Let’s talk about spend management. Not expenses.

Rodolphe Ardant

Editor’s note: This is a sponsored guest post written by Rodolphe Ardant, co-founder and CEO of Spendesk, a business spend management platform. You can find more information about Rodolphe at the end of the article.

Payment technology is evolving at a furious pace. In our personal lives, cash has almost become a thing of the past. Apple Pay, contactless cards and Venmo have become the new normal.

You can even pay for things with your watch! The future is most definitely here… except when it comes to spending at work.

Yet despite all the technology we have available today, the majority of companies still rely on old fashioned, fragmented and inefficient processes and systems to manage operational spending.

Why do companies still spend the same?

There is a clear divide between the motivations of the finance team and those of spending employees when it comes to spending company money.

The finance team are the gatekeepers of company funds. As you might expect, they want control and visibility over how much money the company is spending.

Employees, on the other hand, have a job to do. Sometimes that means they need to spend company money, and if it does they want the process to be clear and streamlined (and ideally not waste too much of their time).

In practice, neither party gets what they want. Conflicting motivations make the typical company spending process inefficient, time consuming and insecure.

Here are a few examples:

● To control spending, finance will only issue a few company credit cards to senior staff. The result is these cards get shared around the team as needed, which means finance has no visibility on who is spending what.

● To reduce perceived risks, finance teams ask employees to pay for company expenses with their own money and submit expense claims later. The result is everyone wastes time processing expense claims, finance don’t know how much their employees are spending and employees are out of pocket for weeks, or even months, at a time.

● To control freelance costs, finance requires invoices and purchase orders for operational spending to be submitted through their team for review, approval and payment. This increases complexity in the business and requires lots of manual back and forth with no transparency over the status of the request.

Inefficiency costs money

All this inefficiency costs companies money.

As finance teams lack visibility over spending, reconciliation takes longer and there’s unclear accountability from business teams over budgets.

The average expense claim for employees takes 50 minutes to file and process, which is a huge amount of time which could be spent working.

This all stems from how companies spend more than anything. Each payment method is separate, with its own troublesome process.

You monitor the company card one way, process and pay invoices another, while expense claims have their own workflow again.

Why spend management is different

We need to stop thinking of expenses as fundamentally different from purchase orders, subscriptions, and credit card payments.

It’s all operational spending.

It’s all company money, and how companies spend their money ultimately contributes to their long-term success.

That’s why modern companies should manage spending through spend management software that allows both the finance team and employees to control, pay, track and report on operational spending from a single tool.

Our vision for smarter company spending

At Spendesk, we’re on a mission to help businesses spend smarter.

This means finding the balance between giving finance real control and visibility over what is being spent while empowering employees to easily and securely pay when they need to at work.

To do this we’ve built a spend management platform that optimises the entire spending process from approvals to payment reconciliation.

With Spendesk, employees, team leaders and the finance team can see in real-time where money is being spent and control how it is being spent.

And our powerful automation and reporting features dramatically simplify end-of-month processes as well. On average, our customers report 2-4 days of savings each month on payment reconciliation alone.

Ultimately, we believe that with the right technology businesses everywhere can spend smarter and more efficiently. We’re going to help them do that.

Rodolphe Ardant is the co-founder and CEO of Spendesk, the all-in one-spend management platform helping businesses spend smarter. A builder at heart, he created his first company immediately after graduating from École Polytechnique and Columbia University. In 2013, he sold his company to Solocal (formerly Pages Jaunes) and took up the role of COO at Drivy before getting back to his entrepreneurial roots with efounders and Spendesk. You can follow Rod on LinkedIn and Twitter.

You can also check out Spendesk’s €35 million funding round posted on EU-Startups earlier this week.

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