"Your Expense Report is Overdue!" - Interview with Parand Darugar, CEO of Xpenser
There was a time when I dreaded doing expense reports. Intel had a relatively smooth system, although it still required my regular visit to the supplies cabinet for Scotch tape and blank sheets of paper. In aerospace, well that was a whole different story. The proprietary Excel spreadsheet, undoubtedly the product of three interns and a summer of formulation, was a business traveler's nightmare. So much, in fact, that I outsourced my report activity to a company called, "Your Man in India."
But that's not always sustainable. For Parand Darugar, CEO of Xpenser, a simpler methodology was needed. After massing six months and in excess of $30K in back expense reports, his wife finally told him to open up the shoebox and get his reports complete. From that moment, Xpenser, and it's simple core concept were born: Enable the ability to record your expenses immediately. No more wallets full of receipts, no more forgotten and unreimbursed cash expenses.
Xpenser allows users to record and document their expenses right at the moment you have all of relevant information handy, instead of weeks (or months) later when you've forgotten where you were, who you were with, and what the expenses were for. The company's system is available on every device, every interface, everywhere, in what Parand calls, "omni-present interfaces." He explains, "We built connectivity to just about everything possible: voice, iPhone, Android, WebOS, email, SMS, Twitter, IM, browser search box, directly integrated into GMail."
Interestingly, the company was originally born out of the idea that individuals would use the system to create a stable method of record keeping, then later just transfer their information over to whatever expense report method their company used. As the company grew, so did demand, and soon, the accounting and management teams of small to medium businesses were seeking to adopt Xpenser company wide. And so the product evolved. Xpenser now works with a variety of different companies spanning just about every industry.
That ability to react to user demand is part of what's made Xpenser such a successful solution. Parand explains, "As our user base grew we found that users didn't want to learn what format we wanted them to use for their submissions – they simply wanted to send us what made sense to them. So we put a great deal of effort into figuring out what user submissions mean: we analyzed over a million submissions using artificial intelligence techniques to discover how to parse your submissions, how to categorize them, how to extract the relevant parts of the email receipts you forward to Xpenser, and so forth."Continued on the next page