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Using Pleo – Dewhirst

How Pleo made receipt chasing a thing of the past for Dewhirst


The challenge

Founded in 1880, Dewhirst has centuries of experience selling tailored garments to the high street. The company has grown from a handful of penny bazaars in Leeds to an innovative £250 million turnover business. Manufacturing units in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Cambodia produce all kinds of mens, womens and sportswear, which are then sold on the UK high street through companies like ASOS, Tesco, M&S and Primark.

The business is split into different companies and trading divisions, each with its own accounting function. Because of this, Dewhirst was looking at ways to streamline the accounting process for employee expenses, and needed relief from challenges such as:

  • Credit cards creating manual work

    Before Pleo, employees used credit cards for their spending and made manual paper claims for out-of-pocket expenses. Manual statements were sent to employees for them to submit the manual receipt. A manual approval route followed, and the data was controlled in a manual spreadsheet. Dewhirst’s finance team shopped around for more automated spending solutions which linked to their existing credit cards, but nothing was suitable.

  • Missing receipts

    With so much travel between sites, whether from North East England down to London, China or India, knowing who’s spent what and when is key for the Dewhirst’s finance team. The manual nature of processing receipts resulted in a lot of time spent chasing employees to submit them to accounts, and consequently some were never received. VAT can only be reclaimed if there is a valid receipt, so there was an associated cost to missing receipts.

  • Fraud incidents

    It’s no secret that physical cards present a fraud risk as they’re more likely to be lost or stolen, leading to unwanted spending on your company account. Dewhirst was keen to minimise this risk going forward.

The solution

A much less labour-intensive solution to collecting receipts that’s easy to use for employees, and provides visibility for the finance team. Dewhirst used Pleo’s premium implementation service, complete with a tailored project plan and consulting approach, which meant they were seeing vast improvements to their expense process within just a few weeks.

“Pleo has changed how well our employees do their jobs.” - Financial Accountant, Dewhirst

The results

Thanks to Pleo, the accounts team now spends the time they would have spent chasing employees for receipts on more important tasks, like helping with HR and payroll. Employees also find it a lot easier to submit their receipts in a more timely manner. As well as saving the finance team a whole lot of valuable time – at least a days’ worth of work every week – Pleo has had a positive impact on other areas of the department too:

  • Money savings

    Because not 100% of credit card receipts were received before Dewhirst implemented Pleo, the business was losing money because they couldn’t claim VAT on every card purchase. Now, they’re able to claim back the full VAT as well as earn cashback on all their spending – just one of the benefits of Pleo’s Advanced plan.

  • Premium implementation

    Pleo’s premium implementation service, designed to empower admins with all the knowledge they need, meant Dewhirst was streamlining its spending in no time. 

    Thanks to the professional project management approach, it only took three to four days to set up account codes, tags and teams, and inviting new users was a breeze. On day four, the business had an in-depth user training session, with the first group of employees ready to start using their Pleo cards in an impressively short space of time. 

    During the set-up process, Dewhirst was fully supported by a dedicated Customer Onboarding Manager who provided exceptional training for the finance team and equipped them with best practices.

  • More accurate data

    Digital receipts have been a game changer for Dewhirst. The team loves that Fetch automatically matches receipts with expenses, saving time, and adds tags and categories, removing the guesswork. Having every expense at their fingertips makes it easier to keep their spending data accurate and up to date.

  • Better visibility

    All expenses and receipts are held on the Pleo platform. Having one centralised place for all spending data is handy as Dewhirst employees are located all over the world, and Pleo enables remote reviewing and approving of expenses.

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