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Unleashing the Power of Automation: Travel Requests made easier

26 July 2023


4 July 2023

UNIDO’s Financial Services Division in collaboration with the Information Technology and Digitalization Services Division announced significant enhancements to the Travel Requests application in the Organization’s Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) System. With the go-live on 4 July, the jointly developed update brings a range of innovative features designed to simplify and automate the creation of travel requests for all UNIDO personnel. Notably, this enhancement uses the power of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) to streamline the processing of travel advances and settlements, resulting in substantial time savings and improved user experience.

Following a human-centered approach to innovation, the cross-organizational development team has incorporated lessons learned and valuable inputs from across the Organization. In line with UNIDO’s reform efforts “progress by innovation”, the team has created a solution that meets the diverse needs of the Organization and improves efficiency, transparency, and adherence to UNIDO policies.

Let's delve into the main elements introduced in this upgraded version of the Travel Requests application:

Auto DSA & Terminal calculation: This feature enables the automatic calculation of daily subsistence allowance (DSA) and terminal expenses (TE) for both single and multiple destinations. The system also accounts for reduced DSA and Terminal expenses, providing a transparent and self-explanatory breakdown. With zero manual intervention required, this functionality saves valuable time and ensures accuracy.

Validation at the entry screen: To minimize errors and improve data integrity, the application now includes validation by contract type, trip type, budget line, and advance request amount at the entry screen. This real-time validation prevents incorrect or incomplete information from being submitted, ensuring that requests are properly categorized and accounted for.

100% automated advance payment: Utilizing RPA, the system now processes advance payments before the mission start date. This automation significantly reduces processing time, allowing travelers to receive their advances promptly. Furthermore, the system validates currency and payment terms automatically, minimizing potential discrepancies and ensuring seamless financial transactions.

Bank account selection: The enhanced application provides a drop-down box for selecting the appropriate bank account, streamlining the payment process. This feature reduces processing time and ensures accurate payments are made to the correct bank accounts, eliminating any potential errors or delays.

Real-time bank account update: For UNDP/Imprest Accounts the system now allows real-time updates of bank account information. This functionality ensures that accurate and up-to-date banking details are available for seamless financial transactions.

Unleashing the power of automation to enhance leaner, up-to-date processes focusing on efficiency, cost recovery, and corporate services further strengthens the Organization’s efforts to make UNIDO fit for the future.