Leading UK charity benefits from a greener approach to expenses

Since being founded in 1992, Alzheimer’s Research UK (ARUK) has been leading the fight to defeat dementia through research.

The charity’s pioneering work helps to raise awareness and fund research into a condition which affects around 850,000 people in the UK – a figure estimated to rise to one million by 2025.

ARUK has raised more than £101 million to help tackle the challenge and now supports a network of 15 research centres across the UK, helping to coordinate the work of more than 2,000 dementia researchers.

As a successful and growing charity with an increasingly flexible structure, they started to search for a better and ‘greener’ way to manage their employee expenses.

The charity had been using a traditional approach with employees filling out claim forms and attaching paper receipts. The finance team had to manually process each expense report.

Greener way of working

Hannah Dalgleish, Finance Manager at ARUK, described some of the challenges they faced:

We introduced flexible working where people can work from home and this was causing issues with expense delays as they would have to wait until they were next in the office to submit the paperwork.

As a charity, we also want to be as ‘green’ as we can be, trying to get our paper use down and to help the environment and our expenditure. With the manual process we had in place, we weren’t achieving this and we needed to look for a system that would solve these issues.

By moving to Webexpenses, the charity has removed the need for paper-based processes with claimants able to use a smartphone app used to submit digital images of paper receipts. It allows for a streamlined and environmentally friendly paperless way of working.

Hannah adds why Webexpenses was selected as their expense management provider:

When looking at other products, we noticed that a lot of other systems didn’t have the flexibility that Webexpenses had, also Webexpenses has an app whereas most other companies didn’t. Having an app, really works for us as a charity as we have so many employees that work from home and are attending events etc. The whole design was better and easier to use and the support we have is amazing, if we ever have a problem or want to change anything, the team get back to us ASAP.

Benefits of flexible approach

The cloud-based nature of Webexpenses means it’s able to meet the needs of flexible working. Claims can be submitted from any location with the finance team able to centrally manage and monitor all data in real-time.

Hannah Dalgleish said the move to the new system had delivered benefits throughout the organization:

The managers are happy as they no longer have piles of paperwork on their desks, awaiting approval. The finance team can do their payment run super quick regardless of the number of employees and the claimants themselves, they can use the app whenever and wherever they are to ensure they get paid as soon as possible.

Our ongoing communication with Webexpenses is brilliant. We attended their recent event which showed us all the new products they had coming out and we had a great time. We would definitely like to keep in touch with them all and attend more events to get to know the team.

The mission for Alzheimer’s Research UK is to bring about the first life-changing dementia treatment by 2025. To achieve this they focus on four key areas of action:

  • Understanding the diseases that cause dementia.
  • Diagnosing people earlier and more accurately.
  • Reducing risks, backed by the latest evidence.
  • Treating dementia effectively.

Among the many high-profile supporters of the charity has been the late Sir Terry Pratchett; the best-selling author donating $1 million in 2008 and speaking publicly about his own diagnosis.

If you’re a charity or just a business looking to transform how you manage your expenses, feel free to get in touch with one of our specialists to find out more, request a custom quote or book a demo!

If you’re interested in finding out more about what Alzheimer’s Research UK had to say about their experience with Webexpenses, you can read the full case study.