Level 4s are highly modernized, relying heavily on digital systems and almost entirely paperless. By using tech-based processes to automate expense tracking and digital tools like Receipt Capture, the paper trail has been broken.
The reporting and reconciliation benefits of Receipt Capture are evident to Level 4s, yet they haven’t made the full crossover to optimizing. Organizations that are Level 4 juggle a diverse number of systems and accounts across multiple field offices and divisions, requiring a massive effort to maintain order.
One of the biggest factors hindering advancement into complete efficiency and management is a lack of spending and budget controls. One size no longer fits all at these active organizations. But caution: control doesn’t mean inflexibility. In fact, as you’ll see below, controls give your organization more flexibility.
Here are two important steps that you can take as a Level 4 to get more value from your expense reporting technology.
Install parameters and take control
As your organization expands, it’s critical to have the capability to set parameters at any level, at any time, from any place. These are just a few of the parameters you should be able to control:
Types of purchase: What can specifically be purchased with the card, e.g., office supplies, educational supplies, meals, gas, client entertainment, equipment rentals, event tickets, construction materials, nonprofit relief efforts, etc.
Dates for activity: When the purchase can be made, whether that’s for a few hours, days or months. It may mean no weekend spending, or spending only during the hours 9-5, or just on February 14 from 12-2pm.
Merchant Category Code: MCCs indicate the type of good or service purchased and categorizes it into a subsection, such as transportation or food. Not only do you want to know this level of detail, it comes in extremely handy in preparing tax documents. For example, when it comes to transportation, you can limit some cards to 4121 for taxis and 4784 for airline tickets, so that no one decides to use it for 4457 boat rental or 4411 cruise lines.
Managing scale means managing expenses and employee spending, often across multiple accounts.
Increasing the number of employee cards you have in use will ensure that expenses can be taken care of quickly and from anywhere. With multiple systems and accounts, it’s important to manage purchasing and reporting in real-time.
Integrating your accounting software for end-to-end reconciliation allows you to keep purchase information in one location. This makes it easier for you to look at your expenses, adjust your spending as needed, and calculate expense spending at the end of each month.
Prioritize real-time reporting
As your company grows, and there’s more spending from more people, real-time reporting grows in importance. Huge sums can be transacted in just a few hours. You want to be able to see granular activity as it happens, but staring at columns of numbers on spreadsheets just doesn’t cut it. Savvy organizations recognize the value-add of dashboard metrics. With one quick look, you can see the KPIs most important to spending—what’s within budget, where there are outliers, and what’s trending up or down.
Positive Energy Solar, the leading solar energy installation company in New Mexico, has hundreds of employees across the state, who often need to make purchases on the fly. Without PEX, they would be drowning in paper receipts and Excel spreadsheets to keep track of purchases by project. With PEX prepaid Visa cards, purchases are done digitally and are limited to certain categories, at specific stores, during set hours each day—making tracking by project in their ERP system easy and reducing hours of administrative work.