Business, Finance, Scale-ups; Start-ups

How expense management platforms free up finance teams for higher-value activities

13 April 2023  |   7 minutes read
Photo of employees working

Historically, managing company spend has been a manual and time-consuming task for finance teams. Expenses are also a frequent source of conflict between employees and finance teams. Expense management platforms, such as Soldo, cut through these issues.  Soldo eliminates finance bottlenecks and helps employees stay compliant.

As a result, finance teams can turn their focus to higher value tasks such as business partnering, data analysis and company strategy.

Freeing up time

Reduce manual tasks

Expense management platforms significantly reduce manual tasks undertaken by finance teams.

Soldo lets employees transact with company cards. The transaction is then automatically recorded on our platform, which is linked to your cloud accounting software. All that’s required is to eyeball the expenses to ensure they’re compliant.

You can automate company spending even more by restricting accounting categories to the most relevant ones. These spend controls can then be loosened at your discretion, on a case by case basis.

Additionally, by allowing all general company spending to take place through an expense management platform, you’ll no longer have to process invoices for employees seeking to make purchases.

Streamline workflows

Time is also saved from streamlined workflows. In particular, an expense management platform lets you end reimbursement. Along with the chasing and delays that give rise to so much friction at work.

Controls can also be implemented to minimise the admin burden of liaising with employees to ensure their spending complies with company policy.

For example, departments can be issued cards preloaded with a value that does not exceed their budget, alongside spend from specific vendors and categories being barred. Everyone has clarity on where they stand.

Month-end is also simplified. Transactions from expense platforms are pulled into cloud accounting platforms in close to real-time, with managers being issued with automatically generated approval requests.

Move up the value chain

Time otherwise spent on expense management can be applied to higher-value tasks. That is, tasks that cannot be automated and require human judgement.

Business partnering

With increased bandwidth, finance team members can spend more time alongside other departments. A closer working relationship lets you educate employees about how finance impacts their roles and provides the finance team with the information needed for more accurate budgeting.

This could include sitting down with marketing to understand the unit economics of campaigns better. And you reinforcing the importance of demonstrating ROIs on campaigns and how this can impact their success (and the wider business).

Business partnering activity can also be used for data gathering relevant to expense management. This lets you continually assess your spend categories and restrictions, and enables better compliance.

Data analysis

Saved time can be used on data analysis. to seek ways to optimise company performance.

This should consist of aggregating data and identifying areas of the business to tweak, such as improving profit margins and targeting customers who are slow to pay for services to collect cash faster to improve working capital.

Initially, finance team members must learn to manipulate and mine data before focusing on insights. However, given that data is now so prevalent, you’ll need to be mindful that you are reviewing the most appropriate data points rather than measuring outputs for no reason.

Company strategy

Perhaps the biggest opportunity created by expense management platforms is more time to get involved in company strategy. This is valuable from a company performance and a career development perspective.

Common strategic finance tasks include negotiating and executing funding rounds, and creating cases for expanding to new international markets. To do this, team members may need to develop their soft skills to become more comfortable presenting to internal and external stakeholders.

A win-win for productivity and employee satisfaction

Expense management platforms drive down the finance department’s overhead and also lead to higher employee satisfaction levels. This is due to team members doing more fulfilling work, rather than posting manual transactions.

You’ll immediately notice happier employees, less time spent on manual chores, and a decline in conflict related to delayed reimbursement or compliance issues. More long term, though, the business will flourish thanks to finance being transformed into a strategic business function.

Implementing an expense management platform is a win-win. For you and your employees.

Visit our blog for more articles like this one or subscribe to get them direct to your inbox. Find out more about Soldo here.

Now’s the time to rethink expense management

Almost two-thirds (62%) of employees say reimbursement should be replaced with a system of company cards. Get your copy of The Cost of Business Crisis to find out more.

Related posts