Coupa Integrates Expense Management With SalesForce - InformationWeek

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11/23/2010
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Coupa Integrates Expense Management With SalesForce

Cloud-based platform allows companies to control spending in real time, including creating expense reports, viewing project costs, and more.

Coupa Expenses for Salesforce
Coupa Expenses for Salesforce
(click image for larger view)

Coupa Software Tuesday announced the availability of Coupa Expenses for Salesforce on SalesForce.com's AppExchange 2.

"A small company like Coupa needs association with a big, known company like SalesForce," noted Jason Hekl, VP of marketing at Coupa. (In a similar vein, Outright.com recently announced its availability through Google Apps.)

Coupa Expenses for Salesforce is part of the Coupa Cloud Spend Management platform, a cloud-based service that, according to the company, "consolidates e-procurement and expense management into a single solution for managing, and more effectively controlling, all business spending."

The product allows salespeople to electronically file receipts and put the information into expense reports, and lets managers see how travel and entertainment expenses impact their budget before reimbursements are approved. Additionally, according to the company, "accounting managers gain intelligent scoring to prioritize expense report audits, and executives finally have insights into the true cost of sales."

"Expense management is very hot right now," said Rick Telberg, president and chief executive of Bay Street Group, which provides custom research, marketing, strategic consulting, and other services to the professional tax, accounting, and finance sector. "Expense management -- getting hold of your payables -- is a key component in managing cash flow. Particularly for today's self-financing companies, it's the difference between life and death."

As a software-as-a-service (SaaS) product, "financial managers can treat Coupa as an operating expense instead of capital expense -- and that is better for cash flow and for reducing taxable income," Telberg pointed out.

"You now have an expense reporting interface directly from within SalesForce," said Hekl. "This includes features new to SalesForce, like associating specific line items like a plane fare, or a meal with a customer or prospect, to specific activities. You can break it down by prospect, or by sales person. So the company gets more insight into the cost of sales."

"Most companies do their budgets in Excel spreadsheets. With Coupa, you review spending as it occurs against the budgets, and can make changes on the fly," said Hekl.

Also, according to the company, "Coupa Expenses for Salesforce.com provides decision makers with an accurate reflection of their total cost of sales -- including T&E expenses -- so they can effectively forecast revenues, estimate expenses, and strategically plan business resources. With Coupa Expenses for Salesforce.com, organizations can accurately calculate the costs associated with closing business."

Coupa Expenses for Salesforce isn't just for use with a sales force, Hekl stressed. "It's for anybody who does expense reports, like travel, going to events, service organizations. So it's also useful for customer service, consulting, and other services."

Coupa Expenses for Salesforce.com features include: preconfigured dashboards; expense reports that allow costs to be associated to a specific opportunity; and, according to the company, "intelligent audit scores and frugal meter [that] keep employees honest and help prevent fraud."

Available now, pricing for Coupa Expenses for Salesforce depends on company size, starting at around $20,000/year for 20-50 users.

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