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How Corporate Fleet Cards Help Modern Transport & Logistic Businesses

Mohammed Ridwan

January 30, 2024

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Companies use petty cash for managing driver and transport expenses, including maintenance, repairs, and small purchases, by allocating a small amount of physical cash to drivers. Drivers submit receipts for reconciliation, and they manually track these small transactions. 

However, tracking numerous trivial transactions becomes time-consuming, and discrepancies emerge during reconciliation. There's always a risk of misuse or theft, demanding strict security measures. Moreover, negotiating favorable terms with vendors for minor, recurring transactions becomes challenging. They must carefully budget and maintain a sufficient petty cash fund, which strains their overall cash flow.

Overall, the manual process raises efficiency concerns, necessitating a balance between control and practicality in managing day-to-day vehicle-related expenses.

A better alternative to petty cash is a fleet card. 

This post will explore corporate fleet cards, their benefits for transport and logistics, and strategies to overcome potential fuel card challenges for improved spend management.

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What Is Meant by Fleet Card?

A fleet card, also known as a fuel or gas card, is a specialized payment card used by businesses to cover expenses related to their vehicle fleets. It is issued by fuel companies or financial institutions specifically for fuel purchases, maintenance, and other vehicle-related expenses.

What Can Fleet Cards Be Used For?

The fleet cards are primarily used for fuel purchases, maintenance, and repairs. They facilitate seamless payments for routine servicing, tolls and parking fees, and purchasing vehicle-related products.

You get cards with custom spending limits and advanced controls, such as real-time transaction monitoring mechanisms, category-specific restrictions, and automated alerts for enhanced security and streamlined expense management.

Drivers purchase fuel, maintenance, and other vehicle-related expenses at authorized locations with the cards, and you enjoy complete visibility on a centralized dashboard for each transaction.

What Are the Benefits of a Corporate Fleet Card?

Switching from manual petty cash management to a fleet card yields the following benefits:

  • Simplifies payment processes by reducing the complexity of cash handling

  • Improves tracking and monitoring of all vehicle-related expenses

  • Minimizes the risk of theft or misuse, providing enhanced security measures

  • Automates the expense management and reconciliation process, eliminating manual record-keeping and ensuring accuracy with reduced likelihood of errors

  • Promotes compliance by enabling you to set controls and restrictions on card usage according to company policies

  • Enhances budgeting by providing detailed reports and insights into the spending patterns for a structured and controlled approach to managing vehicle-related costs

  • Streamlines transactions with vendors, offering an efficient payment method for small, frequent transactions

Should I Use a Fuel Card or a Credit Card?

Fuel cards and credit cards share similarities in providing a convenient payment method for expenses. Both can be used at gas stations and offer detailed transaction records for monitoring expenditures. Moreover, both cards come with features such as spending controls, reporting tools, and rewards programs.

However, here are some differences between the two:

  • Fuel cards restrict card usage to fuel and maintenance-related purchases, providing greater control and limiting potential misuse.
  • Fuel cards come with fuel discounts or rewards programs at specific gas stations, providing potential cost savings that credit cards do not generally offer.
  • While credit cards provide transaction records, fuel cards offer more detailed reporting on vehicle-related expenses like fuel consumption, maintenance costs, and odometer tracking.
  • Fleet cards partner with fuel providers, service centers, and other vendors, allowing businesses to negotiate favorable terms and discounts for bulk purchases or regular transactions. For instance, a fleet card's partnership with a fuel station yields discounted fuel prices, facilitating substantial cost savings.

So, for transport and logistics businesses, corporate fleet cards offer specialized controls for fuel and maintenance, streamlined reporting, and potential fuel-related discounts.

What Are the Risks of Fuel Cards?

Fuel cards, tailored for fleet management, are designed to address the unique needs of companies in the transport and logistics sector. However, organizations face the following challenges when switching to corporate fleet fuel cards:

1. Gas Station Availability Issues

Fuel cards encounter challenges related to gas station availability that limit refueling options. As a result, drivers can not find suitable gas stations, leading to increased travel time and delays in delivery schedules.

3. Location-Dependent Acceptance

The acceptance of corporate fleet cards varies by location, leading to constraints and inconveniences for companies operating in areas where certain cards are not widely accepted.

Drivers will encounter difficulties during interstate routes if you offer a nationwide delivery service and the fleet card is only accepted at specific gas stations or regions. It complicates expense management and hinders the company's ability to streamline fuel-related transactions.

3. Management Complexity

The specialized design of fuel cards introduces an administrative burden when managed separately. For instance, a company using distinct fuel cards for different vehicles finds consolidating expenses difficult, leading to increased administrative efforts and potential operational inefficiencies.

As a result, administrators have a hard time reconciling statements, accurately tracking expenses, and ensuring compliance. This burden increases processing times and errors in financial reporting.

4. Reward Limitations

While crafted to suit industry needs, fuel cards encounter limitations in cashback offers. Consider a scenario where a company's preferred fuel card provides cashback benefits only at select stations, restricting potential cost savings for the entire fleet. 

Source

Why Should You Switch to Pluto Corporate Fleet Cards?

Pluto fleet cards don't restrict the use of cards at their discretion. Instead, they facilitate advanced controls and real-time visibility. From issuing budgeted fuel cards to creating vendor-specific cards, you can set rules that align with your company's needs and policies. Then, with each transaction, you track all fleet expenses from a single dashboard and get real-time data without manual effort.

Pluto's corporate fleet cards

So, you set cards and add controls, and you are good to go! Drivers can spend them at convenient gas stations while you enjoy complete visibility and control. Each transaction appears on the dashboard and notifies drivers to upload the receipt directly from WhatsApp. Once uploaded, you can approve the expense, and the data syncs with your accounting software to help you close your books ten times faster.

Here are the top six benefits of switching to Pluto corporate fleet cards:

1. Unrestricted Access Anywhere

Unlike traditional restrictions, Pluto corporate fleet cards liberate your drivers. There are no limitations on locations or specific fuel stations. Enjoy the convenience of using cards at the most budget-friendly and strategically located gas stations, repair shops, or truck stops that welcome Mastercard.

2. Easy Cashback

Pluto corporate fleet cards make cashback benefits straightforward. With up to 2% unlimited cashback on over 100+ currency spends, enjoy seamless cost savings without intricate conditions or restrictions.

3. Smart Budgeting

Smart budgeting with corporate fleet cards

Pluto fleet cards, functioning as debit cards, provide smart budgeting without blocking cash flow. Drivers can request limit increases in seconds, ensuring operational flexibility with swift approvals. This distinctive feature sets Pluto apart, seamlessly blending budget management and uninterrupted cash flow for efficient fleet operations.

4. Driver-Friendly Controls

Provide drivers with budgeted fuel cards and set spending rules. Real-time data and advanced controls give you complete transparency of fleet expenses, enabling strategic decision-making.

5. Grow With Ease

Whether you have hundreds or thousands of drivers, the streamlined process of issuing corporate fleet cards and setting controls remains hassle-free, supporting your scalability with ease.

6. Eliminate Fraud

Eliminate fraud using Pluto corporate fleet cards

Lock or freeze cards instantly from the Pluto app, ensuring proactive measures against fraud. Enable company policies to ensure in-policy transactions, eliminating the risk of unauthorized spending.

Enhance End-to-End Spend Management

Pluto eliminates the need for separate investments in corporate fleet cards, offering an all-in-one spend management solution. 

Pluto's comprehensive platform facilitates both corporate purchase cards and fleet cards, streamlining your financial operations. Enjoy the same benefits as traditional corporate fleet cards but with enhanced functionality, all within a unified platform. With Pluto, you get unparalleled efficiency in managing corporate expenses, ensuring a seamless and integrated approach to financial control. 

Transform your spend management today. Book a demo and discover how Pluto can optimize your financial processes and elevate your business operations.

Find out how much your business can save with Pluto

Discover your savings with Pluto's Cost Saving Calculator and take control of your expenses. Unlock cost-efficiency now!

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Learn how Pluto is helping Keyper        to eliminate petty cash spending and optimize spend management

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At Pluto Card, our mission is to assist businesses of all scales make well-informed choices. To uphold our standards, we follow editorial guidelines to guarantee that our content consistently aligns with our high-quality benchmarks.

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5
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Spend Management
November 2, 2023

Mohammed Ridwan

Top 6 Spend Management Software for Businesses in the UAE (2023)

Managing business spend is a key concern for most companies. The use of spreadsheets, paper receipts, paper vouchers and handwritten notes makes processes inefficient, time-consuming, and resource-intensive. It also reduces the finance team’s visibility over the company’s spend. 

The lack of control over spend causes stress within finance teams, who lag behind due to lack of visibility.  Moreover, the cash chaos leads to unspoken internal resentment wherein CFOs think that their teams aren’t providing the necessary key financial insights they require.

A spend management platform can solve this problem. But not every software offers the same functionalities and benefits. You need to select the one that has a good UX and in-depth offerings, enables more reporting, is flexible and scalable, integrates with your ERP, supports the complexities of your business, and has robust security. It should also fit into your organizational structure.

To help you choose the most suitable one for your organization, this article will cover the top 7 spend management software to manage your corporate spending. 

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What Is Spend Management Software?

A spend management software is a tool that helps manage corporate spend, i.e., all non-payroll expenses. It does this by:

  • Simplifying capture, storage, and retrieval of receipts and documents to reduce the risk of misplaced receipts
  • Deploying approval workflows to ensure that business spending follows the company's approval hierarchy
  • Providing real-time visibility into business expenses, helping to identify any irregularities
  • Generating alerts when an expenditure violates company policies
  • Automating employee reimbursement processes to reduce delays in employees getting paid
  • Maintaining a complete audit log, including spending approvals and changes
  • Easily sync with your ERP/accounting tool for streamlined month-end close
  • Managing petty cash expenses by tracking and recording small, miscellaneous expenses in real-time
  • Facilitating payment capabilities to handle outgoing financial transactions
  • Integrating corporate cards for real-time expense tracking and control spending
  • Facilitating procurement processes for the purchase of goods and services
  • Handling invoice management to ensure timely payment and record-keeping to foster healthy vendor relations

Hence, spend management software provides financial visibility and control.

Top 7 Spend Management Software

These are the top 7 spend management software to consider:

1.Pluto 

Spend management software by Pluto

Pluto is a spend management platform for enterprises that transforms your finance processes with automation to provide more visibility and control. It brings together the spenders, savers, and sourcers of your business to offer a complete revolution from a chaotic spend management system to a seamless collaborative workflow. It is the fastest way to manage your finances, including account payables and employee reimbursement

Key Features:

  • Custom approval workflows that adapt to the company's hierarchy for timely and accurate approvals 
  • Facilitate intricate multi-layer workflows to adapt to complex hierarchies to support seamless purchase requests and automate purchase orders
  • Unlimited corporate cards with budget controls to maintain expenses within corporate policies
  • Offers zero-balance cards, which get funded once the expense is approved.
  • Card-specific policies to make branch & subsidiary-level reimbursements easy
  • Ability to add comments and document the conversation along with other transaction details to maintain a comprehensive audit log
  • View-only access available for external accountants to review financial data without making changes
  • Automated receipt capture through OCR, with the ability to support bulk upload via WhatsApp and emails 
  • Alerts in case of duplicate receipt uploads to avoid fraud and compliance issues
  • Custom expense reports to overview business expenses and spending trends
  • Integration with accounting platforms like Netsuite for advanced general ledger (GL) coding, tax tracking, vendor syncing, etc. 
  • Secure document storage with a 5-year audit log and bank-grade encryption

Pricing:

 Request a custom quote

Pros:

  • Enables branch & subsidiary-level spend tracking (not offered by other platforms)
  • WhatsApp integration to make receipt upload easy
  • Offers up to 2% cashback on all non-AED transactions 
  • Independent PCI DSS Level 1 Certification

Cons:

  • Slightly longer on-boarding due to corporate card offering 
  • Integrates with all other major ERPs except Tally

2.Procurify 

Spend management solution by Procurify

Procurify simplifies spend management by accelerating the approval and reconciliation process. It helps to track the business spending with real-time tracking and breaking down data silos. With a core focus on simplifying invoice payments and management, it helps businesses in vendor and spend management.  

Key Features:

  • Ability to approve requests based on attached receipts and leave comments for clarification
  • Custom budgets for different departments or projects
  • OCR to auto-extract invoice data with a dedicated centralized invoice box and automatic matching with purchase orders
  • Detailed reports based on different departments, categories, or other relevant parameters
  • Tailored expense request forms to capture specific information relevant to the organization's needs
  • Compatibility with multiple currencies, streamlining international expenses
  • Storage of all expense-related documents, including receipts, invoices, and expense reports
  • Integration with ERP to sync expense data

Pricing: 

It has standard all-in-one pricing of $2000/month. But custom pricing quotes are provided for add-ons like more users, more domains, NetSuite integration, on-premise training, implementation services, and on-premise hybrid implementation.

Pros:

  • Easy to make amendments, for instance, to invoice amounts, which helps when raising a PO before receiving the invoice
  • Responsive support team when handling technical issues

Cons:

  • Does not offer corporate cards in UAE 
  • Only supports procurement based spending 
  • Poor reporting capabilities—lacks functionality  

3. Spendesk 

Spend management platform by Spendesk

Spendesk combines approvals, corporate cards, expense reimbursements, and invoice management to automate the spend management process. Specifically designed for finance teams, it offers real-time expense tracking and offers custom workflows for complete control. By consolidating all payments, it provides a spend management solution that enhances financial transparency. 

Key Features:

  • 100% digital expense reports
  • OCR technology to capture and extract key details from receipts 
  • Expense claim history, available anytime, anywhere, for quick and accurate reporting
  • A mobile app for quick reimbursement requests by snapping a photo of receipts
  • Real-time expense monitoring to spot errors and missing receipts and stay compliant
  • Automates categorization of expenses and VAT account
  • Detects duplicate invoices and errors to support three-way matching
  • Tracks all purchase orders and invoices with the ability to schedule payments

Pricing: 

Request the sales team for a custom quote. A free trial is available.

Pros:

  • Single purchases are straightforward and simple
  • Easy to integrate with an SSO provider, making login easy and secure for users 
  • Handy drag-and-drop receipt functionality

Cons:

  • Virtual cards are glitchy, with merchants rejecting transactions that have already gone through
  • Some basic features are not included in the basic option where they should have been (i.e., memorizing accounting patterns for vendors). 
  • Corporate cards have defects (especially for travel expenses)

4. Airbase

Spend management solution by Airbase

Airbase simplifies expense reporting with AI and ML. It ensures quick, hassle-free, and smart corporate expense management. It is an automation solution for SMBs and large enterprises. It packages various modules such as AP automation and corporate cards to ease the spend management process for accounting teams and employees.

Key Features: 

  • OCR to populate details, including GL category, date, amount, and purpose
  • Ensures compliance by sending reminders and, if needed, locking cards until policies are met
  • Reminders to upload receipts, eliminating the need to chase employees for receipts
  • Custom approval workflows and budget limits for physical cards
  • Real-time alerts for suspicious activity, enabling quick responses to potential fraudulent purchases
  • Supports onboarding with a self-service vendor portal and custom questionnaires
  • Facilitates payments and approvals, including multi-subsidiary support, international currency, and real-time GL sync
  • Real-time audit trail with receipts, notes, and documentation for transparency.

Pricing: 

Request the sales team for a custom quote.

Pros:

  • Intuitive and easy to use; no training or previous knowledge required
  • Seamless approval workflows

Cons:

  • Poor reporting capabilities
  • The mobile app is slow and takes time to load pages 
  • SSO-based login sometimes takes a few tries
  • Not suitable for complex branch-level approvals and expenses

5. Coupa

Coupa: spend management software

Coupa is a cloud-based automation platform to manage business spending, ranging from procurement to expense management. It facilitates supply chain optimization by providing visibility and control. It streamlines expenses, reduces risk, and ensures compliance by automating reporting, simplifying reimbursements, and offering mobile tracking. 

Key Features:

  • Offers virtual payment cards for pre-approved expenses, speeding up the reconciliation
  • OCR technology and integration with accounting software eliminates manual data entry
  • Provides expense reports with intelligent algorithms to prevent fraud and ensure compliance
  • A centralized view of all expense spending, enabling accurate assessment
  • Enables visibility and control over travel expenses before they occur, ensuring budget control
  • Simplifies procurement by offering a centralized area for comparing items from various suppliers and managing punchouts and hosted catalogs
  • Provides real-time visibility into purchase orders, order lifecycle, and order line availability
  • SmarterTrip feature to automate expense tracking based on the user's location, including mileage and receipt capture

Pricing: 

Request the sales team for a custom quote.

Pros:

  • Several categories and filters in the analytics section to streamline data
  • Chat option enables approver and claimant to discuss issues with receipts
  • Enables setting up of customized approval chains and including additional new approvers  

Cons:

  • Lots of unnecessary notifications, making it difficult to select the ones that need action or comment
  • Low receipt searchability, making retrieval time-consuming
  • Inconsistent syncing of remit-to address from NetSuite
  • Complex to implement and not intuitive, forcing admins to spend more time resolving employees' queries
  • Slow customer service 
  • Very expensive

6.BILL

Spend management solution by Bill

BILL simplifies expense tracking by providing real-time visibility and customization to manage expenses. It is a spend management solution for SMBs to control payables, receivables expenses, and all corporate expenses. It allows businesses to combine a scattered spend management process into a single platform with seamless syncing. 

Key Features:

  • Provides credit limits ranging from $500 to $5 million to control spending within constraints
  • Makes it easier to monitor spending with real-time visibility into the business finances
  • Custom approval workflows to speed up the approval process with minimal friction
  • Multiple payment options, including ACH, credit card, check, international wire transfers
  • Automates purchase order workflows with the ability to sync and automate two-way matching and three-way matching
  • Ability to do quick coding and sync with accounting systems to streamline expense reconciliation
  • Enables automated receipt matching, categorization, and expense reporting, reducing administrative workload
  • Offers security features, including the ability to freeze and create corporate cards instantly
  • Notifies administrators of each employee's transactions, ensuring timely oversight

Pricing: 

Bill provides a free trial and essentials pack starting at $45 for six standard user roles. Its team and corporate pack are for $55 and $79, respectively. Enterprises need to request a custom quote.

Pros: 

  • One-click swift payments
  • Minimum training required
  • Easy-to-use mobile app

Cons: 

  • Customer support is difficult to initiate, slow, and unresponsive
  • Frequent changes in the interface create confusion for users

How to Choose the Right Spend Management Software 

To pick the right software, understand your organization's unique needs.

  • What are your goals—cutting costs, enhancing compliance, or making expense processing more efficient?
  • What issues do you face with expenses now—a time-consuming process, too many errors, or poor vendor relationships?
  • How many employees will use the software, and should it be scalable to accommodate future hires?
  • Do you have specific industry rules or in-house policies the software must follow?

Consider these eight factors:

Ease of Use

The software should require minimal training or support with a not-too-steep learning curve. Admins shouldn’t have to spend hours training their employees.

Automation

Choose software with features like automated approval workflows, expense categorization, and notifications. This will improve not only visibility but also accuracy and speed. You will have complete control over finances without having to do tedious manual tasks. 

Security

Pick software that complies with security and is certified. It should provide data encryption, role-based access control, and regular security updates.

ERP Integration

The software should integrate with existing financial and accounting systems. This provides a unified view of your financial data without any disruptions. You shouldn’t have to sync data from multiple sources, which can add up to the manual tasks. 

Document Capture and Retrieval

Pick a software that has simple document capture and retrieval capabilities. Attaching or retrieving receipts, invoices, and other relevant documents should not take more than a minute. OCR-based software that detects the information to auto-populate expense reports is better than that requiring manual entry.

Budget Control

Select software that enables specifying budgets for different projects, departments, or expense categories. It should be able to monitor the set budgets and raise alerts in case of breach. It should also allow you to modify these budgets at your discretion, ensuring funds reach the right place at the right time. 

Multiple Payment Options

The software should allow you to configure custom payment options to suit your business needs. This includes credit cards, ACH, or other payment methods.

Scalability and Flexibility

Select software that can accommodate increased usage for growing businesses. It must also be flexible enough to adapt to changing needs, such as new expense categories, compliance requirements, and organizational structures.

The Spend Management Solution for Your Team

Investing in a spend management tool like Pluto is a smart decision that can improve your financial visibility. From set-up to integration and managing intricate workflows, Pluto handles all aspects of spend management. 

  • It seamlessly integrates with your current processes, ensuring a smooth transition. 
  • It offers flexibility to handle complex operations, catering to the needs of both small and large teams. 
  • Its automation capabilities reduce manual tasks and enhance accuracy for better expense management. 

Pluto is the only independently audited PCI DSS Level 1 provider in the UAE, ensuring the highest security standards for enterprises.

Pluto offers a spend management tool that adapts to your evolving needs and provides freedom from financial chaos.

If you want to see how Pluto can transform your spend management into a simpler process, book a demo today.

Disclaimer: The comparisons and rankings of spend management software competitors in this article are based primarily on reviews found online. While we strive to provide accurate and up-to-date information, these reviews are subjective and reflect the opinions of the users who posted them. The information presented is intended for general informational purposes and should not be considered as a definitive guide for choosing a software provider. We encourage readers to conduct their own research and consider their specific needs before making a decision.

5
All
Spend Management
January 19, 2023

Vlad Falin

What is an Expense Report? How to Create One?

One crucial aspect of business finance management is knowing how the money of your organization is being spent.  You can’t paint a complete picture of your organization’s financial health without understanding how the money is flowing first. This clarity is precisely what effective expense reports provide. When properly maintained, expense reports give you a clear perspective over your organization's finances. 

In this comprehensive guide, we delve into:

  • The Definition of Expense Reports: What are they and why are they crucial?
  • The Importance of Accurate Expense Reporting: How does it affect your organization's financial health?
  • Creating Effective Expense Reports: We'll explore two practical methods to craft accurate and insightful expense reports, empowering you to make informed financial decisions.

What is an expense report?

An expense report is a crucial tool in business finance management. It is a categorized and itemized list of expenses made on behalf of the organization. These reports assist employers or finance teams in determining what money was spent, what was purchased, and how much of the expenditure is eligible for reimbursement.

The purpose of an expense report is to track the expenditures of a business and expense forms should include all purchases necessary to operate a business, such as food, gas, or parking.

It is most commonly used by employees when requesting reimbursement for expenditures. 

When expenditure amounts exceed a certain threshold, receipts are usually attached to the form. 

Employees are paid the requested amounts after the employer examines their submissions for accuracy and validity. 

In this case, the employer will be able to recognize accounting profit and taxable profit based on the reimbursements.

Business expense reports are usually generated on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis to track business spending:

  • It is important for a company to maintain monthly and quarterly expense reports to track all of its purchases during that period. The reports are used to determine whether spending within the organization's budget is within its limits and to identify areas for cost reductions.
  • Yearly expense reports are in turn used for tax purposes. A company's tax returns are prepared using its annual expense reports.

It is also possible to use expense reports to detail expenditures made against an initial employee advance. 

Employers still record employee expenses as business expenses, but they do not reimburse employees; instead, they deduct the expenditures from employee advances.

Why use an expense report?

Expense reports are essential for small businesses, enabling a clear tracking of business expenses often paid out-of-pocket by employees. These reports detail all reimbursable expenses and require attaching receipts for accurate verification. Once reviewed for accuracy, employees are reimbursed accordingly. Additionally, small business owners and accountants use these reports to analyze total expenses over specific periods, employing accounting tools to assess whether costs align with budget expectations

The following are some benefits of generating a expense report:

1. Facilitates efficient expense tracking and cost control

Analyzing expense report data is the ideal starting point for cost control. This allows you to track your firm's spending over time by giving you a clearer picture of what your money is being spent on. 

Additionally, you can analyze how much your employees are spending on different expense categories, determine which categories are driving up costs, and implement strategies to reduce or eliminate them. In addition to identifying loopholes in expense policies, these reports can help you decide which vendors to prioritize and which ones to let go by identifying loopholes in expense policies.

Tracking expenses over time allows you to identify whether a particular expense category (such as transportation or hotels) is increasing costs excessively. As a result, you can strategize on how to reduce or eliminate these costs.

2. Helps with budgeting

A business's budget is essential to its smooth operation. A detailed and accurate expense report can help your organization develop a strong and informed financial plan. As a result, various departments and projects can be allocated more appropriate budgets. You can maintain your business's financial security long-term by consistently tracking expenses in order to ensure that different departments and projects adhere to their budgets.

3. Makes for accurate reimbursements

In the event that an employee paid for business expenses out of pocket, they would expect a fair and accurate reimbursement. 

Also, you want to make sure that the request is fair so that you don't pay more than you are owed. 

It allows organizations to determine if a claim is legitimate faster by providing employees with a standardized process to learn what can and cannot be expensed. 

In addition to providing solid evidence of when, where, and how expenses were incurred, itemized expense reports with receipts do the same for proving compliance with your organization's expense policy.

4. Simplifies tax deductions

Tax deductions are available for many business expenses incurred by employees at work. In order to claim expenses as deductions, you must properly record them and provide proof that they were actually incurred. 

Business owners sometimes use their bank account or corporate card statements to keep track of their deductible expenses. It's important to keep in mind that these statements may not include all expenses. 

In contrast, expense reports simplify the process of keeping track and deducting deductible expenses during tax season. The finance team simply needs to add up all the expenses that can be deducted and enter them into the appropriate tax forms.

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What should be in the expense report?

By creating an expense report, you (or your accountant) can easily add up all expenses so that they can be entered into your tax return. 

Some crucial elements to include in an expense report include:

  • The name, department, designation, and contact information of the employee who submitted the report.
  • The date and amount of each expense (corresponding to the date and amount on the receipt)
  • What type of expense is being incurred (meals, mileage, internet, etc.)?
  • Vendor or merchant who sold the item
  • If applicable, the client or project for which it was purchased
  • From your accounting chart, determine the account where the expense should be charged
  • A description of each expense in more detail
  • Expense subtotals and total costs, including taxes, for each type of expense
  • (If applicable) a deduction for prior advances made to the employee

How to create expense reports

Companies most often generate and track expense reports using spreadsheets, templates, or expense reporting software. 

You can generate expense reports in two different ways: manually through templates, or through Pluto. 

Manual expense reporting with custom templates

To make the task of preparing expense reports easier for employees, some organizations provide customizable, ready-made templates to download and use. To report expenses in this way, follow these steps:

  1. The employee outlines their name, contact information, designation, the dates covered, and the purpose of the report in the appropriate fields.
  2. Following that, they determine how many rows and columns the expense report should contain. For example, some firms have mandatory columns and categories that correspond to the expense categories and columns in tax returns.
  3. In the report, expenses should be listed chronologically with brief descriptions, with the most recent expense appearing at the end.
  4. In order to calculate the grand total, the employee must first calculate the subtotals for each expense category followed by the total for all expenses. Subtotals assist the finance department in analyzing expenses.
  5. Finally, all expenses mentioned above must be accompanied by receipts. The receipts can either be scanned or photocopied depending on whether the report is being submitted digitally.
  6. Reports are submitted to the line manager or department manager for validation and fraud detection.
  7. As soon as they approve the report, it is forwarded to the finance department for reimbursement.

Automated expense reporting

The use of expense report templates is a quick way to keep track of expenses for small businesses. 

The problem arises when your business grows, at which point the process of filling out a report, even if using a template, can become a time-consuming task. 

When multiple departments process several expense reports a day, it is important to switch to an automated expense reporting solution like Pluto, so that these reports can be tracked and managed more efficiently.

  1. Pluto enables employees to create expense reports on the fly. Their receipts need to be captured digitally or filled out in the mandatory fields within the application. 
  2. By grouping all the expense claims together, a report can be created and submitted effortlessly. 
  3. Pluto also provides virtual and physical cards, so the expense data are booked straight into the platform for later use.
  4. Line managers and department managers review reports to identify policy violations, fraud, duplicate expenses, or warnings about them. 

How to simplify the expense reporting process

While expense reports are important when it comes to gaining an overall view of the way money is moving, creating them can be a hassle when your organization incurs too many expenses to keep track of manually.

However, there are a few ways that you can simplify your expense reporting. These include:

Switching to expense reporting software

The first step in expense management is to file expense reports. You must also maintain policy compliance, reimburse expenses on time, and conduct successful expense audits to stay on top of your business expenses. 

This is where Pluto can help. By providing multiple ways to record expenses on the go, we eliminate the need for manual data entry and paperwork. You can benefit from an expense management solution by:

  • Generating and submitting reports automatically;
  • The ability to support multiple expense policies and spend limits;
  • Eliminates policy violations and fraudulent expenditures
  • Analytical reports and intuitive dashboards increase spend visibility

With all of these features, you can save time and money while keeping your employees productive.

Make expenses easy to report and track

Provide your employees with Pluto real-time reporting system where they can track expenses, submit receipts, and report business expenses. 

Business expense reports can be updated in real-time using online or smartphone apps, and receipt images can be added for total transparency, if you use digital technology. 

Time-stamping and expense classification make it easy to catch fraud, which is beneficial to both you and your employees.

Embrace mobile devices

By scanning receipts and automatically extracting and reporting the key data, Pluto saves your employees' time and improves their expense reporting accuracy. 

It makes perfect sense for you to use an app that allows your employees to track expenses easily from their phones since most (if not all) of your employees spend a lot of time on their smartphones. 

Set up a routine audit

Ensure that you also incorporate a routine audit process into your business expense report policies. Your expense report should be audited quarterly, biannually, or annually, depending on the number of expenditures your employees incur. 

You can catch fraud cases through audits, but you can also understand where the biggest expenditures are and reduce them. 

Routine audits can also help you improve management and tracking of your business expenses by letting you know how to refine your reporting process.

Automated expense reporting with Pluto

Pluto allows you to issue virtual cards and physical cards and that immediately solves two things:

  • No need for petty cash or out of pocket expenses;
  • Real-time reporting of all the incurred expenses;

The spend management system allows you to issues cards for a particular employee, vendor, or even expense type. 

It also allows you to set the limits on the go, and see all the expenses in the real-time report. All that, while your employees can easily categorize the expenses and upload the physical receipts just by taking a photo on their mobile device. 

Reporting expenses manually is very time consuming, but having them all digitally stored and automatically reported solves the problem. 

Key takeaways

Expense reports are a crucial aspect of the financial bookkeeping of any business organization. Not only are they important for knowing how much money is being spent by the company, whether as a whole or for a specific project, but also for the purpose of reimbursing employees for business-related expenses. 

Plus, they also help you with budgeting, tax reporting, and cost control measures.

You can easily create an expense report using a premade or personalized template, but you’ll have a much easier time in the long run if you start using Pluto.

5
All
Corporate Cards
October 1, 2022

Leen Shami

What is Pluto Card?

What is Pluto Card?

At Pluto, we believe better expense management should be within everyone's reach. We solve MENA finance teams' pain points by replacing their business credit cards with Pluto corporate cards to help manage their expenses, saving them time and money.

How do we do that?

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Create Unlimited Corporate Cards

When multiple employees have access to one company credit card, it can be difficult for finance teams and business owners to track how much is being spent and where.

The result: everyone texting the CEO or CFO for OTPs during important meetings.

Pluto makes it easy to create and distribute virtual and physical corporate cards to each employee. Not only does this minimize fraud risk, but it also makes expense tracking simpler for finance teams, CFOs, and CEOs.

With Pluto’s unlimited corporate cards, you’ll be able to:

  • Create virtual cards in seconds.
  • Receive physical cards in 1-2 days.
  • Use cards for vendor-specific cases.
  • Assign every employee a budgeted corporate card.

Spend Control

Are you running ads at a cost that exceeds your marketing budget? Are you providing new hires with an allowance to cover the costs of their office equipment and software, or do you offer employees additional perks such as a monthly gym stipend?

Pluto gives you the ability to set limits and take control of your company’s business expenses, hassle-free.

With Pluto’s all-in-one expense management platform, you’ll be able to:

  • Assign virtual or physical cards with spend limits.
  • Allocate a specific budget towards daily, weekly, or monthly expenditures.
  • Create a single-use purchase card that automatically deactivates once it is used.
  • Control spending for different departments by allotting a budgeted amount to be spent.

Goodbye overspending 👋🏼

Reimburse In Record Time 

Reimbursements can be a painful process when the end of the month rolls in. Whether you’re scrambling to find lost receipts, trying to match receipts to their expenses, or organizing them in a document, there’s no easy way.

Drag & drop receipts

Pluto makes it easy for employees to list receipts.

Once a business expense is made by an employee, they’ll be able to drag & drop an image or screenshot of the receipt onto the Pluto dashboard.

Yes, as simple as that.

Easily reconcile receipts

Pluto allows you to seamlessly submit your receipts onto the platform. With Pluto, reconciliation is a breeze.

Once a business expense is made:

  • Attach receipts to card transactions with just a few clicks.
  • Transactions will automatically be categorized.

Add a memo to every transaction.

Get reimbursed in minutes

Waiting till the end of the month to get reimbursed for out-of-pocket business expenses is no longer necessary! 

Pluto gives you the opportunity to get reimbursed in minutes.

Once a reimbursable out-of-pocket expense is made, head to the Pluto dashboard to log the expense and get reimbursed as soon as it is approved.

Get Real-Time Data

Your month-end expense report comes in—and you find that you've spent more money than budgeted. Again.

With Pluto, you can stay on top of your expenses at any given moment.  

By getting real-time data, you can view reports of your company’s spending and ensure that your company’s finances are in check.  

It's simple, Pluto helps you avoid overspending and keep track of your company's finances in real-time.

So what does this mean for you?

  • See transactions happening on your cards in real time.
  • Receive notifications about every single card transaction, if needed.
  • Collect information on which vendors your company is spending the most money with.
  • Identify which employees or departments are spending the most.
  • Get an overview of the expenses you have incurred daily or month-to-month.

Pluto allows you to adjust if spending has gone off course—and plop some celebratory balloons if it hasn't 🎊!

Integrate With Other Platforms

Every business has multiple platforms, and we know how important it is for them to talk to each other. Pluto's integrations make it easy to get started and ensure you have all the data you need in one place. 

Accounting Integration

Pluto syncs your company's transactional data to the most popular accounting platforms through direct integrations so you can automate your accounting and close books faster.

No more end-of-month mayhem! 😅 

Mobile Wallet Integration

Pluto Virtual Corporate Card

With Pluto, you can add your virtual or physical cards to your digital wallet to make transactions seamless and easy.

We support Google Pay, Android Pay, and Samsung Pay.

What Else Does Pluto Offer?

Pluto gives you the opportunity to scale your business, without having to worry about the smaller details.

No FX Fees

Pluto doesn't charge you any foreign transaction fees for using your Pluto corporate card outside of the UAE.

If your business is expanding rapidly and your team is traveling more frequently, you won't have to worry about those pesky charges eating into your profits.

Or if your company needs to pay for subscriptions, contractors, or freelancers in a different country, you can do so without racking up a bill in FX fees.

Remote teams, frequent flyers, or big spenders, we've got you covered!

Accepted Worldwide

Whether your team is distributed, travels a lot, or makes international payments, Pluto’s corporate cards are accepted worldwide.

Advanced Security & Privacy

Pluto is PCI DSS Compliant. We take the safety of your information very seriously; all your data is stored and processed following the highest data protection standards in the industry. 

Get Started in Minutes

Pluto's sign-up process takes minutes, not hours. By adopting a KYB and KYC process that can be done within a few clicks, you’ll be making transactions in no time.

  • Simple application process.
  • No credit history is required.
  • Fast approvals.
  • Instant card access once approved.

Let us take the hassle out of managing your expenses. Start Using Pluto Today - For Free.