business-2Business, Business, Business Expenses

Why your agency needs virtual cards to track online ads 

26 October 2022   |   8 minutes read
Trendy startup company meeting to talk about tech
Trendy startup company meeting to talk about tech

Buying digital media on behalf of your clients creates a huge amount of admin and budgeting issues. A proper spend management solution can change this.

For media agencies, virtual cards are the ideal alternative to company credit cards. You can create them when you need them, with a set amount of money, and use them immediately. They’re also much easier to manage.

Read on to learn more about how virtual cards can help you manage your clients’ spending (and yours).

The trouble with tracking ad campaigns

Handling different clients, projects, and accounts is even tougher if you’re using a company credit card. It can result in overspending, hours on the telephone with the bank, inaccurate data – and headaches for your team.

Credit cards may also put your company at risk, and are notably inflexible:

  • Credit cards get blocked when there’s suspicion of fraud. When this happens, you need to change the card number assigned to each ad account manually.
  • Setting firm budgets for each ad programme is challenging when you use the same card for everything – and credit card limits are famously hard to change.
  • Using one credit card for each ad account will put you at a higher risk of theft – and the volume of charges on the card make it harder to spot fraud.

For your finance team, credit cards are a reconciliation nightmare. They mean matching a mountain of invoices and statements, and combing through ad platforms to track spend activity.

Agencies can lose days every month to this, and still not know what they’re spending or where. It’s bad for business and bad for morale. All this time spent on admin chores only distracts staff from more fulfilling, valuable work.

Most agencies see these challenges as part of the job. They need to buy media for clients, so they also have to accept the vast, inconvenient admin.

For growing digital media agencies, another factor comes into play – using a credit card abroad often means extra charges, and multi-currency payments are tricky to manage.

But no matter how big your team is, how many clients you’ve got, and how many campaigns you’re running at once – managing spend doesn’t have to hold you back.

Switching to virtual cards

Virtual cards, combined with a digital platform, simplify paying for ads on different channels. From search engines to social media networks, paying and tracking ads is much easier:

Reduce the number of emails between finance and teams about receipts, reports, and requests
Get thorough, accurate spending data from marketing channels without having to match statements
Attribute different cards to campaigns so you always know how much you’ve spent on it

This approach works better for your people, your business, and your clients.

How do virtual cards work?

Imagine you’ve got a client with ads on Facebook and Google. You can create two different virtual cards and define a budget for each one. When the cards run out of funds, you can top them up again. For longer campaigns, just set up a monthly or annual budget.

You can also assign the cards to specific people on your team and make each user responsible for managing their card.

With the Soldo web platform, your team can manage their cards online, automate reports, and turn campaigns off once they end. This prevents your company from paying for extra ads or going over budget.

There’s more to virtual cards:

  • Increased flexibility (instead of coming up against your credit limit and having your card blocked)
  • Simple campaign management (each campaign has a virtual card assigned to a person)
  • Customisable cards (only load the budgeted amount to each card and issue them with a customer or campaign name)
  • Business protection (keep projects from going overbudget; clients see each transaction clearly)
  • Automated payments (streamlined approval process so employees feel trusted and empowered)

At Soldo we also have virtual cards for one-off or ad-hoc purchases, which can be used for 7 days. You can set the purchase limit between one and 10 transactions, decide the amount, and issue cards in that moment.

This method is even safer – only the requester and approver have access to the card details, which are securely kept on the web platform, so no one has to share card details. They won’t fall into the wrong hands and cause you trouble.

What flexible spend management gives you

Real-time, in-depth tracking

When you don’t know which campaign a transaction relates to, your team has to sort it out manually – and only after the monthly statement.

Company cards connected to a spend management platform end the need to match transactions.

With Soldo, you can create separate cards for each client, campaign, or media type, and see what each transaction relates to in real time.

Spend limits you can control

It’s up to you to set the limits on your virtual cards, unlike credit cards. You can use your clients’ budgets as a guide, instead of letting third-party providers decide how much you can spend.

The ability to adjust your limits according to your needs will keep you going. Your team doesn’t get cut off in the middle of a campaign, and you stay in control of the situation.

Easy process, happier team

Repetitive, tedious admin is no help to any business. It cuts into important work time and can lead to inaccurate data. On the other hand, smart company cards:

  • Speed up the expense process (you can invoice clients faster)
  • Keep spending organised automatically
  • Improve employee satisfaction

More business without the admin chores

Brands are spending more and more on ad budgets, pay-per-click ads and other paid media. So, for digital agencies, staying on top of this spend is conducive to growth. With virtual cards, you can have company cards for different projects, and delegate responsibility over them – no matter where your client is.

And because digital platforms such as Soldo are so remote-friendly – supporting multiple currencies, and accessible from anywhere – you can attract more clients from other countries.

Contact us to learn more about how we help media agencies.

Related posts

business-2Business, Business, Business Expenses, Business

Three ways to control company spending and start saving money right now

26 October 2022   |   10 minutes read
Trendy startup company meeting to talk about tech
Trendy startup company meeting to talk about tech

Buying digital media on behalf of your clients creates a huge amount of admin and budgeting issues. A proper spend management solution can change this.

For media agencies, virtual cards are the ideal alternative to company credit cards. You can create them when you need them, with a set amount of money, and use them immediately. They’re also much easier to manage.

Read on to learn more about how virtual cards can help you manage your clients’ spending (and yours).

The trouble with tracking ad campaigns

Handling different clients, projects, and accounts is even tougher if you’re using a company credit card. It can result in overspending, hours on the telephone with the bank, inaccurate data – and headaches for your team.

Credit cards may also put your company at risk, and are notably inflexible:

  • Credit cards get blocked when there’s suspicion of fraud. When this happens, you need to change the card number assigned to each ad account manually.
  • Setting firm budgets for each ad programme is challenging when you use the same card for everything – and credit card limits are famously hard to change.
  • Using one credit card for each ad account will put you at a higher risk of theft – and the volume of charges on the card make it harder to spot fraud.

For your finance team, credit cards are a reconciliation nightmare. They mean matching a mountain of invoices and statements, and combing through ad platforms to track spend activity.

Agencies can lose days every month to this, and still not know what they’re spending or where. It’s bad for business and bad for morale. All this time spent on admin chores only distracts staff from more fulfilling, valuable work.

Most agencies see these challenges as part of the job. They need to buy media for clients, so they also have to accept the vast, inconvenient admin.

For growing digital media agencies, another factor comes into play – using a credit card abroad often means extra charges, and multi-currency payments are tricky to manage.

But no matter how big your team is, how many clients you’ve got, and how many campaigns you’re running at once – managing spend doesn’t have to hold you back.

Switching to virtual cards

Virtual cards, combined with a digital platform, simplify paying for ads on different channels. From search engines to social media networks, paying and tracking ads is much easier:

Reduce the number of emails between finance and teams about receipts, reports, and requests
Get thorough, accurate spending data from marketing channels without having to match statements
Attribute different cards to campaigns so you always know how much you’ve spent on it

This approach works better for your people, your business, and your clients.

How do virtual cards work?

Imagine you’ve got a client with ads on Facebook and Google. You can create two different virtual cards and define a budget for each one. When the cards run out of funds, you can top them up again. For longer campaigns, just set up a monthly or annual budget.

You can also assign the cards to specific people on your team and make each user responsible for managing their card.

With the Soldo web platform, your team can manage their cards online, automate reports, and turn campaigns off once they end. This prevents your company from paying for extra ads or going over budget.

There’s more to virtual cards:

  • Increased flexibility (instead of coming up against your credit limit and having your card blocked)
  • Simple campaign management (each campaign has a virtual card assigned to a person)
  • Customisable cards (only load the budgeted amount to each card and issue them with a customer or campaign name)
  • Business protection (keep projects from going overbudget; clients see each transaction clearly)
  • Automated payments (streamlined approval process so employees feel trusted and empowered)

At Soldo we also have virtual cards for one-off or ad-hoc purchases, which can be used for 7 days. You can set the purchase limit between one and 10 transactions, decide the amount, and issue cards in that moment.

This method is even safer – only the requester and approver have access to the card details, which are securely kept on the web platform, so no one has to share card details. They won’t fall into the wrong hands and cause you trouble.

What flexible spend management gives you

Real-time, in-depth tracking

When you don’t know which campaign a transaction relates to, your team has to sort it out manually – and only after the monthly statement.

Company cards connected to a spend management platform end the need to match transactions.

With Soldo, you can create separate cards for each client, campaign, or media type, and see what each transaction relates to in real time.

Spend limits you can control

It’s up to you to set the limits on your virtual cards, unlike credit cards. You can use your clients’ budgets as a guide, instead of letting third-party providers decide how much you can spend.

The ability to adjust your limits according to your needs will keep you going. Your team doesn’t get cut off in the middle of a campaign, and you stay in control of the situation.

Easy process, happier team

Repetitive, tedious admin is no help to any business. It cuts into important work time and can lead to inaccurate data. On the other hand, smart company cards:

  • Speed up the expense process (you can invoice clients faster)
  • Keep spending organised automatically
  • Improve employee satisfaction

More business without the admin chores

Brands are spending more and more on ad budgets, pay-per-click ads and other paid media. So, for digital agencies, staying on top of this spend is conducive to growth. With virtual cards, you can have company cards for different projects, and delegate responsibility over them – no matter where your client is.

And because digital platforms such as Soldo are so remote-friendly – supporting multiple currencies, and accessible from anywhere – you can attract more clients from other countries.

Contact us to learn more about how we help media agencies.

Related posts

business-2Business, Business, Business Expenses, Business, Business, The CFO Playbook

What makes a great CFO? 5 take-aways from The CFO Podcast

26 October 2022   |   12 minutes read
Trendy startup company meeting to talk about tech
Trendy startup company meeting to talk about tech

Buying digital media on behalf of your clients creates a huge amount of admin and budgeting issues. A proper spend management solution can change this.

For media agencies, virtual cards are the ideal alternative to company credit cards. You can create them when you need them, with a set amount of money, and use them immediately. They’re also much easier to manage.

Read on to learn more about how virtual cards can help you manage your clients’ spending (and yours).

The trouble with tracking ad campaigns

Handling different clients, projects, and accounts is even tougher if you’re using a company credit card. It can result in overspending, hours on the telephone with the bank, inaccurate data – and headaches for your team.

Credit cards may also put your company at risk, and are notably inflexible:

  • Credit cards get blocked when there’s suspicion of fraud. When this happens, you need to change the card number assigned to each ad account manually.
  • Setting firm budgets for each ad programme is challenging when you use the same card for everything – and credit card limits are famously hard to change.
  • Using one credit card for each ad account will put you at a higher risk of theft – and the volume of charges on the card make it harder to spot fraud.

For your finance team, credit cards are a reconciliation nightmare. They mean matching a mountain of invoices and statements, and combing through ad platforms to track spend activity.

Agencies can lose days every month to this, and still not know what they’re spending or where. It’s bad for business and bad for morale. All this time spent on admin chores only distracts staff from more fulfilling, valuable work.

Most agencies see these challenges as part of the job. They need to buy media for clients, so they also have to accept the vast, inconvenient admin.

For growing digital media agencies, another factor comes into play – using a credit card abroad often means extra charges, and multi-currency payments are tricky to manage.

But no matter how big your team is, how many clients you’ve got, and how many campaigns you’re running at once – managing spend doesn’t have to hold you back.

Switching to virtual cards

Virtual cards, combined with a digital platform, simplify paying for ads on different channels. From search engines to social media networks, paying and tracking ads is much easier:

Reduce the number of emails between finance and teams about receipts, reports, and requests
Get thorough, accurate spending data from marketing channels without having to match statements
Attribute different cards to campaigns so you always know how much you’ve spent on it

This approach works better for your people, your business, and your clients.

How do virtual cards work?

Imagine you’ve got a client with ads on Facebook and Google. You can create two different virtual cards and define a budget for each one. When the cards run out of funds, you can top them up again. For longer campaigns, just set up a monthly or annual budget.

You can also assign the cards to specific people on your team and make each user responsible for managing their card.

With the Soldo web platform, your team can manage their cards online, automate reports, and turn campaigns off once they end. This prevents your company from paying for extra ads or going over budget.

There’s more to virtual cards:

  • Increased flexibility (instead of coming up against your credit limit and having your card blocked)
  • Simple campaign management (each campaign has a virtual card assigned to a person)
  • Customisable cards (only load the budgeted amount to each card and issue them with a customer or campaign name)
  • Business protection (keep projects from going overbudget; clients see each transaction clearly)
  • Automated payments (streamlined approval process so employees feel trusted and empowered)

At Soldo we also have virtual cards for one-off or ad-hoc purchases, which can be used for 7 days. You can set the purchase limit between one and 10 transactions, decide the amount, and issue cards in that moment.

This method is even safer – only the requester and approver have access to the card details, which are securely kept on the web platform, so no one has to share card details. They won’t fall into the wrong hands and cause you trouble.

What flexible spend management gives you

Real-time, in-depth tracking

When you don’t know which campaign a transaction relates to, your team has to sort it out manually – and only after the monthly statement.

Company cards connected to a spend management platform end the need to match transactions.

With Soldo, you can create separate cards for each client, campaign, or media type, and see what each transaction relates to in real time.

Spend limits you can control

It’s up to you to set the limits on your virtual cards, unlike credit cards. You can use your clients’ budgets as a guide, instead of letting third-party providers decide how much you can spend.

The ability to adjust your limits according to your needs will keep you going. Your team doesn’t get cut off in the middle of a campaign, and you stay in control of the situation.

Easy process, happier team

Repetitive, tedious admin is no help to any business. It cuts into important work time and can lead to inaccurate data. On the other hand, smart company cards:

  • Speed up the expense process (you can invoice clients faster)
  • Keep spending organised automatically
  • Improve employee satisfaction

More business without the admin chores

Brands are spending more and more on ad budgets, pay-per-click ads and other paid media. So, for digital agencies, staying on top of this spend is conducive to growth. With virtual cards, you can have company cards for different projects, and delegate responsibility over them – no matter where your client is.

And because digital platforms such as Soldo are so remote-friendly – supporting multiple currencies, and accessible from anywhere – you can attract more clients from other countries.

Contact us to learn more about how we help media agencies.

Related posts

business-2Business, Business, Business Expenses, Business, Business, The CFO Playbook, Business

How to simplify subscription management (part one)

26 October 2022   |   6 minutes read
Woman working in an office
Woman working in an office

The last few years have seen an explosion in business spend on subscriptions, predominantly on SaaS software.

Companies are using cloud-based software tools for a growing number of business applications, including CRM, accounting, marketing, infrastructure and operations. Typically enterprise-level organisations with 200 to 500 employees will have 123 SaaS subscriptions. And by 2023, it’s predicted that up to 86% of businesses could rely entirely on SaaS tools.

It’s easy to see why SaaS is so popular. Its cloud-based nature means you are always using the latest version of software, and unlike desktop, it doesn’t require expensive and time-consuming updates. Additionally, it’s secure and flexible and can be scaled up and down (i.e. by usage or number of licences) in line with your growth trajectory. The shift to hybrid working has also been a major contributor for taking on more software subscriptions as this helps them run operations remotely.

However, while using SaaS has many advantages, it can cause CFOs and finance teams many issues. This includes lack of control, duplication of licences and poor visibility on spend. These can be managed effectively if companies put in place subscription management systems with spend management platforms.

Lack of control

Company subscriptions tend to be taken out on corporate cards. This makes it difficult for CFOs to approve requests and means they only become aware of them after they have taken place.

Subscription services tend to roll forward on a renewal basis unless individuals specifically cancel them. This can result in huge wasted spend as licences may no longer be being used but irrespectively will still be charged each month on corporate cards.

This is supported by a 2018 study which shows that 71% of businesses had at least one orphaned subscription, defined as an active subscription with no billing owner. Over time this can add up to significant wasted spend that could have been deployed more effectively in the business.

This also creates a security risk. If orphaned accounts remain active and departed employees still have access, there is the risk of sensitive company data becoming misappropriated. This can become even more of an issue if these employees move to competitors.

Duplication of licences

It’s common to rack up fees for duplication of subscription licences. This can occur due to new employees taking out fresh licences rather than being reassigned orphaned accounts from recently departed staff.

Additionally, functions or teams may take out subscriptions for more than one vendor in the same category. For example, the operations team may have subscribed to an additional workflow management tool due to perceiving a recent entrant to the market as having superior functions. Alternatively, they may have found the first solution they subscribed to did not deliver on its promised benefits.

Research shows that duplicate subscriptions grow as companies scale in size, with companies of up to 50 employees typically having one duplicate and companies with over 1,000 staff members having 12 duplicates.

Poor visibility on spend

Subscription management via corporate cards also results in poor visibility of spend.

Finance leaders only see spending retrospectively in line with corporate card statements and supporting invoices delivered at month end. This lack of real-time data means you cannot business partner across their organisation and advise how subscription spend should be optimised. This also impacts their ability to put together accurate forward-looking forecasts and cash flows.

Visibility is also impaired by subscriptions at small businesses often going onto a single corporate card shared across the entire organisation. This restricts the ability of CFOs to track how different departments are performing against their own budgets.

How to simplify subscription management

Spend management platforms like Soldo, comprising of prepaid and virtual cards, a management dashboard and an employee expenses app, take the sting out of subscription management.

In the second part of this post, we’ll dig deeper into how Soldo gives finance teams full control and visibility on subscriptions while allowing employees to make SaaS purchases to perform their roles and empower their companies to scale up and reach their goals.

Related posts

business-2Business, Business, Business Expenses, Business, Business, The CFO Playbook, Business, Business

How to simplify subscription management (part two)

26 October 2022   |   6 minutes read
Woman working in an office
Woman working in an office

The last few years have seen an explosion in business spend on subscriptions, predominantly on SaaS software.

Companies are using cloud-based software tools for a growing number of business applications, including CRM, accounting, marketing, infrastructure and operations. Typically enterprise-level organisations with 200 to 500 employees will have 123 SaaS subscriptions. And by 2023, it’s predicted that up to 86% of businesses could rely entirely on SaaS tools.

It’s easy to see why SaaS is so popular. Its cloud-based nature means you are always using the latest version of software, and unlike desktop, it doesn’t require expensive and time-consuming updates. Additionally, it’s secure and flexible and can be scaled up and down (i.e. by usage or number of licences) in line with your growth trajectory. The shift to hybrid working has also been a major contributor for taking on more software subscriptions as this helps them run operations remotely.

However, while using SaaS has many advantages, it can cause CFOs and finance teams many issues. This includes lack of control, duplication of licences and poor visibility on spend. These can be managed effectively if companies put in place subscription management systems with spend management platforms.

Lack of control

Company subscriptions tend to be taken out on corporate cards. This makes it difficult for CFOs to approve requests and means they only become aware of them after they have taken place.

Subscription services tend to roll forward on a renewal basis unless individuals specifically cancel them. This can result in huge wasted spend as licences may no longer be being used but irrespectively will still be charged each month on corporate cards.

This is supported by a 2018 study which shows that 71% of businesses had at least one orphaned subscription, defined as an active subscription with no billing owner. Over time this can add up to significant wasted spend that could have been deployed more effectively in the business.

This also creates a security risk. If orphaned accounts remain active and departed employees still have access, there is the risk of sensitive company data becoming misappropriated. This can become even more of an issue if these employees move to competitors.

Duplication of licences

It’s common to rack up fees for duplication of subscription licences. This can occur due to new employees taking out fresh licences rather than being reassigned orphaned accounts from recently departed staff.

Additionally, functions or teams may take out subscriptions for more than one vendor in the same category. For example, the operations team may have subscribed to an additional workflow management tool due to perceiving a recent entrant to the market as having superior functions. Alternatively, they may have found the first solution they subscribed to did not deliver on its promised benefits.

Research shows that duplicate subscriptions grow as companies scale in size, with companies of up to 50 employees typically having one duplicate and companies with over 1,000 staff members having 12 duplicates.

Poor visibility on spend

Subscription management via corporate cards also results in poor visibility of spend.

Finance leaders only see spending retrospectively in line with corporate card statements and supporting invoices delivered at month end. This lack of real-time data means you cannot business partner across their organisation and advise how subscription spend should be optimised. This also impacts their ability to put together accurate forward-looking forecasts and cash flows.

Visibility is also impaired by subscriptions at small businesses often going onto a single corporate card shared across the entire organisation. This restricts the ability of CFOs to track how different departments are performing against their own budgets.

How to simplify subscription management

Spend management platforms like Soldo, comprising of prepaid and virtual cards, a management dashboard and an employee expenses app, take the sting out of subscription management.

In the second part of this post, we’ll dig deeper into how Soldo gives finance teams full control and visibility on subscriptions while allowing employees to make SaaS purchases to perform their roles and empower their companies to scale up and reach their goals.

Related posts

business-2Business, Business, Business Expenses, Business, Business, The CFO Playbook, Business, Business, Business

What is spend management? – A primer (part two)

24 August 2022   |   8 minutes read
Woman working in an office
Woman working in an office

The last few years have seen an explosion in business spend on subscriptions, predominantly on SaaS software.

Companies are using cloud-based software tools for a growing number of business applications, including CRM, accounting, marketing, infrastructure and operations. Typically enterprise-level organisations with 200 to 500 employees will have 123 SaaS subscriptions. And by 2023, it’s predicted that up to 86% of businesses could rely entirely on SaaS tools.

It’s easy to see why SaaS is so popular. Its cloud-based nature means you are always using the latest version of software, and unlike desktop, it doesn’t require expensive and time-consuming updates. Additionally, it’s secure and flexible and can be scaled up and down (i.e. by usage or number of licences) in line with your growth trajectory. The shift to hybrid working has also been a major contributor for taking on more software subscriptions as this helps them run operations remotely.

However, while using SaaS has many advantages, it can cause CFOs and finance teams many issues. This includes lack of control, duplication of licences and poor visibility on spend. These can be managed effectively if companies put in place subscription management systems with spend management platforms.

Lack of control

Company subscriptions tend to be taken out on corporate cards. This makes it difficult for CFOs to approve requests and means they only become aware of them after they have taken place.

Subscription services tend to roll forward on a renewal basis unless individuals specifically cancel them. This can result in huge wasted spend as licences may no longer be being used but irrespectively will still be charged each month on corporate cards.

This is supported by a 2018 study which shows that 71% of businesses had at least one orphaned subscription, defined as an active subscription with no billing owner. Over time this can add up to significant wasted spend that could have been deployed more effectively in the business.

This also creates a security risk. If orphaned accounts remain active and departed employees still have access, there is the risk of sensitive company data becoming misappropriated. This can become even more of an issue if these employees move to competitors.

Duplication of licences

It’s common to rack up fees for duplication of subscription licences. This can occur due to new employees taking out fresh licences rather than being reassigned orphaned accounts from recently departed staff.

Additionally, functions or teams may take out subscriptions for more than one vendor in the same category. For example, the operations team may have subscribed to an additional workflow management tool due to perceiving a recent entrant to the market as having superior functions. Alternatively, they may have found the first solution they subscribed to did not deliver on its promised benefits.

Research shows that duplicate subscriptions grow as companies scale in size, with companies of up to 50 employees typically having one duplicate and companies with over 1,000 staff members having 12 duplicates.

Poor visibility on spend

Subscription management via corporate cards also results in poor visibility of spend.

Finance leaders only see spending retrospectively in line with corporate card statements and supporting invoices delivered at month end. This lack of real-time data means you cannot business partner across their organisation and advise how subscription spend should be optimised. This also impacts their ability to put together accurate forward-looking forecasts and cash flows.

Visibility is also impaired by subscriptions at small businesses often going onto a single corporate card shared across the entire organisation. This restricts the ability of CFOs to track how different departments are performing against their own budgets.

How to simplify subscription management

Spend management platforms like Soldo, comprising of prepaid and virtual cards, a management dashboard and an employee expenses app, take the sting out of subscription management.

In the second part of this post, we’ll dig deeper into how Soldo gives finance teams full control and visibility on subscriptions while allowing employees to make SaaS purchases to perform their roles and empower their companies to scale up and reach their goals.

Related posts

business-2Business, Business, Business Expenses, Business, Business, The CFO Playbook, Business, Business, Business, Business

What is spend management? – A primer (part one)

17 August 2022   |   7 minutes read
Woman working in an office
Woman working in an office

The last few years have seen an explosion in business spend on subscriptions, predominantly on SaaS software.

Companies are using cloud-based software tools for a growing number of business applications, including CRM, accounting, marketing, infrastructure and operations. Typically enterprise-level organisations with 200 to 500 employees will have 123 SaaS subscriptions. And by 2023, it’s predicted that up to 86% of businesses could rely entirely on SaaS tools.

It’s easy to see why SaaS is so popular. Its cloud-based nature means you are always using the latest version of software, and unlike desktop, it doesn’t require expensive and time-consuming updates. Additionally, it’s secure and flexible and can be scaled up and down (i.e. by usage or number of licences) in line with your growth trajectory. The shift to hybrid working has also been a major contributor for taking on more software subscriptions as this helps them run operations remotely.

However, while using SaaS has many advantages, it can cause CFOs and finance teams many issues. This includes lack of control, duplication of licences and poor visibility on spend. These can be managed effectively if companies put in place subscription management systems with spend management platforms.

Lack of control

Company subscriptions tend to be taken out on corporate cards. This makes it difficult for CFOs to approve requests and means they only become aware of them after they have taken place.

Subscription services tend to roll forward on a renewal basis unless individuals specifically cancel them. This can result in huge wasted spend as licences may no longer be being used but irrespectively will still be charged each month on corporate cards.

This is supported by a 2018 study which shows that 71% of businesses had at least one orphaned subscription, defined as an active subscription with no billing owner. Over time this can add up to significant wasted spend that could have been deployed more effectively in the business.

This also creates a security risk. If orphaned accounts remain active and departed employees still have access, there is the risk of sensitive company data becoming misappropriated. This can become even more of an issue if these employees move to competitors.

Duplication of licences

It’s common to rack up fees for duplication of subscription licences. This can occur due to new employees taking out fresh licences rather than being reassigned orphaned accounts from recently departed staff.

Additionally, functions or teams may take out subscriptions for more than one vendor in the same category. For example, the operations team may have subscribed to an additional workflow management tool due to perceiving a recent entrant to the market as having superior functions. Alternatively, they may have found the first solution they subscribed to did not deliver on its promised benefits.

Research shows that duplicate subscriptions grow as companies scale in size, with companies of up to 50 employees typically having one duplicate and companies with over 1,000 staff members having 12 duplicates.

Poor visibility on spend

Subscription management via corporate cards also results in poor visibility of spend.

Finance leaders only see spending retrospectively in line with corporate card statements and supporting invoices delivered at month end. This lack of real-time data means you cannot business partner across their organisation and advise how subscription spend should be optimised. This also impacts their ability to put together accurate forward-looking forecasts and cash flows.

Visibility is also impaired by subscriptions at small businesses often going onto a single corporate card shared across the entire organisation. This restricts the ability of CFOs to track how different departments are performing against their own budgets.

How to simplify subscription management

Spend management platforms like Soldo, comprising of prepaid and virtual cards, a management dashboard and an employee expenses app, take the sting out of subscription management.

In the second part of this post, we’ll dig deeper into how Soldo gives finance teams full control and visibility on subscriptions while allowing employees to make SaaS purchases to perform their roles and empower their companies to scale up and reach their goals.

Related posts

business-2Business, Business, Business Expenses, Business, Business, The CFO Playbook, Business, Business, Business, Business, Business

Tips For Managing Hybrid Finance Teams

13 July 2022   |   8 minutes read
Woman working in an office
Woman working in an office

The last few years have seen an explosion in business spend on subscriptions, predominantly on SaaS software.

Companies are using cloud-based software tools for a growing number of business applications, including CRM, accounting, marketing, infrastructure and operations. Typically enterprise-level organisations with 200 to 500 employees will have 123 SaaS subscriptions. And by 2023, it’s predicted that up to 86% of businesses could rely entirely on SaaS tools.

It’s easy to see why SaaS is so popular. Its cloud-based nature means you are always using the latest version of software, and unlike desktop, it doesn’t require expensive and time-consuming updates. Additionally, it’s secure and flexible and can be scaled up and down (i.e. by usage or number of licences) in line with your growth trajectory. The shift to hybrid working has also been a major contributor for taking on more software subscriptions as this helps them run operations remotely.

However, while using SaaS has many advantages, it can cause CFOs and finance teams many issues. This includes lack of control, duplication of licences and poor visibility on spend. These can be managed effectively if companies put in place subscription management systems with spend management platforms.

Lack of control

Company subscriptions tend to be taken out on corporate cards. This makes it difficult for CFOs to approve requests and means they only become aware of them after they have taken place.

Subscription services tend to roll forward on a renewal basis unless individuals specifically cancel them. This can result in huge wasted spend as licences may no longer be being used but irrespectively will still be charged each month on corporate cards.

This is supported by a 2018 study which shows that 71% of businesses had at least one orphaned subscription, defined as an active subscription with no billing owner. Over time this can add up to significant wasted spend that could have been deployed more effectively in the business.

This also creates a security risk. If orphaned accounts remain active and departed employees still have access, there is the risk of sensitive company data becoming misappropriated. This can become even more of an issue if these employees move to competitors.

Duplication of licences

It’s common to rack up fees for duplication of subscription licences. This can occur due to new employees taking out fresh licences rather than being reassigned orphaned accounts from recently departed staff.

Additionally, functions or teams may take out subscriptions for more than one vendor in the same category. For example, the operations team may have subscribed to an additional workflow management tool due to perceiving a recent entrant to the market as having superior functions. Alternatively, they may have found the first solution they subscribed to did not deliver on its promised benefits.

Research shows that duplicate subscriptions grow as companies scale in size, with companies of up to 50 employees typically having one duplicate and companies with over 1,000 staff members having 12 duplicates.

Poor visibility on spend

Subscription management via corporate cards also results in poor visibility of spend.

Finance leaders only see spending retrospectively in line with corporate card statements and supporting invoices delivered at month end. This lack of real-time data means you cannot business partner across their organisation and advise how subscription spend should be optimised. This also impacts their ability to put together accurate forward-looking forecasts and cash flows.

Visibility is also impaired by subscriptions at small businesses often going onto a single corporate card shared across the entire organisation. This restricts the ability of CFOs to track how different departments are performing against their own budgets.

How to simplify subscription management

Spend management platforms like Soldo, comprising of prepaid and virtual cards, a management dashboard and an employee expenses app, take the sting out of subscription management.

In the second part of this post, we’ll dig deeper into how Soldo gives finance teams full control and visibility on subscriptions while allowing employees to make SaaS purchases to perform their roles and empower their companies to scale up and reach their goals.

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Automating business spend management 

6 July 2022   |   11 minutes read

Manual methods of business spend management are frustrating and time-consuming. Automating these processes improves the overall employee experience for those who make purchases and those who approve them. It reduces admin, improves the quality of spend data, and gives finance teams better visibility and more control over budgets. This allows organisations to work more efficiently and make better decisions for the future.

What is business spend management?

Business spending includes company costs like employee and travel expenses, marketing or media spend, regular subscriptions, and petty cash. It covers procurement, purchasing, and invoices but excludes costs like standard operational spend or payroll.

With variable spending accounting for 20% of a typical business’s total costs, it’s important to have visibility and control over exactly what’s being spent where, and by who.

The pain of manual processes

Traditionally, business spending has been managed via manual or legacy processes.

This could involve customised spreadsheets, back-and-forth email conversations, and lengthy month-end reconciliations. Paper invoices might be collected and then checked by hand before being stored in a filing cabinet. And when it comes to expenses, company cards might be shared between individuals, or employees may be asked to pay out of pocket for food or fuel before claiming money back.

While these processes may be a familiar way to get the job done, they are not ideal. Sharing company cards or dealing with petty cash means it’s difficult to know who has been spending and on what, and leaves businesses open to expense fraud. While manually dealing with invoices is slow and labour-intensive, and makes it harder to find and correct mistakes.

Without full visibility, finance managers can’t be confident they’re on top of spend at any given time. They just can’t get all the information they need when they need it. This is a problem for any organisation but is a particular concern for start-ups or scale-ups where cash-flow may be tighter or more variable.

Manual processes are more likely to create incomplete or error-ridden data. And when data can’t be relied upon, it’s difficult to make accurate assessments or forecasts for spend. This not only hampers the overall performance of the business, but it also undermines the authority of the finance team. A worry for any CFO.

But finance managers also need to consider employee experience.

Finance teams struggling with unwieldy manual processes can get bogged down with lengthy data entry and reconciliation. While month-end reports might involve sifting through physical invoices or chasing down receipts to balance the books. When the everyday experience in a role is repetitive and unsatisfying, staff may become unhappy or disengaged.

And manual spend management also affects those trying to make purchases. Employees often don’t know who to ask to approve an expense and chasing approvals via email and phone wastes everyone’s time. Delays can mean equipment purchases end up taking days or weeks, leaving new starters or project teams waiting around.

In short, poor processes make the day-to-day painful and frustrating.

How can business spend management be automated?

Automating business spend management doesn’t need to involve building a custom system; readymade solutions are quick and easy to set up and start using. Some solutions automate the entire end-to-end spend management process, while others might focus on one element like procurement or expenses. Simple tools for capturing receipts might suit freelancers, whereas growing or established organisations might benefit from full systems that can integrate with accounting software.

Let’s look at the benefits of automating expense management as an example. Instead of worrying about physical expense forms and delayed reimbursements, staff might use pre-paid or single-use cards to make their own purchases. And, depending on the platform, they may be able to track whether their purchases have been approved, keep on top of their budget, capture VAT information, or take photos of receipts with a mobile app.

Approvers and managers might use an automated platform to manage requests, purchases and reconciliations. They can usually set rules or budgets for individuals, teams, or projects to control exactly what’s being spent. And, because everything’s automated, they can use their dashboard to get an instant snapshot of spend or run real-time reports in a few clicks. Then, when it’s time for reconciliation they don’t need to worry about lengthy manual admin as many spend management systems sync with popular accounting software, so data is automatically transferred.

“I think all finance functions should automate a lot of that basic functionality, because why wouldn’t you?” Paraag Amin, CFO of dotdigital

What are the benefits of automation?

Efficiency

Automation is simpler and faster than manual processes and it frees teams from tedious data entry, paper forms, or number crunching. Using Soldo, for example, cuts 45 minutes from the average expense report. That means no more productivity bottlenecks at the end of the month. And when spending is easy to see, it’s much simpler to identify hidden costs. So, controllers don’t need to worry about overspending, duplicate subscriptions or invoices, or unclaimed VAT.

Accuracy and insight

Removing manual data entry reduces the risk of mistakes, repeated entries, or gaps in the data. So, finance managers can be more confident of the information they are providing the business. The current picture is sharper, and any future predictions are more reliable.

Automation also unlocks fast, data-rich reports that cannot be created when spend is managed via spreadsheets. And everything is done in real-time, so finance managers can access a complete picture of spending and cash-flow at any time, without waiting for statements.

When finance teams are freed from manual processes, they can spend more time on the activities that add value to a business. For example, when they aren’t tied up with creating purchase orders or receipting invoices, they can find opportunities, and identify risks and threats.

This more highly skilled finance team can offer a business better insight, more informed forecasting, and strategic thinking. All of which offers a competitive advantage.

“Technology has become that much more important for the finance person…. people are starting to expect their trusted business advisors or finance leaders to harness all of that power. And if you don’t have the technology at hand, you’re not going to be able to do it.” Darrell Cox, CFO, Vena Solutions

Flexibility and control

Greater control is a key benefit of automation.

Let’s look again at the example of expense management. When managed manually, controllers may not have visibility of expenses until they are made; shared cards made be used for a range of miscellaneous purchases and reimbursements might be requested at the last minute.

With an automated system, controllers can set rules and budgets for different cards or individuals, and they may even be able to limit cards to one type of expense, like travel or office supplies. And cards can be turned on and off instantly, giving complete peace of mind in the event of theft or fraud.

Automation also makes spend management more flexible. While reimbursements can cover an individual’s spending, they make team or project spending tricky. Individual employees are even less likely to want to pay out of pocket in these instances.

With many automated expense management systems, cards, wallets, and budgets can be set up to mirror an organisation’s structure. And they are designed to grow with scaling businesses, or cover multiple currencies where companies operate in more than one country.

Employee experience and potential

Automation boosts productivity but it also has a positive impact on the everyday employee experience. Spending can be delegated to the teams actually making purchases and individuals feel empowered to manage their own spending. That could mean the marketing team feel trusted to have more control over online ad spend, or a project manager could manage their subscriptions.

Everything feels fast and flexible, so the day-to-day experience of work life is better. Equipment sign-off doesn’t take days or weeks, so new starters can hit the ground running. And it’s also easier for managers to show their appreciation by purchasing gifts or organising team get-togethers without the worry of painful admin.

For finance teams, who are no longer focused on unnecessary admin, the workday becomes more enjoyable and more challenging. As they pivot from core accounting functions, they can take on a more central role within the business. This transforms the finance function from isolated accountants to change makers and strategic partners to the wider organisation.

“I think that automation is really key for obviously being efficient and closing your books and all of that good stuff that finance people do. But also to make sure that your finance people on the team are happy are doing work, that they feel is impactful to the company.” Jeannie de Guzman, CFO of 1Password

Not only does this allow CFOs to take on a more influential role within the C-suite, it also shifts their role as a team leader. Time is freed up, so finance leaders can work on developing top talent. This not only ensures that teams are more engaged with their jobs, it makes them more valuable to the business, and more likely to stay. That’s a win all round.

“The way I think about my team and how we build software is we need to move away from data entry. And then unlock our time to actually review information and provide more value and guidance to the business. Then be a pro partner with other departments instead of still having to manually do these tasks.” Long Dinh, VP of Finance at Ada

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business-2Business, Business, Business Expenses, Business, Business, The CFO Playbook, Business, Business, Business, Business, Business, Business, Business

Automation and the future of finance 

6 July 2022   |   11 minutes read

Manual methods of business spend management are frustrating and time-consuming. Automating these processes improves the overall employee experience for those who make purchases and those who approve them. It reduces admin, improves the quality of spend data, and gives finance teams better visibility and more control over budgets. This allows organisations to work more efficiently and make better decisions for the future.

What is business spend management?

Business spending includes company costs like employee and travel expenses, marketing or media spend, regular subscriptions, and petty cash. It covers procurement, purchasing, and invoices but excludes costs like standard operational spend or payroll.

With variable spending accounting for 20% of a typical business’s total costs, it’s important to have visibility and control over exactly what’s being spent where, and by who.

The pain of manual processes

Traditionally, business spending has been managed via manual or legacy processes.

This could involve customised spreadsheets, back-and-forth email conversations, and lengthy month-end reconciliations. Paper invoices might be collected and then checked by hand before being stored in a filing cabinet. And when it comes to expenses, company cards might be shared between individuals, or employees may be asked to pay out of pocket for food or fuel before claiming money back.

While these processes may be a familiar way to get the job done, they are not ideal. Sharing company cards or dealing with petty cash means it’s difficult to know who has been spending and on what, and leaves businesses open to expense fraud. While manually dealing with invoices is slow and labour-intensive, and makes it harder to find and correct mistakes.

Without full visibility, finance managers can’t be confident they’re on top of spend at any given time. They just can’t get all the information they need when they need it. This is a problem for any organisation but is a particular concern for start-ups or scale-ups where cash-flow may be tighter or more variable.

Manual processes are more likely to create incomplete or error-ridden data. And when data can’t be relied upon, it’s difficult to make accurate assessments or forecasts for spend. This not only hampers the overall performance of the business, but it also undermines the authority of the finance team. A worry for any CFO.

But finance managers also need to consider employee experience.

Finance teams struggling with unwieldy manual processes can get bogged down with lengthy data entry and reconciliation. While month-end reports might involve sifting through physical invoices or chasing down receipts to balance the books. When the everyday experience in a role is repetitive and unsatisfying, staff may become unhappy or disengaged.

And manual spend management also affects those trying to make purchases. Employees often don’t know who to ask to approve an expense and chasing approvals via email and phone wastes everyone’s time. Delays can mean equipment purchases end up taking days or weeks, leaving new starters or project teams waiting around.

In short, poor processes make the day-to-day painful and frustrating.

How can business spend management be automated?

Automating business spend management doesn’t need to involve building a custom system; readymade solutions are quick and easy to set up and start using. Some solutions automate the entire end-to-end spend management process, while others might focus on one element like procurement or expenses. Simple tools for capturing receipts might suit freelancers, whereas growing or established organisations might benefit from full systems that can integrate with accounting software.

Let’s look at the benefits of automating expense management as an example. Instead of worrying about physical expense forms and delayed reimbursements, staff might use pre-paid or single-use cards to make their own purchases. And, depending on the platform, they may be able to track whether their purchases have been approved, keep on top of their budget, capture VAT information, or take photos of receipts with a mobile app.

Approvers and managers might use an automated platform to manage requests, purchases and reconciliations. They can usually set rules or budgets for individuals, teams, or projects to control exactly what’s being spent. And, because everything’s automated, they can use their dashboard to get an instant snapshot of spend or run real-time reports in a few clicks. Then, when it’s time for reconciliation they don’t need to worry about lengthy manual admin as many spend management systems sync with popular accounting software, so data is automatically transferred.

“I think all finance functions should automate a lot of that basic functionality, because why wouldn’t you?” Paraag Amin, CFO of dotdigital

What are the benefits of automation?

Efficiency

Automation is simpler and faster than manual processes and it frees teams from tedious data entry, paper forms, or number crunching. Using Soldo, for example, cuts 45 minutes from the average expense report. That means no more productivity bottlenecks at the end of the month. And when spending is easy to see, it’s much simpler to identify hidden costs. So, controllers don’t need to worry about overspending, duplicate subscriptions or invoices, or unclaimed VAT.

Accuracy and insight

Removing manual data entry reduces the risk of mistakes, repeated entries, or gaps in the data. So, finance managers can be more confident of the information they are providing the business. The current picture is sharper, and any future predictions are more reliable.

Automation also unlocks fast, data-rich reports that cannot be created when spend is managed via spreadsheets. And everything is done in real-time, so finance managers can access a complete picture of spending and cash-flow at any time, without waiting for statements.

When finance teams are freed from manual processes, they can spend more time on the activities that add value to a business. For example, when they aren’t tied up with creating purchase orders or receipting invoices, they can find opportunities, and identify risks and threats.

This more highly skilled finance team can offer a business better insight, more informed forecasting, and strategic thinking. All of which offers a competitive advantage.

“Technology has become that much more important for the finance person…. people are starting to expect their trusted business advisors or finance leaders to harness all of that power. And if you don’t have the technology at hand, you’re not going to be able to do it.” Darrell Cox, CFO, Vena Solutions

Flexibility and control

Greater control is a key benefit of automation.

Let’s look again at the example of expense management. When managed manually, controllers may not have visibility of expenses until they are made; shared cards made be used for a range of miscellaneous purchases and reimbursements might be requested at the last minute.

With an automated system, controllers can set rules and budgets for different cards or individuals, and they may even be able to limit cards to one type of expense, like travel or office supplies. And cards can be turned on and off instantly, giving complete peace of mind in the event of theft or fraud.

Automation also makes spend management more flexible. While reimbursements can cover an individual’s spending, they make team or project spending tricky. Individual employees are even less likely to want to pay out of pocket in these instances.

With many automated expense management systems, cards, wallets, and budgets can be set up to mirror an organisation’s structure. And they are designed to grow with scaling businesses, or cover multiple currencies where companies operate in more than one country.

Employee experience and potential

Automation boosts productivity but it also has a positive impact on the everyday employee experience. Spending can be delegated to the teams actually making purchases and individuals feel empowered to manage their own spending. That could mean the marketing team feel trusted to have more control over online ad spend, or a project manager could manage their subscriptions.

Everything feels fast and flexible, so the day-to-day experience of work life is better. Equipment sign-off doesn’t take days or weeks, so new starters can hit the ground running. And it’s also easier for managers to show their appreciation by purchasing gifts or organising team get-togethers without the worry of painful admin.

For finance teams, who are no longer focused on unnecessary admin, the workday becomes more enjoyable and more challenging. As they pivot from core accounting functions, they can take on a more central role within the business. This transforms the finance function from isolated accountants to change makers and strategic partners to the wider organisation.

“I think that automation is really key for obviously being efficient and closing your books and all of that good stuff that finance people do. But also to make sure that your finance people on the team are happy are doing work, that they feel is impactful to the company.” Jeannie de Guzman, CFO of 1Password

Not only does this allow CFOs to take on a more influential role within the C-suite, it also shifts their role as a team leader. Time is freed up, so finance leaders can work on developing top talent. This not only ensures that teams are more engaged with their jobs, it makes them more valuable to the business, and more likely to stay. That’s a win all round.

“The way I think about my team and how we build software is we need to move away from data entry. And then unlock our time to actually review information and provide more value and guidance to the business. Then be a pro partner with other departments instead of still having to manually do these tasks.” Long Dinh, VP of Finance at Ada

Related posts