AI Case Study

Ideo.org improves employee and bookkeeping efficiency using automated expense reporting

Ideo.org uses Expensify to automate expense report filing for its employees by generating the reports based on photographs taken of receipts. Ideo.org claims that it has saved their employees the half-days it normally would have taken to file the reports.

Industry

Public And Social Sector

Ngo

Project Overview

From Wired: "Expensify aims to ease the hassle of filing expense reports and other benefit submissions by automatically scanning user-submitted documents, and then extracting the data to fill out forms." According to Ideo.org on Expensify's site: "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." On their website, Expensify claims their product uses "gamification and artificial intelligence to smooth out the kinks in expense reporting. Much of this is done through Concierge, a virtual assistant that will help you make travel reservations, create your expense reports, and help troubleshoot any errors with your expenses."

Reported Results

The vendor reports on Ideo.org's experience using the platform thusly: "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. Expensify saves our employees at least half a day every time they file an expense report".

Technology

Function

Finance

Expense Management

Background

According to Expensify's website: "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."

Benefits

Data

Expensify relies on OCR to recognise features from receipt images, however, the company faced backlash when it was revealed that users of the free version of the platform may have had their receipts looked over by humans. According to Wired: "Covert human workforces have always been a crucial component of creating and maintaining AI-driven services, but last week, business management company Expensify set off a firestorm with listings in the crowdsourced labor marketplace Mechanical Turk seeking people to review and transcribe customer receipts."