For many pharmaceutical companies, having salespeople on the road is a key part of operations and business success. While some companies use a fleet of company-owned vehicles, there could be substantial benefits to switching to a vehicle reimbursement program — where employee drivers are able to drive their personal cars for business purposes. And, through a Fixed and Variable Rate (FAVR) reimbursement program, these drivers can be eligible for tax-free reimbursements. A FAVR program can often help save time and tax dollars, and can be a strong pull to help attract and retain top pharma talent.
A key part of any successful FAVR program is effective, easy-to-use, and compliant FAVR software that meets the needs of your business. From customization, accurate data reporting, ease of use, and more, read on to find out a few of the most important considerations when selecting a FAVR service provider.
What is FAVR software?
FAVR software and services can help companies streamline their FAVR programs by automating mileage logging, prevent tax wastage, easily provide reimbursements, and — importantly — help ensure compliance with IRS regulations. By automating mileage tracking and payment processing through FAVR software, both administrators and employees are able to save a significant amount of time and improve company efficiency. Leveraging a specialized and experienced FAVR service provider can offer significant benefits to your business and your employees.
What are the key criteria to look for in FAVR software?
A FAVR program allows for tax-free reimbursements, when business mileage is properly tracked according to IRS guidelines. As such, one of the main considerations when looking at different service providers is that the software is compliant with tax regulations for FAVR programs. This also takes off a significant administrative burden for companies and helps provide peace of mind that records are up-to-date and compliant.
The best FAVR software will allow for the possibility of customization and offer flexibility. As each business has slightly different needs and goals for their FAVR program, it’s important to be able to customize the package to fit the unique needs of your company. Particularly for larger companies, it’s worthwhile to understand whether your potential FAVR software can be flexible enough to accommodate different employee profiles and locations.
3. Accuracy and transparency
Accuracy and transparency are also critical qualities to look for in FAVR service providers. Look for software that uses accurate data collection — such as GPS — that ensures that business miles tracked are precise, allowing for fair reimbursements.
FAVR software should also allow you to have transparency into business mileage. Look for service providers that offer easy access to data-powered reporting and visibility into reimbursement calculations — a good software will give you a birds-eye-view of your FAVR program. This is important so that you can make data-backed business decisions and potentially spot areas for optimization.
4. User experience and support
Good software is only good when it’s also easy and intuitive to use. It should be straightforward for your employees to use the your chosen FAVR software, so your business can take full advantage of the suite of features available. Before you choose a FAVR service provider, be sure you thoroughly understand how the software functions — through both research and demos. Notice how easy to use it is — not just for administrators in your company, but for your employees themselves.
When software is simple and intuitive, it can help to ensure that it’s quickly adopted and properly used, which can minimize potential issues in your teams. Training and a library of resources can also help make employees feel comfortable and confident. It’s also essential for your FAVR software to offer strong customer support if any issues or questions do arise.
Evaluating data security and privacy
Data security and privacy are top-of-mind considerations for businesses looking at FAVR programs, and with good reason. While it’s important to be collecting data that’s required by the IRS and other authorities, it’s also important that the privacy of your company and employees is protected. Be sure to look into the data protection measures offered by each potential FAVR software that you’re considering.
Provider reputation and experience
It’s also worthwhile taking a look at the reputation and experience of your potential FAVR service provider. Read through testimonials, references, and explore what customers are saying — how that FAVR provider has helped a similar organization can provide insight into which one is right for you.
As a pharmaceutical company, take a look specifically at whether that service provider has experience supporting companies in your industry. A service provider who does will better understand the unique requirements and structure of your organization, and help ensure that the software will be the best fit for your business.
Understand pricing and return on investment
Finally, take a good look at the pricing offered by potential FAVR software options and what the return on investment (ROI) would be for your business. Many different service providers offer their own pricing models, and the investment for your business will likely vary based on your software needs. It’s a good idea to calculate the total cost of the FAVR software, including implementation, training, and ongoing support, to have a full understanding of the financial impact.
Once you have a good sense of what the costs are, be sure to also assess the potential return on investment. Consider the cost savings and efficiency gained compared to other methods and through the immense time savings that a good FAVR software can provide.
FAVR software is often a huge ROI lift for customers. Enterprises can save hundreds of thousands of dollars per year.
Clearly, plenty of factors are at play in terms of selecting the best FAVR software for your business. But it’s worthwhile to take the time required to clearly and effectively think through the available options, so you can feel confident that the software you’re implementing is the best for your business.
What’s the best process to choose a FAVR provider?
To choose the best FAVR software for your company, start by defining your organization’s requirements and priorities — understand what the must-haves are in a FAVR software, and then what other nice-to-have features could be. Once you have a good understanding of your organizations needs, create a shortlist of potential FAVR software providers that could be a good fit.
As a next step, evaluate your shortlisted providers based on your key criteria — this can look like research and demoing the software to fully understand the features and benefits of each. Once that’s complete and you have a better idea of which could be the best choice, be sure to take a look at proposals from each potential FAVR provider, contract terms, and service level agreements to more fully compare each of your options.
Examine case studies and references
Finally, another best practice is to carefully read through case studies and references from clients of potential FAVR service providers. Consider how they’ve been successfully implemented and the client experiences of all businesses can be valuable, but it’s worthwhile to pay particular attention to references from similar-sized pharmaceutical companies — this can often provide you with the clearest perspective at what can best benefit your similar organization.
With the time spent researching the best FAVR service provider and implementing it within your company, it’s worthwhile to think critically throughout the process to select the best provider for the needs of your business. Consider key criteria like compliance, customization, accuracy, and the quality of customer support available — these are just starting points to understand and compare different FAVR softwares. Investing time and effort in the selection process is key to ensure a successful FAVR program implementation in your pharmaceutical business.