Expense Management with the Most Radical Shorts Company in the World: Chubbies

Joanie Wang —  December 10, 2014 — Leave a comment

What do you do when you love something so much and want to change the current industry standard?

You start a company (obviously).

Chubbies Shorts Founders

The founders of Chubbies Shorts. From left to right: Kyle Hency, Rainer Castillo, Preston Rutherford & Tom Montgomery

For us, we had a vision to rid the world of expense reports that suck. For the guys at Chubbies Shorts, they envisioned an alternative, retro glam lifestyle from decades past. Two completely different businesses in every single way, but both ideas were born from a desire to change the status quo.

The Vision

Rad O Ramas Chubbies Shorts

The Rad O Ramas, a Chubbies staple

“Three years ago, a group of us got together to create a brand that revolves around the weekend,” says Kyle Hency, co-founder of Chubbies Shorts. “What better place to start than shorts? I mean, you can’t wear shorts to work so they’re ideal for the weekend. We wanted to bring back shorts with a retro element, you know, the shorts our dads wore. We’re calling out to the 15-40 year olds who are active, watch football, and hit the beach with his buddies on the weekend. Chubbies is the embodiment of that lifestyle, and we’re spreading the message one pair of Made-in-America shorts at a time.”

A Step Back in Time: The Early Days of Expense Reporting at Chubbies

The Chubbies Shorts team

The whole, fun loving Chubbies crew!

Chubbies is a 30-person company based out of Jackson Square in San Francisco. “We’re all go-getters and super social. Some of our employees joined straight out of college, so they’ve never really done expense reports before,” says Hency. “As a result, we wanted an expense reporting system that is easy to learn and mostly automated so that we spend as little time as possible figuring out our expense reports and put that energy elsewhere.”

When Chubbies started out, they used Excel to track their expenses. “We would have employees fill out their Excel sheets with stapled receipts. I would plug that into QBO, then write them a check,” says Dave Wardell, Director of Finance. “It was a pretty tedious process and lacked the accuracy we needed. Everyone hated the process, and reports were often missing receipts or expenses.”

“When I joined the company over a year ago, I was actively looking for a way to scale the solution,” says Wardell. “We wanted a smooth experience for employees to encourage active use of the app and a system that could easily handle travel too. For example, we had two guys driving across the US on a tour in an RV earlier this year. Can we find a tool to help them manage their expenses proactively and set processes in place to help them be more accurate in the field? There had to be something out there.”

Concur vs. Expensify – Ding, Ding, Ding!

“Dave brought Expensify with him when he joined, but we were also looking at Concur around the same time,” says Hency. “We were thinking of switching to Concur until we hopped on a call with Christina [Draeger]. We wanted to increase the visibility and accountability of each reported expense. Our old process dropped the ball on both fronts. Not only did she give us everything we were looking for, but her explanation of Expensify’s roadmap and vision for the space really blew us away. That sealed the deal for us.”

Chubbies Shorts American Made

Saving time on expense means more time spreading the Chubbies Shorts’ mission

According to Wardell, the team has seen efficiency improve in a number of areas since implementing Expensify. “We’re currently pushing the mobile app as we continue to roll out the process to more employees. Direct deposit has been the biggest time saver so far. Instead of going through piles of expense reports on my desk and writing checks after approving them, I just check the app once a day to approve expense reports, then reimburse through Expensify’s web app. Credit card import is not far behind; not only does it help employees keep track of all their expenses in one place, but it also saves time with the e-receipt generation function. We’re so excited to start using more features moving forward.”

Last Words from a Happy Startup

“Expensify has been a lifesaver. It’s allowed our existing accounting team to stay lean and scale with the business, despite increases in T&E as our company grows. We host brand-building events around the nation and Expensify helps us stay on top of all the costs so we don’t blow our budget. We can’t wait to get corporate cards up and running on Expensify to help us manage our costs even better.”

Want to avoid clunky software and get your expenses organized? Follow Chubbies Shorts’ lead and give us a try — it’s free for the first 30 days!

Joanie Wang


Joanie Wang is the marketing lead at Expensify. When she isn't helping rid the world of expense reports that suck, she is doing yoga, diving into SF's culinary scene, or playing with her adorable puppy Arya.

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