The Co-operative Group has implemented a cloud computing based platform from P2D in a bid to improve expenses management.

The retail and financial services chain is using the P2D eExpenses system. It said it has improved administration efficiency, financial control and management information, as well as providing staff with full visibility of where their claims are in the approval cycle.   

The system has been live for over a year and has delivered a full return on the investment made, the firm said. It replaces a paper form that employees would print out, fill in and send to the company’s headquarters in Manchester. Employees can also scan in their receipts.

Co-op, which processes around 1,200 claims every week, pays a set rate per claim processed, rather than a monthly fee per system user. As claims are submitted, line managers are notified so that they can authorise the expenses before they are routed to the finance department.

The company has expanded rapidly after it brought Somerfield stores and the Britannia Building Society into its business, following mergers with the companies in 2008 and 2009 respectively.

Adam Williams, head of shared financial services for the Co-operative’s trading businesses said the system chosen on the basis of “how intuitive the software is to use, the simplicity of deployment and customisation, and its comprehensive range of features”. Co-operative also visited a similar retailer that had implemented the system before agreeing the contract.