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Genesys Conferencing case study

With more than 1,600 employees in 18 countries around the globe, Genesys Conferencing is the world’s leading specialist in conferencing services and has earned a reputation as the most innovative company in the industry.

Genesys offers services allowing professionals to conduct effective, efficient virtual meetings and managed events in real-time, reaching participants anywhere in the world.

“I would certainly recommend webexpenses. Feedback from users is positive and it is very easy to enter expenses. It’s a fully web-based system, and as our accounting is centralised, it is very easy for claimants to obtain approval on their expenses and for these then to go straight to the accounts team to process.”

Armelle Koelf, Finance Manager for Europe

Challenges faced with expense management

Because of the international nature of the company, each separate national subsidiary is set up with the appropriate local reporting currency, cost centres and expense categories, under a single company-wide configuration.

The use of different base and reporting currencies, allows, for example, for a taxi fare to be incurred in US dollars but stated in Canadian dollars for local subsidiary reporting, and in Euro for base currency reporting as the parent company accounts are Euro-denominated.

Because Genesys executives are constantly on the move, and are responsible for approving expenses, a major challenge for Genesys was to improve the approval process.

Armelle Koelf, the company’s Finance Manager for Europe, describes her need as follows:

“Our top managers move around the world, which made it awkward for people to get things manually signed off. A key factor for us was getting claims signed by the approver wherever they were. And for people on the move, we needed a way to allow them to make claims as well.”

Another problem facing Genesys, and other companies operating globally, is the need to convert expenses in foreign currencies into the home currency. Koelf says:

“With exchange rates changing daily, deciding which exchange rate to use was a problem for the individual making the claim and for us processing the claim. Using webexpenses we get daily exchange rates and automatic translation into each subsidiary’s base currency, so we don’t have to think about that. This makes our lives much easier, as there’s no argument about the rate paid.”

Processing efficiencies

Before using webexpenses, Genesys relied on a paper-based system with Excel templates. Koelf says:

“Because everyone is on the same system, we’ve improved our administration and cost centre management. It’s all very clear to everyone where their expenses are in the system.”

How webexpenses helped

Genesys selected webexpenses because of its internet capabilities which give users and approvers access 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In addition, the company didn’t simply offer a standard product. Koelf described this flexible approach:

“Webexpenses were receptive to the problems we might have and any developments we might want to make within the Genesys Group. Price was also a factor; we could install webexpenses relatively cheaply and see the benefits without making a huge financial commitment.”

Efficient VAT reclaim

Reclaiming VAT can be a headache for many companies. This is compounded when claiming VAT in EU member countries. Webexpenses removes the complexity in dealing with VAT claims outside the UK. Koelf explains:

“The other problem we’re using webexpenses to solve is claiming VAT refunds, not only in the UK but also in other European countries. This goes hand in hand with trying to keep the process as tight as possible so we get the most back that we possibly can. We need to be able to isolate the VAT figures from the rest of the information, and the webexpenses system is making this possible.”

Integration with accounting ledgers

Genesys uses SunSystems as its core accounting system, for which webexpenses has developed an interface that allows consolidated expenses data to be posted automatically to the relevant purchase ledgers.