Founded in 2015, Pathao is an on-demand digital platform and transportation network company headquartered in Dhaka, Bangladesh. As one of the fastest growing tech startups in Asia and the #1 platform in Bangladesh, Pathao provides an app-based solution with ride sharing, food delivery, and e-commerce logistics services. By harnessing the power of technology, Pathao aims to solve some of the country’s most challenging problems in logistics and transportation by providing all services in one platform.
Director of Accounts and Finance
Asif Khondaker manages all of the financial reporting of both parent and subsidiary companies within Pathao, along with treasury management, budget and cash flow forecasting and is responsible for designing and implementing internal and financial controls.
Asif has fully reformed the department and optimized the level of staffing. Within the 2 years he’s been at Pathao, he’s designed and streamlined all of the operational and financial processes and controls. Cleaning up two years of accounts, and with the help of Procurify, he’s made them audit ready and successfully completed two statutory audits and undergoing a third.
Pathao is mainly a ridesharing company, with its main competitor being Uber. They are in the ridesharing and bike-sharing verticals. They’re also in the food delivery and courier personal service deliveries verticals and have an extremely high transaction volume across all these fronts.
Among all individual departments and income streams, there is only one financial team and Asif is the ultimate approver.
With many different kinds of customers and transactions, expenses can be an extreme sport. Asif made it his mission to funnel all this spend through Procurify for better controls and visibility, and as they continue to grow and expand at a rapid rate, Procurify remains foundational to their day-to-day operations.
Across our various business verticals we have all kinds of spending and transactions, and Procurify is our instant access to tracking expenses and budgets. Specifically it has helped us with our audits, and has been a very useful purchasing log that we’ve relied on in that process. We’ve been audited twice and it’s been very important to verify transactions. We study the different data related to trends, department trends, and user trends. I study these by expenditure, department and account code. We don’t have an ERP so Procurify comes in very handy.
The interface and design is very simple and easy to understand. It does the work however you want it to and is a very flexible tool. Our power users are on Procurify hourly, and very rarely do we ever run into any issues.
Prior to joining Pathao in December 2017, there was no financial analysis or sophisticated spend controls at all. I actually had to do 2 years of accounts auditing which was absolutely hectic - 30 days straight of 12 hour days. We didn't have a process before that, and having Procurify now is a great help.
The documentation for the audit process is quite different in Bangladesh. Auditing is not a fun process. Even if you have a scanned copy of an expense, you need the physical attachment. This can be quite cumbersome, but we have adjusted since we’ll be doing our third audit very soon. It’s definitely easier to do the audits now since Procurify has helped me massively to actually supervise spending and know who is spending what and on what. Visibility is huge because we have operations in 15 cities, not even considering our expansion in Nepal.
You should be looking to integrate Procurify into your ERP system, if you haven’t already. Ideally, accounts payable should be routed directly into the accounts.
I’d also recommend the chat feature and the notes feature - you can tag and mention employees when you need additional context or just have that internal messaging communication that’s very useful to keep things organized.
Lastly, I’d say that classifying an expense from the get go is very important for users. People who are raising requests often don’t have a great idea of how each item should be classified. Sometimes the right person doesn’t have the bandwidth to correct items that are classified wrong. There should be a guideline and user training on how to properly classify and understand expenses.
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