Beekeeper is a Swiss and U.S.-based startup that provides a mobile-first communications and collaboration platform for organizations with frontline workers to increase business agility, productivity, and safety. Founded in 2012, Beekeeper started out as a social network and then pivoted to become the digital workplace for frontline workers that it is today. We had the pleasure to sit together with Beekeepers CFO, Herbert Sablotny, to learn more about Beekeeper’s expense processes before and after Yokoy, what advice he would give to other prospects and how they pitched Yokoy to the team.
How did you tackle company spending before Yokoy?
We used the standard solution in our ERP system, which proved to be quite time-consuming, not automated and sometimes over-complicated. As a modern SaaS company, we set a high benchmark for our tools and we also want to ensure that our employees have a good internal experience.
How does Yokoy help you as CFO at Beekeeper?
From a strategic level, I’m interested in the automation of repetitive tasks. My ultimate goal is that the vast majority of expense-related tasks are no-touch / automated and that our Finance team only spends time on setting the guidelines and dealing with exceptions, e.g., when items go beyond our expense policy thresholds or show patterns that hint at irregularities. Against that background, technologies like AI are great to identify these specific cases that warrant a closer look.
What convinced you to use Yokoy?
We’ve evaluated a few well-known expense tools on the market and none of them offered a true end-to-end automation (from the receipt all the way to the correct booking in our ERP system). As already mentioned, the fact that the employees, especially the Finance team, can focus on exceptions only and all other expenses are processed fully automated within seconds is amazing. Furthermore, the VAT recognition that Yokoy offers helps to ensure an automated VAT input tax claim back, which has historically been a manual task. As a global company, we tested the product in many different countries and Yokoy's receipt scanning and automated report creation function works even globally in different languages.
What are some unique challenges your company faces when it comes to expenses?
Like every global organization, Beekeeper has various legal entities incorporated in different countries. Yokoy strictly separates legal entities (for accounting- and ERP integration purposes) and approval flows (which can be cross-legal entities).
Can you remember a Yokoy aha moment that you or an employee had?
The moment when we realized that it only takes a few seconds to create a report, compared to the many hours an employee had to spend each month in the past.
How did you pitch Yokoy to your team?
The tool is user-friendly, self-explanatory and very easy to use. There is a 5-min onboarding video available (in various languages) for all new employees, nothing more was needed.
What would you advise or say to other companies considering Yokoy?
End-to-end automation is the key criteria to consider when choosing an expense tool. Also making sure that the company credit card transactions can be integrated seamlessly is important as company credit card transaction reconciliations used to keep us busy for days in the past.