What is... Expense Management?

Juggling your business and your finances contains risk, turbulence, and a lot of work. Add streams of jargon and lots of the little inefficient things companies have to do, and it also becomes increasingly stressful and difficult to get into.

But it needn’t be this way. Deconstruct the jargon, throw out the inefficiencies, and cut the hidden costs, and you’ll wonder why you spent so much time worrying about the little things instead of focusing on what makes you get out of bed in the morning. Here's Curve's guide to Expense Management made easy:

What is Expense Management?

A cursory glance online will tell you that “Expense management refers to the systems deployed by a business to process, pay, and audit employee-initiated expenses”, and “includes the policies and procedures which govern such spending, as well as the technologies and services utilised to process and analyse the data associated with it.”

In short: how a company goes about paying for items (and tracking that spend) when employees or the company's director make the initial purchase themselves.

Keeping on top of expenses is a process that should not be soaking up your time and resources; compared to strategy, product or communications, paying back train fares is fairly inconsequential to the success of your company, right? For many of us, though, managing expenses results in a wallet or purse full of receipts and a lot of confusion.

"It is a process that should not be soaking up your time and resources..."

In the end, the process is very manual, and an employee's final repayment can take a long time to reach the finance team and, more importantly, the employee's account.

At Curve, we're working to help you get smarter with your business expenses - here are 5 steps to streamline your expenses:

(1) Develop a complete company expenses policy (and make it visible in the office!)

This is something every company, freelancer, and self-employed enterprise needs, and hopefully you already have one. What will the company pay for, what won’t they.

Make sure all staff (even if it's just you!) know the rules by making them visible in the workplace and you will seriously cut down on invalid expense applications.

(2) Make your expenses policy clear, concise, and simple

In a similar vein, if your policy has lots of asterisks and small print attached to it, you are going to make mistakes, and rejecting lots of applications for expenses takes time. Be clear, and remove as many complicated aspects as you can. Spending an extra £20 a week on coffee may be worth it to avoid wasting time on removing individual items from long expenses claims, allowing you focus on getting that new table for the board room.

(3) Let your expenses policy evolve with your company

As the economy changes, as your business expands, and as employee numbers increase, you may find your expenses policy becoming quickly out of date, time-consuming and manual - in short, expensive. Keep up to date and be firm when it comes to funding cheaper alternatives in areas like travel. Don't miss out on great digital alternatives to the workplace, too!

(4) Cut out the middleman

As expenses derive from purchases made by yourself and your employees, you can cut down on the backlog of paperwork by finding ways to avoid this happening in the first place. This can be anything from ordering lunch to the office, or getting a company credit card for employees to use on events or otherwise high cost occasions.

(5) Utilise tools that cut out the hassle

Even after doing all the steps above, one of the most fundamental difficulties remains, keeping track of the spending and receipts of all of your staff. Curve allows you to catalogue and label all your transactions, upload receipts in the app, and send all the information to your inbox automatically.

You don’t need to bring multiple bank cards on trips, or risk losing a company card. Instead everyone can save time sifting through receipts or waiting for applications by sending expenses immediately after a transaction from your phone. Plus, you can set up email forwarding for Email Receipts to your finance team - take back your time, and let Curve do the rest for you.

Managing your business and your finances at the same time is a lot to juggle. Curve helps you get smarter with your money across all your business accounts, all in one place. Order your Curve card now at imaginecurve.com.

Curve is a single card and app that combines all your existing bank cards into one. The app and card allow you to upload and spend from all your bank cards using just one Curve MasterCard, unlocking benefits such as: keeping on top of your business spending on-the-go with real time notifications, managing and tracking your expenses in the app, and saving money when you travel with super low foreign exchange fees.

Alan McAlpine

Product Marketing at Curve 🚀

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