This week’s Expensifier of the Week, Uproot Wines!
Fact: America loves wine.
Fact: Millennials really, really love wine. So much so that they’re changing the way wine is being marketed and consumed.
Newcomer Uproot Wines has figured this out, and they’ve designed their entire business model around this younger audience. After going to market in mid-2013 (their first harvest was in 2011), Uproot’s tech-driven winery has found its way into the premium wine market by word of mouth (also, a feature on the Today Show didn’t hurt either).
The Napa-based wine startup is all about procuring great wine for the next generation of wine drinkers, and astounding and delighting their customers plays a big part in their brand strategy. To delight and astound both new and old customers alike, they’ll need to incur a few expenses along the way.
Excel Spreadsheets: Rinse and Don’t Repeat
Expenses were the last thing on co-founder Jay Levy’s mind when he was building Uproot. “Our previous expense management system was pretty rudimentary, but it worked well enough that we didn’t need anything else. We filled out an Excel spreadsheet, stapled receipts to the expense report, and dropped it off in the office,” Levy explains. “I had used that [Excel] expense management template for about ten years, and when I started Uproot Wines, it didn’t occur to me to change the process to something else.”
Everything was smiles and rainbows at first, but not for long. The problem began when Levy realized that Excel spreadsheets did not support a thorough archiving system. “As the Uproot team grew, I realized it was essential to have a central repository of everyone’s expense reports in an easy-to-find location for accounting purposes.” Levy adds, “As a cofounder, partner, and investor at Zelkova Ventures, I keep up with what’s happening in the SaaS and B2B space, so it was through my position there that I heard about Expensify. Based on our initial assessment, [Expensify] sounded like a product that could solve that problem and improve on others once and for all”
With a new expense reporting tool, Levy had a few needs. “I needed to find a system that would be easy to implement and use,” says Levy. “Excel is tedious and time-consuming, but it’s also pretty easy to use. It doesn’t take much time to ramp up employees on it, and I wanted to make sure the new system would be just as easy, if not easier to implement.”
“The fact that I’ve been using Expensify for so many years says a lot. There are so many freemium products out there that make it easy to switch if I don’t like my current app,” says Levy. “At one point, I trialled Shoeboxed, but it was a no go. You have to send them your receipts, so it became more hassle than it was worth. I love Expensify, so I won’t be changing our system any time soon. My team loves using the app, and the [Expensify] process works fantastically for both Approvers and employees.”
An Expense Reporting Solution for Everybody
“When our employees travel around the country to sell our special wines, the mileage tracking feature is incredibly helpful in maintaining accurate logs,” says Levy. “I also hear pretty often [from employees] that the app is easy to use. The mobile app in particular makes the reporting process easier; our employees love it! All they need to do is snap a photo and let SmartScan do the rest. They also link their bank cards so that the imported card will automatically match the receipt to the credit card expense. While this process is pretty standard, Expensify offers a number of ways to report an expense, which allows everyone to be happy with the process that’s most efficient for them. As a entrepreneur and venture investor, I highly recommend that companies of all sizes use Expensify to manage their expense-related activities. Expensify provides a seamless workflow along with a great storage solution for these critical reports. It beats out Excel every time!”
Interested in saving time and finding an expense reporting process that works for your entire team? Take a page from Uproot’s book and experience it yourself! Sign up for a free trial or get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need help setting up!