approve and process the trip.

A streamlined approach

NOVA Entertainment wanted their employees to spend more time promoting the brand instead of entering receipts, which is why they began using Uber for Business.

“In most cases they were using Uber anyway,” says Eden Skyring, General Manager of Finance at NOVA, “So, it wasn’t a change of behaviour for them really. They’re still travelling the same way; it’s just much more efficient for us on the back end.”

Now each employee has an account where each work-related trip on Uber is billed to the company account and feeds data to the Uber for Business dashboard, where NOVA can see how their workforce travels, view individual trip costs and tax invoices, as well as set rider rules for usage of work-related Uber trips.

Easy account management

Recently, when NOVA had a number of staff traveling interstate to attend the Australian Commercial Radio Awards (ACRAs) they were able to quickly change their employee expense account rules, allowing them to travel outside of business hours, and then on the Monday morning after the event, update their rider rules to their default settings.

“We also have our Nova’s Red Room Global Tour,” said Skyring, “where we’ll run a competition to provide listeners with an opportunity to travel overseas with NOVA. The most recent trip was in the U.S. and in that instance we were able to activate, for all NOVA staff going overseas, 24 hour Uber access, and all their trips were treated the same way as if they were traveling in Australia. So, we had all the data, all the billings. It was all pretty straightforward.”

Switching profiles is easy with Uber for Business.
Switching profiles allows NOVA Entertainment employee trips to be billed to the centralised corporate account.

Making the change

“It was very easy,” says Skyring. “We were given pretty clear direction as to what was required to get set up, what information would be available day-to-day, how the billing would work, how to download data, and system controls. We obviously had some questions around rider restriction controls. It was great to see that functionality has been built into the system to ensure staff usage aligns with what’s best for the business.”

Time and cost savings

When it came time to launch Uber for Business, Eden Skyring says the feedback was positive.

“The response from staff was immediate when the announcement was made that we were now live with Uber for Business. I received many emails commenting on the positive impact this initiative would have on their workday.”

And for the finance team, this has made their job easier too. “We have a dedicated resource who manages our Uber for Business dashboard and works with our Uber for Business Account Manager on our administrative needs and reporting,” says Skyring, “Given that we’re a finance team, we do like to put things in Excel and Uber for Business provides us with great data for reporting and analysis.”

Even though NOVA Entertainment is growing, and their ground transportation trips have increased given their need to be in market, they have still seen around 10% savings since their employees have been using Uber for Business.

For Eden Skyring, the best part is seeing the staff directing their time and energy to the core needs of the business, rather than worrying about travel expense claims. “It’s just not something they should have to put a lot of thought into. They’ve got other things they need to focus their attention on, and Uber for Business provides us a really straightforward, seamless way of getting around.”