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Customer Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute conserving and renewing marine life

How Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute saves hundreds of hours a month with Spendwise

Customer Logo: Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute



Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute (HSWRI) is a non-profit scientific research organization committed to conserving and renewing marine life to ensure a healthier planet.

HSWRI had been using desktop purchase order software, PDF files and email to manage its purchasing processes. The desktop software was installed on a single computer at each of its three locations, which made it difficult to use and impossible for personnel in the field to access. Knowing there had to be a better way, the organization’s Chief Financial Officer, Bethany Smith, searched for an affordable, easy-to-use, online solution and found Spendwise.

Since implementing Spendwise, HSWRI has been able to save hundreds of hours a month in administrative activities, strengthen internal controls and better protect itself against the risk of fraud.



Company Size

25-50 employees


San Diego, CA


Key Outcomes


Hours Saved Per Month


Internal Controls


System Access

The Challenges


Prior to using Spendwise, HSWRI used desktop purchase order software that was installed on a single computer at each of its three locations. The software was cumbersome, buggy and hard to maintain.

Since the software was on-premise and offline, it meant employees had to be on-site at a specific computer to generate purchase orders and staff in the field had to depend on office colleagues to complete this task. After purchase orders were created, they were saved as PDFs and then emailed to supervisors for approval. Supervisors would then email them to accounting for further processing. This method of working was time consuming, caused delays and was prone to error.

Bethany explains “The old software was very cumbersome for the people on site and of course completely inaccessible to everyone in the field. Since it wasn’t networked, we had to use different numbering systems and keep separate vendor records for each location. It was a mess!”

Why HSWRI chose Spendwise


Bethany knew there had to be a better way and began searching for a new system. She started her search online looking for a solution that was easy-to-use, affordable and accessible from anywhere in the world. After evaluating different systems, it became clear that Spendwise was the best choice.

Bethany explains: “I looked at a number of different products and Spendwise was the one that really came to the top. It had all of the features we needed at a good price.”

The Results


After choosing Spendwise, the organization was able to quickly get it up and running and soon saw the benefits of using it.

Increased efficiency

By using Spendwise, HSWRI has been able to save hundreds of hours a month in time spent on administrative tasks, which has allowed its people to spend more time on its core mission.

Customer Bethany Smith, Chief Financial Officer

“With Spendwise everything is so much easier, we save hundreds of hours a month that can be used to do science rather than sitting around trying to fill out purchase orders.”

– Bethany Smith, Chief Financial Officer

Ability to receive

Prior to Spendwise, HSWRI had no visibility into what had been received on purchase orders. With Spendwise, the organization is now able to keep track of what gets received on purchase orders and see any remaining balance.

“The old system didn’t allow for receiving on purchase orders so when invoices came in, we had to send them around to confirm we received what was on them. If something was backordered, there wasn’t any way to know. Now we can record what we receive when we receive it and can see what is still on order in real time”, Bethany explains.

Fraud prevention

Like any organization, HSWRI is the target of fraud and often receives fake invoices. With Spendwise, protecting against these scams has been much easier.

Bethany explains: “We’re always getting junk invoices and it’s nice to be able to check them against our purchase orders in Spendwise. If we can’t find a matching purchase order, then we know that the invoice is suspicious.”

Accurate accruals

With Spendwise, Bethany is able to determine what needs to be accrued at the end of a period which helps to avoid surprises and ensures the organization’s financials are accurate.
“Spendwise is very intuitive, it’s easy for me to go in and see if there are any open purchase orders with balances that need to be accrued. It’s very useful that way”, Bethany explains.

Improved compliance

Because of how easy it is to access and use, Spendwise has eliminated reasons for why anyone would not use a purchase order.

Customer Bethany Smith, Chief Financial Officer

“Spendwise took away excuses for not doing purchase orders. Our staff can now order from anywhere in the world and approvals are much easier which they really appreciate.”

– Bethany Smith, Chief Financial Officer

Discover how Spendwise can help you save time so you can focus on what you do best!

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