Business Expense Cards: How to Increase Spend Efficiency

business-expense-cards
Picture of Oskar Duberg
Oskar Duberg

Traditionally, banks have held the dominant position in offering financial services, providing everything from secure accounts for transactions to lending and insurance. However, the landscape is shifting with regulators opening up the financial market to non-bank players. This move circumvents the necessity for banks to offer a complete suite of financial services.

As PwC points out in their Global Fintech Survey, we are in the midst of the FinTech Revolution. Leveraging innovative technology as a cornerstone, regulators are allowing FinTech companies to enhance the security and convenience of financial services for consumers. Across various sectors like payments, wealth management, peer-to-peer lending, and crowdfunding, a new breed of startups is emerging, introducing novel and disruptive business models. This also includes a wide range of useful and innovative business expense cards that can help your company spend smarter and work more efficiently.

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The evolution of corporate expense management

In the pre-digital era, managing corporate expenses was a manual ordeal, relying heavily on paper-based methods. Employees had to collect physical receipts, fill out paper forms detailing their expenses, and submit these documents to the finance department for reimbursement. Finance teams then painstakingly entered these expenses into spreadsheets or accounting software, a process that is prone to errors and very time-consuming.

The journey towards digitisation in expense management began with the introduction of basic software solutions. These initial systems allowed employees to submit expense reports electronically, reducing the need for paper forms. However, they still required manual data entry by finance teams, limiting efficiency gains.

As technology progressed, companies adopted more advanced expense management platforms. These modern solutions automate the entire expense management process, from submission to reimbursement. Team members can now capture receipts digitally using mobile apps, which automatically extract key information such as date, amount, and vendor via optical character recognition (OCR) technology. Expenses are then categorised and submitted electronically, with intelligent algorithms flagging any potential policy violations or discrepancies.

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The power of AI: How it works today

Nowadays, the most powerful expense management platforms rely on automation and artificial intelligence (AI) to streamline processes and improve accuracy. AI-powered systems automatically reconcile expenses with bank statements, detect duplicate receipts, and identify outliers or suspicious transactions. Machine learning algorithms continuously analyse spending patterns to uncover cost-saving opportunities and optimise budget allocations.

Moreover, integration with corporate credit cards and banking systems enables real-time expense tracking and provides finance teams with immediate visibility into spending. This facilitates proactive decision-making and enhances financial control. Additionally, cloud-based platforms offer scalability and accessibility, allowing small businesses, medium-sized companies and even large organisations to manage expenses remotely, anytime, anywhere.

The benefits of business expense cards

Business expense cards bring numerous advantages that help smoothen financial operations and improve expense management processes. Here is why you should consider utilising either company credit cards, prepaid expense cards, debit cards or virtual cards for your company spending:

  • Safe transactions, online and offline: Whether employees are buying goods digitally or in person, company cards ensure transactions are conducted safely, reducing the risk of fraud or unauthorised spending. Even ATM withdrawals are possible to pay for company expenses.

  • Live spending monitoring: You can monitor transactions from cardholders as they happen, gaining immediate insights into fund allocation. This helps prevent overspending.

  • Automated detection of irregularities: Using algorithms, systems flag transactions significantly deviating from typical business spending behaviour, enabling you to promptly investigate potential discrepancies and take corrective measures if needed.

  • Tailored spending limits: Limits are adjustable based on factors like job role, department, or project budget. Implementing individual spending caps allows you to exert full control over expenses and ensure adherence to budget constraints.

  • Seamless integration with expense management solutions: Company cards are frequently fully integrated into expense management systems, enabling automatic synchronisation of transaction data and eliminating manual data entry for overall efficiency.

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How to improve financial governance and automation with expense cards

Based on how company cards work, they grant your business the ability to set customised spending limits, providing a sturdy mechanism for managing employee expenditures. By independently defining these limits, businesses gain greater oversight of spending, ensuring alignment with budgetary allocations and internal policies.

When employing expense cards for transactions, associated receipts can be uploaded to a designated application. By using advanced OCR technology, these receipts undergo automatic scanning and processing, accurately extracting details and eliminating the need for manual input.

Modern expense management solutions also work along with company-specific guidelines. By embedding these directives into automated processes such as expense reporting and approval workflows, your organisation can uphold compliance with internal regulations and external standards, reducing the risk of regulatory violations.

Transactions conducted with expense cards undergo automatic reconciliation with corresponding receipts and financial records. This automated procedure expedites expense verification and bolsters accuracy by promptly identifying any discrepancies or anomalies. Consequently, you can uphold financial transparency and integrity with greater efficiency.

AI-powered algorithms enable swift detection of erroneous invoices and procedural irregularities. Upon identification, these discrepancies can be addressed or reported, forestalling potential financial discrepancies and compliance issues. This proactive approach to error management cultivates a culture of accountability and operational efficiency within your team.

How to seamlessly manage business expenses with Yokoy Cards

Effectively managing business expenses with Yokoy Cards involves utilising a range of smart features designed to improve financial oversight and simplify administrative processes. Here is how your company can optimise their expense management workflows with Yokoy Cards:

 

  • Effortless administration: Through user-friendly interfaces, you can effortlessly request and allocate cards as necessary, reducing the administrative workload typically associated with traditional card management practices.

  • Real-time spend monitoring: You gain immediate access to all card transactions, eliminating the need to wait until the end of the month to check your cash flow.

  • Automated reconciliation: Yokoy automates the reconciliation process by seamlessly importing card transactions of all currencies and matching them with corresponding expenses.

  • Spend controls: By setting individual spending limits and restrictions, you can allocate funds strategically and prevent overspending.

  • Built-in compliance: Through customisable spending restrictions and automated policy breach detection, you can ensure that employee expenses align with organisational guidelines and regulatory requirements.

  • Secure spending: With the ability to freeze and terminate cards instantly, businesses can prevent unauthorised spending such as unnecessary subscriptions for dismissed employees. This helps you stay within the credit limit.

  • Global acceptance and cashback: Yokoy Cards are globally accepted thanks to the Mastercard and Visa networks, allowing companies to manage expenses across different regions and entities securely. Additionally, businesses can benefit from cashback on every transaction.

  • Multi-entity support: Yokoy provides comprehensive help to streamline accounts payable (AP) and travel and expense (T&E) processes across subsidiaries.

Planted keeps spend under control with Yokoy

“A corporate card should be secure and uncomplicated – and this is exactly what the Yokoy Mastercard offers. In addition, the card is smart, saving us significant time.”

Christoph Jenny, Co-founder Planted

business-payments-planted

Scalable automation for Planted

Swiss-based Foodtech startup Planted boasts a journey as flavorful as its plant-based meats. Since 2019, it is disrupting the traditional meat protein industry with its sustainable, delectable, and nutritious plant-based offerings.

To address inefficiencies and mitigate risks, Planted pivoted towards optimising spend management. Anchored on scalability, flexibility, and an entrepreneurial ethos, the business crafted a spend management framework tailored to evolve alongside its expansion. Enter Yokoy’s modular spend management suite – the perfect fit:

Yokoy’s standout feature lies in its flexibility, courtesy of an open API that seamlessly integrates with Planted’s expanding tech ecosystem – a unique offering unmatched by other spend management solutions. This agility empowers Planted to effortlessly incorporate or replace software solutions and legacy tools. Furthermore, Yokoy’s adaptability facilitates swift expansion into new territories, aligning perfectly with Planted’s global ambitions.

Thanks to Yokoy’s AI-based spend management suite, Planted now effortlessly processes thousands of invoices, expenses, and card transactions in an automated, integrated fashion. With Yokoy handling repetitive manual tasks, Planted’s finance team can focus on analytics and strategic spending areas, further fueling Planted’s growth journey.

Blog article

How Virtual Corporate Cards Boost Expense Control and Limit Discretionary Spending

What challenges virtual corporate cards solve, what are their benefits, and why are virtual cards the perfect solution for limiting discretionary spending?

Lars Mangelsdorf, 

Co-founder and CCO

Future-proofing financial management at Crisp

Crisp, the app-only supermarket ensuring fresh groceries from farm to table at affordable prices, serves households in The Netherlands and Flanders with convenience and quality. Their product range, sourced from over 800 small-scale farmers and food suppliers, predominantly features seasonal items. As the business underwent rapid expansion, managing finances efficiently became crucial to keep pace with the surge in invoices and expenses. The existing invoice system fell short in extracting comprehensive and precise data such as line items, VAT, and invoice issuers. Manual expense reimbursements added further strain, consuming valuable time and resources.

 

Yokoy helped them implement consolidated services from a single platform, quick scalability, and end-to-end automation. This introduced a level of efficiency and security unmatched by other providers. Furthermore, Yokoy’s influence extended to revenue generation through the Yokoy Pay card program. Crisp capitalised on cashback from media spend on platforms like Google Ads and Meta, surpassing total license fees for Yokoy. Employees, initially cautious about financial software, embraced Yokoy’s intuitive app for swift expense submissions and reimbursements, eliminating the need for manual paperwork.

"To enable efficiency and allow further growth, Yokoy stepped in with a scalable, automated solution that proved to be pivotal to our financial admin processes. It was essential to implement a spend management tool that not only integrated perfectly with our own backend but could also be customised according to our specific needs and wishes."

Next steps

Going forward, Yokoy’s array of card options and aligning software can also help your business to financially improve: Yokoy boasts a diverse lineup of cards tailored to various business requirements, each offering distinct features and advantages.

Whether you are looking for physical cards including business credit cards or debit cards (Mastercard, Visa) that are connected to your business bank account, or prefer prepaid solutions and virtual cards, Yokoy has you covered.

On top, the Yokoy Smart Lodge Card allows you to securely pay for flights, rail, hotels, and travel services with one central employee expense card which is fully integrated with your travel management provider. And of course: no transaction fees, no foreign exchange fees, no card fees apply.

Seamless integration with Yokoy’s software facilitates smooth data exchange between the cards and the expense management system. For instance, transactions conducted using Yokoy cards synchronise with the software, obviating the need for manual input and ensuring precision. Furthermore, Yokoy’s software gets you real-time expenditure monitoring, automated reconciliation, and customisable spending controls, complementing the card functionalities. By using these capabilities, your organisation can amplify visibility into expenses, uphold compliance with internal protocols, and optimise budget distribution.

Simplify your spend management

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