McMakler chooses Circula for the digitization of travel expenses

By Greta Pfiz  -  Jul 29,   2020



McMakler is a full-service real estate service provider that has been growing steadily since its foundation. The PropTech company stands for digitalization, efficient processes and the best possible services for its customers. 

Since the customer service at McMakler includes personalized customer care and advisory services on-site, the 300 employed brokers are often on the road, traveling from customer to customer. Therefore, about 1,000 expenses per month have to be checked. 

The approach of working efficiently should not only be decisive for external processes but also for internal ones. At McMakler, not merely customers but also employees should benefit from transparent, fast and accurate procedures. Consequently, a new solution for handling increasing expenses was sought. 


The initial situation 

Before digitizing the travel expense management, the various expenses had to be entered manually in Excel and afterward, all paper documents had to be attached. Initially, the system worked out well but with a growing number of employees, the manual accounting effort increased tremendously. In addition to that, the development of further sites eventually led to more complexity within the manual process. When an employee from another site, for instance from Stuttgart, had to send an expense to the headquarter in Berlin the documents first needed to be scanned. Sometimes, the documents were too large or difficult to read, which occasionally caused a delay in the process. Obviously, a digital solution for the travel expense management was needed to ensure the efficiency of internal processes. 


The challenge 

First and foremost it was elementally to find an application that meets the requirements of the regulations and guidelines in Germany. Therefore, a GoBD-compliant tool that complies with all fiscal policies was a necessity. Further, the user experience and the ease of use played an important role too. McMakler is onboarding up to 25 brokers every week, to prevent many queries from the employees and to enable smooth and fast work processes, it was important to find an app that is practical and self-explanatory. Hence, the goal was to offer a GoBD-compliant, user-friendly travel expense app to all employees, that provides more transparency in the approval process after submission.


The implementation of Circula 

After McMakler’s decision to implement Circula, a test run was conducted with a handful of employees. While simulating various use cases, it was obvious that the users were able to use the app quite quickly and easily. Circula’s manual, which explains the individual steps of the approval and accounting process within the tool, is sufficient to facilitate the usage of the app. 


Efficiency without piles of paper

With Circula, the real estate service provider digitized its travel expense management almost completely and thereby reduced the general paper consumption significantly. 

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The travel expense app is currently used in all sites across Germany as well as in Austria. Ever since, the approval process has become more efficient and transparent because the various steps within the process and the status of the submitted expenses can be tracked more easily. Meaning, that the tool provides better insight when expenses were submitted, when they were approved by the supervisor and when employees can look forward to reimbursement. 

Moreover, the increased transparency also reduces the frequency of errors. Due to the four-eyes principle, i.e the review by supervisors and the accounting department, and clear communication of regulations within the process, rejections are less frequent. In case of a rejection, the tool allows the user to explain the reason for it, so corrections follow quickly without leading to delays. 

Brokers can use the mobile version of the app to already scan receipts and submit expenses on the go. Thus, accountants and also brokers can reduce manual work to a minimum and save time. The documents are not only processed faster but also stored properly, guaranteeing the company the desired accuracy. 


To put it in a nutshell, the digitization of the expense management enabled McMakler to realize its maxim of creating efficient processes, internally as well as externally. The process is more transparent now and therefore less prone to errors. In addition, rejections can be tracked and corrected more quickly and easily. Last but not least, the digital processing and storing of submissions reduces the amount of required paper and documents can be viewed much faster.


Learn more about McMakler here

*Image rights: Raphael Thelen 

Greta Pfiz

Greta studies International Business at the ESB Business School, a faculty of Reutlingen University. Since the beginning of 2020, she is co-responsible for content marketing at Circula.