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The end of expenses as we know it?

Expense insights

Imagine a world where you didn’t have to do your expenses, how great would that be?

A simple action such as purchasing a cup of coffee whilst on a business trip has multiple steps involved, the majority of which come after you’ve actually paid for it! What if you could eliminate all of the steps involved once you’ve paid for the coffee and replace them with one really simple action of taking a photo of the receipt and uploading it via your smartphone? Not only that, but that’s the last you have to think about that transaction. No spreadsheets, no assigning cost codes, no arguments with the Finance team about why you don’t have a tax receipt.

That is what we are aiming to achieve.

As a business, we’re able to take advantage of a whole range of technologies that are available (both internal and external), and use these to create something that delivers the least amount of mouse clicks in order to process an expense report. We’re calling this the ‘touchless transaction’. What the touchless transaction involves is removing as many (if not all) of the manual elements involved in processing expenses.

Let’s take the coffee example; here’s the scenario: You’re visiting a client site and have popped into Starbucks to grab your morning coffee before your meeting. Once you’ve paid, got your receipt and had your drink, you then have to go through the tedious process of logging that expense.

Every business is different, but a typical end-to-end process will probably involve having to create the transaction (if you paid by cash) or wait for it to be created, if you’re paying by card. You’ll then have to scan a copy of the receipt and upload into an expense management system, or if you’re really behind the times – add it onto a spreadsheet! You’ll then have to code it to a cost centre and also provide a description. Once you’ve spent 15 minutes doing all of that it’s finally sent off for approval. Now onto the next receipt...

Our aim is to eliminate all of these steps so all you have to do is take a photo of the receipt – then you never have to think about that transaction again!

We’ve already implemented smart scanning; this means that once you have taken a photo of a receipt it’s automatically read and the key information about the transaction is uploaded into our system. When you do your expenses you are then provided with a ‘best match’ score so you don’t have to trawl through hundreds of receipts.

We’re going to go further though – by automating the whole process once you’ve taken a photo of the receipt and uploaded it from your smartphone, you’ll drastically reduce (or completely eliminate) the time and effort involved in managing your expenses.

- Kyle Ferguson, CEO, Fraedom