Building Our Own Expenses System, How and Why We Did It
(and we will do it for you too)
There’s not enough hours in the day! I’m so stacked out with work! I’m sick of dealing with stacks of receipts! I’m losing money because I can’t manage my expenses properly, the tax man loves it!
All things I was thinking while running my small business, and dying under a mass of crappy paperwork. The final straw, sat in a motorway services going through a stack of receipts trying to get organised before the following mornings VAT deadline, it sucked! I was annoyed!
So what to do?
Funny how being really annoyed at something is a great motivator for action. So I had a look at what’s out there, what off-the-shelf expense management system can I buy that’ll make this easier? Wow, there’s quite a few to choose from. I got bored looking, so I chose what appeared to be the market leader, Expensify, great! we’re sorted……. at least I hoped we were sorted!
We’re a small company
But we have a few people generating expenses, including sub-contractors mostly. We had to set them up to be able to use Expensify, so we did, or we tried. Not everyone’s that good with technology, it became a little frustrating, but it’s a great system, so we press on. Hmmm, it’s pretty costly sometimes, a fixed fee per month for any ‘active’ user, so if one person puts one receipt through for say, £2 parking, we pay a monthly fee for that user that costs more than the receipt was worth. Hold on I thought I was saving money here.
But there’s so much more to Expensify and all the other expenses products, you can link to accounts packages and bank accounts and your doctors (perhaps not the doctors), but it links to most things you’d be using to run your business. At least it does if you can work out how to do it, and why on earth you’d want to. I’m sure there are reasons, very good reasons, but we’re small, we keep it pretty simple, we don’t want all that stuff.
There was something else too, all the systems to manage expenses are built to be sold to anyone and everyone in business. Like you, we think we have a different business, even unique, it’s not the same as every other business, it’s different.
What we wanted to expense wasn’t part of the standard options available, we didn’t feel it met what we wanted to do. In the end I was just as annoyed with the “solution” as I had been without it. There must be a better way, a way for a small business to create the solution they need, quickly and simply. That’s what we set out to do, build our own solution, something just for us, that fitted our business and didn’t cost money every month, that’d be awesome!
It wasn’t simple, and it wasn’t that quick, but, now we know how to do it, we could build a unique expenses system in 20 minutes that would fit whatever business we were in. We’ve nailed it!
It doesn’t link to our accounts package, because our accountants do our accounts so we don’t need it to. It doesn’t link to our bank account, what good would that do us? It doesn’t sing and dance, it lets us process receipts in a few seconds, then we can send a spreadsheet to our accountant with everything on it, in seconds, no hassle, no problems. SWEET! We can even store images of the receipts, so we don’t have to have a van full of scraps of paper (scraps of paper = money down the drain if you lose them).
Why have we told you all this?
Because now we’ve nailed how to do it we’d be happy to do it for you too. We don’t want a subscription monthly, we don’t want a big chunk of cash now. We will build the perfect expenses system for your unique business. NO ONGOING CHARGES, you own the system.
Let’s do it!