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DATABASICS develops automated timesheet and expense reporting software to help you control spend and increase visibility.
Below is our interview with Amanda Canupp Mendoza, Creative Marketing at DATABASICS:
Q: Companies are becoming more project-based as a trend nowadays; Should they track their expenses related to their projects?
A: Yes, absolutely. If your company is not yet tracking expenses related to activities, whether they are client projects or just internal initiatives, you should. Most companies today are changing the way they look at their organization, even if the company itself isn’t necessarily project-based like a construction or professional services firm. This is because companies are realizing that, since expense reporting is already a necessary evil they should be getting as much data as possible from those transactions. For example, if a company wants to capture the true cost of a sale when a salesperson travels to visit a prospect, they should be tracking who that prospect is and all of the costs related to that trip. A traditional client-based company is already doing this, but if your company isn’t project-based, there are easy ways to do this.
When we start working with a new client, the first thing our team wants to know is what that client is doing with their expenses and whether those expenses are being tracked back to an internal or external activity or project. If they are, it’s a natural fit to begin using the projects functionality of DATABASICS’ software.
On the other hand, we often hear from organizations that are not traditionally project-based that while they’d like to try tracking, they are concerned it will be too much effort or additional burden on the expense reporting process. They are concerned that that they will have trouble gathering the specific data, validating the data, and then figuring out how to analyze the information. This is where our team takes over to show how simple and easy this can be and how. DATABASICS’ technology can really be helpful in solving all of these challenges.
Q: How detailed of a data set can an organization track?
A: As an example, companies can track how much they spend attending a conference or how much they spend chasing a lead. Then, they should be able to determine what they got out of that activity in the end, how much return they got on their investment considering the costs associated with time spent, flights, hotels, meals, and other incidentals.
Q: How can DATABASICS help with these challenging tasks?
A: There is an easier way to track expenses down to the project level, even if your organization isn’t typically based around projects. Technology can alleviate the burdens associated with this challenge. The first method is to ease the burden on the end user of entering expenses by automating the data entry process. Modern technology like OCR (optical character recognition) and credit card transaction matching make entering data easier than ever. These tools also make validation easy. Typos and other kinds of miskeying happen, so having an automated tool in place to double check data is essential. Then, once all that data is in the system, it can be organized into reports so that you can quickly access it and understand what it means.
Once an organization begins leveraging this improved process for tracking expenses related to projects, they can begin to better budget for the future, enforce compliance, and get analytics to improve decision-making. Finally, at the end of the week, month, quarter, or year, it’s possible to look back and understand how much was spent chasing a particular lead or attending a particular conference to understand its value and whether it’s worth it to do something similar in the future.
In general, the technology does all the heavy lifting without asking for much more from the end user and provides all the reporting you need to understand where your expenses are going and whether you’re getting a return on your investment.
Q: What are your plans for 2018?
A: We’re busy here at DATABASICS on developing our next version, which will be a major update to the look and feel of the system. The current version has been out for a couple of years, and although the feedback on it is great, we know that we can improve the look and feel.
We’re also busy working with other technology partners to make data integration faster and easier. In 2017, we formalized our partnership with NetSuite by building a SuiteApp (now available in the SuiteApp Store) and we also built partnerships with Blackbaud, aPureBase, and IQVIA (formerly QuintilesIMS). All of these integrations provide a simpler experience when it comes to linking data between systems.
Q: How do you see your industry developing in 2018 and where do you place yourself in the industry?
A: We see several trends happening in the timesheet and expense reporting industries. One major trend is that customer service is becoming more essential than ever, even as some of the players in this space seem to be cutting back. Things happen. Things go wrong, whether that’s on the part of the software provider or on the customer, and you need a human on the other end of the phone. The differentiator is how quickly that problem can be solved. Customers are now wising up to the fact that a solution without customer service is no solution at all. That makes a software solution with award-winning customer service (like DATABASICS) stand out in a crowded timesheet and expense reporting market.
As for the industry in general, we are seeing that artificial intelligence and automation will become even more essential in lessening the burden on employees and administrators. For now, automation can take care of the heavy lifting, but we think artificial intelligence will begin making expense reporting as easy as giving Siri a voice command. It’s fun to think about what’s possible in the future, but we also like to stay practical about what our customers actually need. That’s why we will only make updates to our system that will actually be useful rather than overwhelming our customers with shiny, unnecessary features, which also makes us stand out in the industry.
Overall, we’re looking forward to a productive 2018 as we stay busy providing a practical, useful solution to the world’s expense reporting and timesheet problems.