London-based Coronation Fund Managers is an independent, specialist fund manager founded in 1996 providing sophisticated investment solutions to institutional clients.
Challenges faced with expense management
Most Coronation employees are frequent travellers and as the business has expanded, the amount of travel has increased proportionally.
Clinton Martin, Chief Financial Officer, explained some of the complexity that the organisation faced; a process that was creaking under the strain until Webexpenses was introduced:
Once a month, the finance department would update a spreadsheet with the latest foreign exchange rates, and we’d email this to each employee. Each staff member would input their expenses, print out the claim and send this for approval to their line manager. This often caused delay, as line managers were themselves, frequent travellers. Accounts staff would then input the data line item by line item to the company’s core financial software, Access Accounts. This was a frustrating and time-consuming task.
How Webexpenses helped
Martin explained that the benefits of a web-based solution were immediate, in the first instance in the front office. “The feedback that we received from the front office staff was extremely positive. Where previously they input expenses only once they returned to the office, they now enter their expenses wherever they are in the world. The exchange rate functionality is particularly useful, and they have been keen adopters on the feature that lets you send expenses by SMS.”
The benefits in the back office are also substantial, he explained: “The process was immediately transformed. The time savings in the accounts department are significant and we are able to post the consolidated data to Access quickly and easily. Where we previously input only summary data, we now include all data, including the description, which includes client details. Our auditors are particularly impressed by that feature. We also make use of the feature that allows us to flag expense items that exceed predefined category limits. This allows us to pay extra attention to certain items.”