Gary Bohm’s time used to be swept away in a daily deluge of paper invoices and contracts. He ran a cost reduction consulting firm that analyzed business costs.
“I knew there had to be a better way,” he said.
Not finding a solution on the market, he created his own.
In 2017, Bohm formed a four-person team to launch Expense Assist, a high-tech Cloud-based cost analytics and management company based in Barboursville, West Virginia.
“Expense Assist simplifies and speeds up the necessary processes, automates manual touches and standardizes data into one easy-to-use format,” said Bohm.
A layman’s explanation might say that Expense Assist takes the multitude of complex cost components — invoices, contracts, budgets, taxes and the like – and enters the data into custom software. The software analyzes and organizes the data at high speed. An experienced Expense Assist professional works with the client to identify valuable savings opportunities and strategies.
“Explaining all that the Expense Assist cloud platform does is a challenge,” said Chief Sales Officer John Calvert. “We prefer to show its capabilities by demonstrating its features and benefits for corporate executives with a grasp of business operations.”
“When we engage a client with our category audits, Calvert said, we work with the CFO to discover savings. We want to be the company’s trusted cost reduction adviser who brings focused expertise to help them achieve their goals.”
“The result is saving money for our clients,” said Bohm. “Expense Assist saved a client $1 million a year through healthcare & payroll tax reduction and decreasing costs to run the retirement program. This was a one-time cost reduction but produced sustainable savings, year after year.
Before starting Expense Assist, Bohm gathered tools for his own toolbox with the support of development resources in West Virginia. One of his first stops was the West Virginia Small Business Development Center. He met with business coach Terry Cyfers for one-on-one consulting while developing the initial components of Expense Assist.
“I met about six or so times with Terry and his team to discuss sales-related activities for Expense Assist,” Bohm said. “It was early in the concept phase. We didn’t yet have the other team members in place. I believe it was a beneficial experience.”
Bohm developed a business plan and entered the “Pitch Your Idea” contest sponsored by Create West Virginia, a grass-roots business and community development organization that focuses on entrepreneurship and innovation. Expense Assist was still in development — but ready for a challenge. The company’s pitch won.
Recently, Expense Assist joined the Robert C. Byrd Institute (RCBI) Startup Accelerator Program Ten50 Business Accelerator. RCBI established the Ten50 Business Accelerator to drive innovation, entrepreneurship and economic development by supporting early-stage, growth-driven companies. Companies that show the greatest potential can receive seed funding, office space, software perks, specialized training and preparation for outside financing.
The state’s entrepreneurship resources helped Expense Assist prepare a solid groundwork and reach for the sky – or in this case, the software Cloud.