Team Happay
By: Team Happay
Published on: March 1, 2017

A take on the gradual transition of expense management from the stone age to the robotic age.

Our history has displayed enough evidences that ever since human beings evolved, we have been trying our best to keep a track of expenses. Accounting for expenses has always been a priority. Currency & mode of transactions are the only two things which has changed over the years. We would like to take you down the memory lane to quickly showcase how the human race has braved this challenge, through eras:

At a time when barter system was the only source of trade, and well, expenses, the early man collected rocks (or coins, to phrase it in the present day jargon). The only form of expense accounting back in the day, was counting rocks, and was pretty labor intensive.

One of the greatest inventions to overcome the difficulty of counting, and keeping up with upcoming innovations was the Abacus. This helped people count significantly faster, with increasing accuracy and bought them more time to focus on.. umm, other inventions.

The dark ages brought in some pretty bright times with the invention of modern day coins as we know them. Coins brought with them relatively sophisticated practices of expense management as well, that included inventory counts and transaction histories.

The first 50 years witnessed a sea of progress and paved way for technological innovations today. The century of many firsts saw the first cash register, radio fax transmission across a continent which paved a way to more innovations.


And we see the advent of the very first accounting software that helped companies manage invoices, inventory and purchasing. This was one of the major landmarks in the evolution as this reduced the dependency on manual processes thereby reducing the error in the system. Another major landmark was achieved in this century which was the invention of Microsoft Excel, which went on to become one of the most used platform & was highly favoured as it simplified tasks & made simplified complex math problems.

The Y2K ERA:
This is when we embraced technology in the true sense. People were constantly spotted with PDAs & SaaS platforms started gaining popularity. This is around the same time Concur Expense Pro was launched but the usage was restricted to only a handful of countries.

We have witnessed a massive evolution since the onset of 21st century, not only the phones have landed on every business personnels’ hand but they are now counted a must-have gadget. With this, the expense management softwares have also become far more advanced & have now been adopted by all the growing nations. They are built according to the lifestyle a person has today where everything gets done on the move.

Automation is making its way through every aspect of life. We have self driving cars, pilotless airplanes, and even 3D printed food. Expenses are definitely not staying behind. Expenses are now filed with a snap of a picture of the bill on a smartphone, that converts into an expense report. The road from counting rocks has been gradual, and definitely rewarding.

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Team Happay
The editorial team at Happay puts together curated content that helps Indian SMEs and Enterprises take control of business payments. We create content on a wide array of topics from B2B payment trends and spend management best- practices to real-life case studies of how CXOs of different organizations use automation and mobility to manage business spends more effectively.

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