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How Pets at Home got their paws on Webexpenses

Pets at Home decided it was time to throw the dog a bone and update their expense management process. But enough of the embarrassing puns…

Pets at Home is the UK’s leading pet care specialist, providing pet owners with everything they need. From food and accessories to vet and grooming services – they offer all you should ever want for your beloved extended family member.

With 9,000 colleagues working in its 450 retail stores, distribution centres and support offices, Pets at Home faces all the typical challenges of managing such a large, decentralised organisation.

However, amongst their howling success, Pets at Home was struggling with what is often a neglected part of business practice; the expense management process. Prior to their discovering of Webexpenses, Pets at Home used a traditional paper-based approach, with claim forms, spreadsheets and paperwork being posted between stores and the support office. They simply wanted to improve their management and monitoring of employee expenses.

Their previous, manual strategy created problems that are often commonplace with paper-based systems. They experienced a slow administrative process that required a payroll professional to manually key in a large number of business expenses.

With paperwork having to be physically shuffled across the organisation, it also caused the problem of information getting lost in the system. This became particularly problematic if paper receipts were to go missing with no backup… which as we know, happens all too often.

Simple and scalable business expenses

As a result, the company started to search for a smarter way to manage their business expenses. In retrospect, when asked what key features and characteristics they felt were a necessity for the chosen software, Maggie Davidson-Stevens, Group Payroll Manager stated:

In particular ease of use for our colleagues. We wanted a system that was intuitive to use and easy to access from anywhere (app as well as desktop). The system needed to give our colleagues the confidence that their data was safe, and they would be reimbursed quickly and accurately.

After some eagle-eyed research, the solution they chose was us, Webexpenses. We’re a cloud-based, all-encompassing online expense management software that removes the need for any manual or paper-based administration processes. We also provide our users with an on-the-go expenses app. As well as maintaining the same functionality as the online software, the app allows for you to take a picture of your paper receipt for it to be converted into a digital form, wherever you are.

When asked about how Pets at Home as a collective felt about the expenses app, Maggie said:

The app is a great feature as we have many field-based colleagues across the group. This means they can submit their own claims and approve reports on the go rather than having to wait until they’re sat at a desk.

The app is also inclusive of our in-house developed feature – OCR. OCR is a step up from prior tech, intuitively extracting only the key information you need from your receipt as quick as a whippet.

Since moving over to Webexpenses, the company has been able to effectively halve the time it takes to process and approve colleague expenses, freeing up valuable colleague time to better serve customers and their pets.

Improved compliance reporting

Along with streamlined processes, a key feature of Webexpenses that Pets at Home found most useful is the offering of integrated reporting tools. The ease of Integration with other core accounting and management software would now allow easy access to data through the entirety of their expense operation.

It’s a particularly useful feature when it comes to handling HMRC compliance, and making sure that all of the accurate expense and receipt information is provided in VAT reports.

Pets at Home was founded in 1991 with the opening of the first store in Chester. Part of the company’s success has been based on employing people who are passionate about pet care – around 93% of colleagues are pet owners themselves.  It is this shared love of pets that forms the unique bond between the company, its colleagues and its customers. Read the full case study from Pets at Home, here.

If you haven’t been put off by the pet puns shamelessly planted amongst this post, find out for yourself why so many successful companies choose Webexpenses as their ideal provider by requesting a demo.