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Webexpenses: before the cloud

Webexpenses has pioneered the use of cloud computing as an expenses management solution. But leading the way in the world of technology is a challenging place to be.

It’s something webexpenses experienced in the early years as the company found itself facing a business world which was not yet ready for such a game-changing concept. But it’s a struggle which would help to lay the foundations for the company’s success.

Webexpenses was formed in 2000 by three finance professionals who had all worked in major international financial corporations. They saw how a fledgeling technology, which we now know as cloud computing, could help to revolutionise the way organisations manage their expenses.

Instead of software and data having to be stored on individual computers and supported by an internal IT team, this new technology-enabled companies to access services and data via a remote server.

They saw how this would be a perfect solution for the problem of expenses. They saw first-hand how slow, costly and inefficient the traditional paper-based system was - bundles of receipts, claims lost in the mail and information duplicated multiple times into Excel docs.

It was an environment which had allowed expenses to become a toxic issue in the business world - something with the power to stifle an organisation’s productivity. It’s estimated that inaccurate and exaggerated claims cost UK businesses £3.5 billion each year.

To start tackling these issues, they brought in a team of software engineers and set about creating the very first version of webexpenses - one of the first SaaS (Software as a Service) products on the market.

Sanjay Parekh, co-founder and webexpenses MD, said: “We were ahead of the time in terms of technology, so you could say we were one of the pioneers in this area of cloud computing.

“When we started in 2000, the ‘cloud’ term still hadn’t been coined. We were still having to use phrases such as ‘application service provision’ to describe what we were doing - which never sounded quite as appealing.

“It was often frustrating in those early years. It was difficult to get the key concepts across because we were doing something completely different from what they knew.

“Companies would be asking us about software installation and what their IT team needed to know to manage the network. And we were saying; it doesn’t work that way - this is different and that’s why it’s so powerful.

“But as soon as companies started using it, we knew this was how expenses should be managed. It’s what helped us to keep our focus during the difficult times and hang-in until attitudes towards the cloud began to change. And once that happened, things quickly started to click into place for webexpenses.”

This powerful software, now in its seventh iteration, enables businesses to replace paper-based expenses with a hassle-free, fast and efficient digital management solution.

Webexpenses now includes a raft of tools, allowing organisations to take complete control of their expenses. The reduced processing time has been shown to save businesses an average of 25 percent in processing costs, 10 percent in T&E spend.

The software lets finance managers maintain and control their expenses policy at the point of use, as well as ensuring their organisation is complying with all legislative requirements.

The other game-changer in terms of expense management has been the way the webexpenses’ cloud-based system now provides organisations with a ‘real-time’ view of expenditures.

Claims are seen as and when they’re made; allowing issues to be addressed before they are allowed to turn into costly problems. It’s these features which have helped hundreds of companies throughout the globe to regain control of their expenses.