Case Study

IDEO.org

IDEO.org, Expensify customer since 2014.

At a Glance

Accounting Package
QuickBooks
The Competition
  • Expensify vs. Nexonia
Wanted
  • Global compatibility
  • Direct QuickBooks integration
  • Easy-to-use app for tracking receipts on-the-go
Needed
  • Support for fund accounting and corporate cards
  • Per diem functionality
  • A process that would help employees form timely expense reporting habits

IDEO.org is a mission-driven design organization that addresses poverty using a human-centered creative approach. With revenue streams from multiple donors and employees traveling around the globe, the administrators at IDEO.org needed an affordable, user-friendly solution that was easy to implement, and could support fund accounting, company card management, global currency compatibility, and per diem functionality. More than that, IDEO.org needed a process that would motivate employees to submit expense reports in order to close the books on time.

The Chaos of Spreadsheets

Before Expensify, IDEO.org tracked expenses using Google Docs. The organization’s Accounting Lead, Amina Mobasher, would create a separate sheet for each employee; they would fill these out upon returning from a trip, and send back to Amina with a box overflowing with receipts. “It’s not just that the process was inefficient,” remembers Amina. “It’s that there wasn’t really a process at all. The whole experience was slow, cumbersome, and impossible to keep track of. I kept a Google Doc of updated per diem rates for employees to reference, but people would end up referencing an outdated version and fill in expense reports with incorrect per diem rates. On top of that, our employees hated the process and were always late to turn in their reports, so it was impossible to close our books on time.”

Automation: Streamlining the Process With Expensify

As IDEO.org approached 40 employees, Amina and her team realized that they needed to streamline their expense reporting process. They researched different systems and started testing Expensify against other expense management softwares. “Those testing Expensify adapted to it quickly; the interface was intuitive, well-designed, and easy to navigate. Travellers found it easy to capture receipts on-the-go using the mobile app’s offline mode, even when visiting remote areas around the world.”

“It became an obvious choice: Expensify had all of the functionality that we needed on the backend, but is also incredibly easy to use for both accountants and end users.” says Amina. “One of our initial difficulties was that employees just weren’t doing their expense reports, and Expensify really helped fix that situation.”

Redesigning the Expense Reporting Experience

“The benefits of using Expensify were immediate,” Amina remembers. “Expensify completely changed our employees’ habits, which simplified the accounting department’s workflow tenfold. Employees are happy because they’re in control of when they get reimbursed – the next-day ACH direct deposit motivates them to submit reports as soon as possible instead of waiting until the last minute. Expensify’s also great for accountants, because we no longer have to chase down employees and beg them to send us their receipts.”

Expensify has made us a much more efficient company. Our employees just SmartScan a receipt as soon as they receive it, and regardless of what currency it's in, we process the expense and issue reimbursement automatically.

Amina Mobasher

Accountant at IDEO.org

Favorite Features: Fund Accounting, Per Diem, and Saving Time

“As a nonprofit reliant on donors to fund our mission, it’s critical to know where every dollar is spent. With our fund accounting setup, Expensify makes it easy to import our General Ledger from QuickBooks into Expensify so that we know where every dollar of a donation goes. On top of that, the ability to set per diem rates in Expensify is crucial to our operations, since that’s how we reimburse employees when they travel. We no longer have to double-check that per diem rates are up to date, because everything is automated with Expensify.”

The best part about Expensify? “Expensify saves our employees at least half a day every time they file an expense report, and it saves me at least one whole day every month because I no longer have to waste time with manual data entry, hounding employees to turn in their reports, or chasing down paperwork.”

Expensify saves our employees at least half a day every time they file an expense report, and it saves me at least one whole day every month.

How Expensify Revolutionized IDEO.org’s Process

“Expensify has made us a much more efficient company. Instead of cross-referencing multiple Google Docs and emailing files back and forth, our employees just SmartScan a receipt as soon as they receive it, and regardless of what currency it’s in, we process the expense and issue reimbursement automatically. Expensify supports our organization’s fund accounting and per diem structures, keeps our employees happy, and pays for itself in the amount of time and headaches saved. The app helped create an ongoing process for us and alleviated the overwhelming, crazy time at the end of the month.”

“Expensify took our chaotic mess of a process and replaced it with a simple, easy to use, all-in-one solution – a solution we badly needed. Expensify revolutionized our receipt and expense management process, and IDEO.org is a more efficient, better company for it.”

Get Started

Ready to simplify your receipt and expense management process?