Expense management: How to control costs and automate admin

From travel to training, employee expenses are unpredictable costs incurred by your team as they do their jobs. Expense management helps you to control and report that spending.

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The workarounds needed for expense management

We’re sure you’ve witnessed this first-hand, but traditional banking isn’t a great fit for the way businesses work. So – to pay for expenses – companies add corporate credit cards, travel desks, and employee reimbursements to a bloated list of financial hacks.

Each solves a different problem. Senior staff share credit cards to pay for medium-sized costs, like training. Employees buy items like fuel and food out of their own pockets for later reimbursement. Travel desks pay for travel expenses like hotels and flights.

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Expense reporting admin is an unnecessary evil

The workarounds result in painful payments, tricky tracking, and financial fraud. You have to choose – control spending with tedious approvals processes that slow you down or empower employees to spend and risk overspending. Either way, admin is agonising.

Delayed reports leave you blind to costs for weeks, or even months. Then data input and reconciliation create a lag in visibility, while your finance team processes expenses and imports them into your accounting system. The resulting stats make for dim viewing

£1.9 billion lost

This is the eye-watering sum is lost to fraudulent employee expense claims in the UK every year.

45 mins per claim

Incredibly, it takes teams 45 minutes on average just to file and process a single expense report.

36% are over it

More than a third of employees think their expense management processes are outdated.

Soldo: The brighter solution for company expense management

It’s no surprise that thousands of businesses – just like yours – are now turning to expense management software to simplify expenses. But most expense management systems focus on reporting, meaning manual data input and the same lack of visibility and control.

Soldo is different. Our platform connects smart company cards to an expense management automation system. It’s a smarter business expense management solution, giving you real-time visibility and control over employee expenses, and saving everyone time.

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Control spend on prepaid cards

Empower employees to spend; set budgets and track spending in real time, from anywhere.

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Automate all expense admin

Send transactions, receipts, and other data to accounting software through smart integrations.

Capture receipts and VAT fast

Prompt employees to photograph receipts, add VAT and categories on the Soldo mobile app.

Frequently asked questions about travel and company expenses

What are the best expense management apps for iOS or Android devices?

You can report expenses with a wide variety of apps. However, most only take care of capturing spending data after the fact. Most employees take weeks to report expenses, leaving you in the lurch until month-end. It means you don’t have all the data you need to make spending decisions.

However, Soldo is a complete spending and expense management platform. It comes with prepaid Mastercard® cards that connect to an administrative web console. So, your finance team gets real-time visibility of costs.

Employees photograph receipts and add VAT, categories, and notes right at the point of purchase with their own mobile app for Android or iOS devices. It means reporting takes seconds, instead of hours. And your finance team has complete control and visibility over business-wide spending.

Then Soldo integrates directly with Xero, QuickBooks Online or NetSuite, sending receipts, transactions, categories and more to your accounting software automatically. Using a different accounting platform? Export everything in a couple of clicks.

It’s an easy, fast, accurate way to manage expenses. And you can get up and running with Soldo in as little as one working day.

How should my employees claim expenses?

Well, you could use employee reimbursement or credit cards to manage expenses, but this can create more problems than it solves.

  • With corporate cards, you have no control over how much an employee can spend, outside of your expense policy or credit limits.
  • Employees resent being left out of pocket for weeks or months just to pay for company spending.
  • Manual expense reports create the prospect of inaccuracy and ‘creative’ submissions.
  • And the inefficiency of filing and processing reports costs everyone an inordinate amount of time.

The alternative is a top to tail spending and expense management solution, like Soldo. Our platform comes with prepaid Mastercard® cards, an employee expense reporting app, and easy-to-use web and mobile apps to help administrators manage spending.

Everyone saves time, with automated processes and smart integrations. And no-one gets left out of pocket. No more employees losing out to slow reimbursements, or the company losing out to fraudulent claims. It’s a win-win.

What expenses can employees claim?

The Financial Ombudsman Service defines a clear list of items and services that can be claimed as expenses by employees. You can find the full list of allowable expenses here.

To communicate this to employees, it’s a good idea to create a robust expense policy. You provide an outline of what employees can and can’t claim as an expense. But that’s just the first thing you can do to do to get a grip on spending.

The Soldo spend management platforms bakes your expense policy right into prepaid company cards. Whenever an employee needs to buy something for business, they can use their prepaid card. Administrators control costs proactively, setting rules and limits for spending, over a specified time period, and can send money in a couple of clicks.

It means you don’t have to trust employees to memorise your policy, and spending is always under control.

How do I track expenses easily?

Expense management is a breath of fresh air with the Soldo spend management platform. Allocate prepaid Mastercard® cards to employees. Set rules to govern how much each employee can spend and where. Then top them up in a couple of clicks.

When a purchase is made on the plastic or virtual cards, employees get a notification from their own mobile app. They simply photograph the receipt and add additional information – like VAT rates, expense categories, and notes – right there on the spot. It’s all visible in the administrative web console in real time.

Then, when it’s time to reconcile your accounts, log into QuickBooks Online, Xero, or NetSuite to see expenses automatically updated. Using another accounting platform? Export everything in a couple of clicks. How easy is that?

Read articles about travel and expense management

Learn how to simplify expense management in your business. These articles cover everything from streamlining admin to reducing overspending.

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