Wednesday, May 23, 2012

CFO Magazine: Waking Up from Expense Report Nightmares

The tech reporter David Rosenbaum features ABUKAI's customer Jeff Harrison, Director of finance for Engineering and Maintenance for Cushman & Wakefield,  a privately held commercial real estate firm with more than 13,000 employees worldwide. 

For Harrison’s accountants, reconciling those receipts was a huge job. Collecting and mailing them was also a chore for his engineers, and did nothing for the top line. “When my engineers turn a wrench, I make money,” says Harrison, currently director of finance for engineering and maintenance at Cushman & Wakefield, a privately held commercial real estate firm with more than 13,000 employees worldwide. “When they’re filling out expense forms, they’re not turning wrenches, and I’m not making money.”

When Harrison started at Cushman last year, the company’s engineers were still filling out expense forms on paper. “They bought a hammer; they filled out a form and sent it with the receipt to their manager for approval. The manager sent the receipt to finance. . . . I lived with that headache at my previous company,” he says. “I knew I couldn’t go down the same path.”

Harrison began researching applications for automating the expense process. He found many, ranging from solutions provided by giants such as ADP and NetSuite to smaller, mobile-focused niche players. Many had “more bells and whistles” than he thought he needed. He wanted something simple, with a relatively gentle learning curve. He chose to experiment with Abukai Expenses, a mobile reporting application that today announced a partnership with Concur, a provider of travel and expense management platform integration.

The article also interviews Philipp Schloter, ABUKAI President and CEO who believes ABUKAI can help reign in abusive spending: “The CFO gets objective data,” he says. “For example, finance gets a picture of the hotel bill — the daily rate, what was spent on the Internet, the phone, parking, movies, all broken down — rather than a credit card where it’s all summed.”

ABUKAI is ideal for financial who want to run a more organized and productive enterprise.

Read the full story here.

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