Sara Barrington – a Concur client – goes as fast as she can when she works. So when she is away from the office, she likes to slow down.
Sara – who came from England, trained as a chartered accountant – has been involved in the success of several start-up businesses, contributing at the C-suite level. “The challenge,” she says, “is to build a robust company, without racking up costs.”
Sara loves the ease of reporting with Concur. After she rolled out Concur – as an Advisor – to automate expenses at the biotech firm Exosome Diagnostics, she was such a valuable contributor, Exosome decided to bring her on-board. Quickly, Sara went from Advisor to Concur customer.
Without hesitation, Sara says her biggest challenge this year is growth: “Start-ups must grow quickly. We’re adding people all the time. They have to be able to quickly manage their expenses so they can be very efficient with their time.” That’s where Concur’s flexibility is especially helpful. Sara says her employees especially like that they can take pictures of receipts, store them and incorporate them into reports.
Sara says she admires the Concur team’s diligence. “They are striving to remain competitive. Any critique we give, anything we have said we would like, it goes into the queue.” Their recommendation might not happen right away, but ideas and feedback definitely get attention at Concur, particularly when presented as Sara’s team does, with patience and a forward-thinking attitude.
In her down-time, Sara enjoys relaxing at home with her family. “We have taught our boys to stop and smell the roses, literally,” Sara says. Her sons are four and seven, and the family lives near the Santa Monica Mountains, an ideal setting for hiking and other outdoor activities.
Another great love Sara has is the Arts. She is involved in the not-for-profit company “Ballet Next” in New York. She helped set up the business model, emphasizing differentiation. The ballet company is active with its community, giving workshops and informal recitals for children from a YMCA. “It’s important for Ballet Next to extend its reach beyond a traditional audience, to newer generations that might not usually get exposure to ballet,” Sara says.
Back in the office, Sara and her team are examining the newer generation of computing. “True ‘cloud’ technology is still quite young,” she says. However, she and her team are big fans of hosting software. “Clients can be in different locations and updates are very efficient, with everyone sharing.” As for “true” cloud, their research continues to evaluate how cost-effective such a solution would be, and still fit the needs of the start-ups.
As technology evolves, Concur works to keep pace to suit its clients’ needs. And clients such as Sara Barrington are boldly adapting to changes, and giving useful feedback aimed at helping her company and other clients.