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A Guide to Improve Internal Control Over Financial Reporting

Mohammed Ridwan

October 30, 2023

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Internal control over financial reporting (ICFR) refers to the legal obligation of a company to provide accurate financial statements. It requires you to adopt policies and processes that show the true picture of the company's finances. This involves:

  • Avoiding errors, fraud, or omissions 
  • Meeting deadlines 
  • Reviewing statements regularly.

An example of ICFR is inventory control, which involves maintaining accurate records of the company's goods. This requires adopting practices such as:

  • Maintaining documents, such as receipts, shipments, and adjustments
  • Segregating duties to different individuals or teams for handling, recording, and verifying inventory
  • Matching physical inventory counts with recorded inventory levels
  • Valuing inventory in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) principles, such as FIFO, LIFO, or the weighted average method.

These practices minimize the risk of inventory discrepancies and enhance the accuracy of financial statements.

What is the Purpose of ICFR?

ICFR is mandatory as per the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) of 1977 and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) of 2002.

FCPA requires public companies to establish and maintain accounting controls. This reasonably ensures that financial statements comply with GAAP.

SOX takes this a step ahead and mandates public companies to assess the effectiveness of ICFR efforts and share the results with the public. Additionally, it demands large companies to get independent auditors for the evaluation.

Why is Internal Control Over Financial Reporting Important?

ICFR’s purpose is not restricted to being a statutory obligation. Here are five reasons why ICFR should be on your priority list:   

Accurate Financial Statements

ICFR ensures accurate financial statements that reflect the company's financial position and performance. Such reports enable investors, creditors, and internal management to make informed decisions.

Error Reduction

ICFR emphasizes the use of automation, standardized procedures, and clear documentation. This reduces the risk of errors due to human oversight, saving time and resources.

Preventing Fraud and Misconduct

ICFR employs strategies such as segregation of duties, multiple approvals, and regular audits. This reduces the chances of oversight and ensures employees do not engage in fraudulent activities.

Reliability

Stakeholders (including investors and creditors) rely on financial reports to assess a company's performance. Effective ICFR policies build confidence in the company's financial reports. 

Avoiding Costly Errors

ICFR detects errors and discrepancies before they can escalate into expensive matters. This saves significant expenses and protects its long-term viability. For example, identifying accounting errors eliminates the need for financial restatements.

What are the Components of Internal Control Over Financial Reporting? 

There are five main components of internal control over financial reporting. These are defined by the Committee on Sponsoring Organizations (COSO) of the Treadway Commission. 

These five components are also known as the COSO framework.

Control Environment 

The control environment includes the organization's standards, processes, structures, and values. It comprises:

  • Ethical values of the organization
  • Organizational structure and authority workflow
  • Processes to build a competent team
  • Focus on performance measurement, incentives and rewards.

These elements create an environment that fosters internal control in the organization.

Risk Assessment 

Risk assessment is an agile process for identifying and assessing risks. It involves:

  • Identification of potential risks that impact the ICFR efforts. This includes both internal and external risks.
  • Evaluation of the potential impact of identified risks. Some risks have a higher likelihood and a greater impact than others.

For instance, an internal risk could be employees intentionally inflating their expense reports to receive higher reimbursements. The potential impact will be financial misstatements if the risk goes undetected. 

Control Activities 

Control activities refer to the plan of action to address the risks identified during risk assessment. This requires establishing specific policies and procedures, such as:

  • Segregation of duties to prevent fraud and collusion
  • Controls in information security, application development, and system maintenance
  • Implementation of entity-level controls, such as reviewing differences between planned budget and expenditure
  • Employing preventive control, such as limited access to IT systems and automated approvals
  • Using detective control to identify misstatements via reconciliations and management review controls

One such example would be accounts payable automation to eliminate manual data entry. For instance, an OCR-based automation tool will improve receipt retrieval if there are recurring manual errors.

Account payable automation to eliminate manual data entry

Information and Communication 

Information and communication ensure that key stakeholders know their roles and responsibilities. It involves:

  • Defining expectations from each stakeholder in the financial reporting process
  • Educating employees on ICFR policies, procedures, and compliance requirements
  • Providing channels for reporting concerns and issues related to ICFR.

An example would be communicating reimbursement policies to manage company spending. These rules set clear limits and expectations for employees. 

Hence, if the policy says entry-level employees can't claim travel expenses, they should not submit such expenses for reimbursement.

Monitoring Activities

Monitoring activities involve regular review of financial controls and processes to identify and rectify issues. It includes the following steps:

  • Review expense reports, receipts, and other data to verify the accuracy.
  • Test sample data to ensure that controls are operating as intended.
  • Detect unusual patterns or anomalies in the data.
  • Verify that employees are following established policies and procedures.

One such example would be reviewing travel expense reports as a part of expense management. It involves verifying receipts and approval compliance. Any detected exceptions trigger investigations and corrective actions.

A Better Way to Manage Internal Control Over Financial Reporting

Setting effective policies for ICFR requires financial data visibility and proper reconciliation processes. Hence, achieving this demands more than policies and procedures. 

You need software to support operational efficiency transformation. Here is how Pluto offers a helping hand to get better control over your ICFR efforts: 

Seamless Financial Reporting 

Real time financial reporting with Pluto

Pluto generates detailed financial reports, providing more accurate and effective financial reporting. You can automate the process of data entry with OCR-based receipt capture. This reduces the manual errors and ensures accuracy. 

A multi-layer approval workflow ensures that financial transactions are reviewed and authorized on time. This helps you comply with company policies, enhancing control and accuracy.

The seamless integration with accounting software provides real-time data sync. This keeps the data up-to-date, enabling faster report generation.  

Simplify Financial Audit 

Simplify financial audit with Pluto

Pluto centralizes financial data, enhancing auditing capabilities.

Document management becomes simple with the easy uploading and retrieving of financial records. You can bulk download all audit logs and supporting files in a single click. This eliminates the time-consuming task of searching for and gathering individual paperwork. 

Pluto's automated systems keep expense records for all financial transactions. As a result, auditors can trace every step of the transaction, ensuring transparency and accuracy.

With end-to-end encryption, Pluto meets bank-grade security standards to safeguard sensitive financial information. This ensures the safety and easy accessibility of financial data. 

Accounts Payable Automations 

Automate your accounts payable

Pluto automates the accounts payable (AP) process to simplify procurement and payments. From purchase request (PR) to goods received notes (GRN) matching, you can streamline the entire AP process. 

Multi-layer approval workflows accelerate purchase requests and approvals. The purchase order (PO) process becomes faster with custom workflows and ERP integration. 

Pluto automates the entire invoice management process. OCR technology makes it easy to capture and auto-fill invoice details, ensuring accuracy and speed.

Pluto's cash flow management features provide alerts for upcoming payments. This enables you to schedule payments and avoid penalties. 

Budget Control 

Advanced budget control with Pluto

Pluto enables budget control by facilitating spending limits and approval workflows. 

Not only can you decide the limit for corporate cards, but also reject an expense if it goes against company policies. In contrast, you can also approve the spending limit for legitimate expenses.  

This ensures that employees adhere to predefined budgets. Moreover, this gives your finance teams immediate visibility into spending against budgeted amounts. 

ERP Integration  

Integrate your ERP with Pluto

Pluto's ERP integration streamlines vendor management and fosters an efficient control environment.

It imports vendor lists from your ERP and exports them back. This reduces data discrepancies and duplicates, leading to data consistency.  

Pluto's dashboard further makes tracking invoices and payments straightforward. This simplifies the payment and reconciliation process, preventing any errors. 

Expense Management  

Expense management with Pluto

Pluto automates and simplifies expense management processes. 

Each expense prompts a WhatsApp notification for employees to upload receipts. Administrators and managers also receive notifications to approve expenses. Approved expenses get reimbursed immediately to employees' bank accounts.

This seamless approval workflow ensures proper control and accurate financial reporting. 

Go Beyond Statutory Obligations

ICFR is not just a legal compliance. It is a practice to ensure financial visibility and control. While implementing policies and procedures is the main focus, finding the right tools to support your journey will make the process easier.

Pluto automates your financial processes to reduce manual errors and accelerate reconciliation. You close books 10X faster with more confidence. 

Book a demo today, and see how Pluto gives you better control and visibility from day one!

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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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Corporate Cards
October 5, 2022

Vlad Falin

Corporate Card Management: Guide for 2024

The realities of the modern business world require companies to keep a tight hold on their spend management.

We’re not just talking about how you track expenses or reconcile your debts; that’s basic stuff. No, we’re talking about the entire process, from deciding who has the spend rights to analyzing how business spending affects your cash flow and taxes.

The more your business expands, the more crucial (and complex) your expense management process becomes. Spending analysis allows you to correct imbalances, watch for fraud and employee theft, and prepare for regulatory filings.

However, it’s also a cumbersome, time-consuming process that, without the use of the proper platform, requires quite a bit of man-hours to complete.

Modern spend and card management needs to be more sophisticated, intuitive, and built on the needs of finance teams, accountants, CFOs, owners, and employees!

That’s why, at Pluto, we firmly believe in the power of proper corporate card management. Establishing clear policies, outlining appropriate spending limits, and designing airtight analysis protocols can keep your finances in check.

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Modern Corporate Credit Card Programs

Traditionally, businesses relied on employee reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses to facilitate team and department spending. While using employees to frontload business costs helps with float, it also creates potential hardships and liabilities.

Moreover, the process of submitting, reimbursing, and properly cataloging expenses is grotesquely time-consuming for your finance team.

In part, corporate credit cards were designed to take the pressure off corporate finance teams. They make expense management easier, simplify spending procedures, and digitize the bulk of your spending.

Managing corporate credit cards can get quite complex. Adding new cardholders, suspending or closing accounts, or untangling business and personal expenses could take hours of paperwork and phone calls.

But it does not have to be like that. At Pluto, we leveraged our corporate experience, had countless talks with our users, and came up with solutions to every bottleneck of card management.

On-demand corporate cards

For employees to be able to make business expenses, they will need a corporate p card. In our day and age, most of their spending will be online.

Pluto provides you with an unlimited number of virtual cards that can be easily issued right from the dashboard.

If a physical card is needed, you will go through the same simple process, and the card will be delivered to you in just a couple of days.

Receipt Capture and Expense Tracking

Corporate credit cards feed your business expenses into a centralized monthly report. With Pluto, submitting a receipt is as easy as taking a picture with your phone, literally.

When the expense is submitted, it is immediately reflected in the account report.

These reports provide each department head and finance team with the visibility needed to:

  • Link credit card transactions to the right employee
  • Crackdown on overspending
  • Maintain business-wide cashflows
  • Maximize efficiency

With Pluto, you can easily filter through various expenses, check which expenses are still pending, and see the details of that particular spending team-wide.

Increased Flexibility

Corporate cards also provide businesses with the flexibility to take the approach that suits their needs. For instance, your business may assign corporate cards only to key employees and management or traveling employees.

Workers who make only occasional purchases can use Pluto virtual or pre-loaded cards with one-time or limited spend codes.

Ultimately: More Control

Aside from these perks, company credit cards allow you to maximize your data collection and improve your analytics.

You can use this information to curb unnecessary spending, generate insights, and even negotiate better rates with vendors.

But without a proper corporate card management program in place, it’s all too easy for the system to turn upside-down.

What is Corporate Card Management, and Why is it Important?

A corporate card management platform allows business leaders to proactively wrangle company expenditure concerns from multiple fronts.

But to keep everything running smoothly, you also need a well-designed corporate card policy that ensures you are not limiting employees in their work while you are tracking the expenses.

Using corporate cards for operational expenses allows your team to work more efficiently—no more complicated approval processes when buying an online subscription or plane tickets.

But to achieve the balance between flexibility and control, you must have a corporate card management policy. Good corporate card programs:

  • Outline rules for use, such as where and how much employees may spend.
  • Capitalize on issuer-provided controls to set spending limits.
  • Monitor and analyze employee cash flow to minimize inefficiencies.
  • Are quick to catch or counteract employee or outside fraud.
  • Simplify real-time expense reporting.
  • Save time and money by reducing or eliminating physical paperwork.

Above all, a responsible management program frees up resources, putting money back on your balance sheet.

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Best Practices for Efficient Corporate Credit Card Management

The key to managing corporate cards successfully is setting expectations, communicating responsibilities, and setting controls for employee and employer accountability.

Whether you set card limits, lock and unlock cards, issue virtual cards, or code and track expenditures daily is up to you.

Just as long as you design a system that balances control and comfort.

Set Up a Corporate Card Policy

Your company policy should:

  • Set expectations and communicate cardholder responsibilities
  • Lay out eligibility requirements to receive a card
  • Set spend limits for teams, departments, or specific expenditures
  • Outline the process for submitting receipts
  • Establish clear review and penalty processes for violating these rules

Written properly, your policy should ensure everyone understands their rights and responsibilities. 

Decide Which Employees Will Get Cards

One of the most important components of managing your corporate cards is deciding who receives them.

At first, you may want to stick with assigning cards to upper-level management or department heads. But as your business grows, you may enact policies to permit other employees to receive cards conditionally or permanently, such as your sales team.

Ensuring your cards are in the right hands for the right reasons gives your employees a sense of flexibility and responsibility.

Consider Virtual Cards

You might consider issuing virtual cards when an employee may need one-time or limited access to a corporate card.

With Pluto, you can issue unlimited virtual cards in a matter of minutes and set spending limits as needed.

So the time from the employee request to delivering the virtual card credentials is minimal.

Set Budgets for Each Team and Department

Clear budgets take the guesswork out of reconciling your expenses and provide a “pool” of funds for teams to pull from.

These controls can help curb spending while still providing the funds your business needs to succeed.

Separate Personal and Corporate Expenses

When you design your budgets, it’s crucial to ensure employees know what constitutes a business expense and what doesn’t.

For instance, some companies provide generous food allotments for traveling employees, while others limit corporate card spending to hotel and transportation expenses. In this instance, employees purchasing their own meals would qualify as a personal expense.

You also want to clarify that employees can’t use their company cards for personal expenses that don’t relate to business. Even if they plan to repay you, it must be clear that the corporate card can not be used for these matters.

Have Limits on Cards and Spending Categories

Another way to crack down on corporate card expenses is by setting limits. With Pluto you can set limits when creating a new card, or adjust the limits on the go. 

Review these limits regularly to make sure that everyone has limits that are sufficient to support them in their work. 

Make Expense Reporting Simple

The card expense reporting process shouldn’t take you hours. Submitting an expense in Pluto is a matter of just a couple of clicks.

Pluto card expense submission

Drag and drop the receipt into Pluto, add a couple of details and that is it. This efficiency ensures that employees submit all their expenses on time. 

Document Every Purchase – Digitize Receipt Management

When it comes to your expense policy, your corporate credit card statement isn’t reliable enough.

Mandating receipt uploads means that you can verify the accuracy of each transaction for internal and tax-related purposes.

But in the modern world, many vendors are moving away from physical receipts that tear, smudge, or blow away in the wind.

For these instances, consider setting up a corporate email address to provide all-digital vendors.

And for expenses that do generate physical receipts - Pluto allows you to simply take a picture of the receipt with your phone and upload it to the expense management system!

Monitor Employee Spending Habits

One enormous benefit of corporate cards is the sheer transparency involved.

Every transaction is recorded and automatically categorized, allowing you to monitor corporate card expenses using credit card statements. You can also use this information to identify overindulgent employees and limit any unscrupulous spending habits.

But don’t just wait for the statements to show up monthly. Pluto allows you to proactively set alerts, notifications, and monitor transaction activity, helping you catch problems before they snowball, such as “double-dipping.” (Submitting the same expense twice, by mistake or intent.)

Analyze Expense Reports Regularly

Another facet of corporate card expense reporting is regularly analyzing your reports.

With Pluto, businesses can sort expenditures by vendor, department, employee, or internal expense codes.

Sorting and analyzing your expense reports ensures that even if you have dozens of cards floating around, you can readily monitor and manage the ins and outs.

Integrate with Your Accounting Software

The best way to unlock your corporate cards’ potential is by integrating expense software with your accounting software.

Doing so feeds each corporate credit card expense right into your accounting log, saving hundreds of hours entering, verifying, and double-checking that your corporate card statements match actual business expenses.

Pluto allows you to integrate with all major accounting software.

Key Takeaways

  • Efficient corporate card management requires you to use a platform that will allow you to have complete spend control and flexibility.
  • This is where Pluto comes in – our platform provides you with all the features and tools necessary to fully manage your corporate card spending.
  • A corporate card usage policy is another critical element to keeping spending under control – by setting clear guidelines on what can and cannot be purchased with corporate cards, you can avoid unnecessary expenses.
  • Finally, effective communication and training for employees will ensure that everyone is on the same page when it comes to using corporate cards responsibly.

 

Corporate Cards FAQs 

What is a Corporate Card Program?

A corporate card program issues cards to – and establishes rules for – employees who make purchases for a business.

These purchases can range from buying office supplies to airline tickets. Corporate card programs set guidelines for who can use a card, their spend allowance, and the expense reporting process, among other facets.

What is the Advantage of a Corporate Card?

Corporate credit cards offer multiple advantages, including:

  • Eliminating cumbersome reimbursement programs
  • Centralizing your expense management system
  • Integrating expense tracking features to simplify taxes
  • Restricting employee spend based on spend limits, vendors, or products
  • Reducing potential delays in the reconciliation process

Plus, many corporate cards connect to accounting software to allow businesses to slash time and hours wasted on expense report management.

What is Corporate Card Expense Management?

Expense management refers to the systems that organizations use to track, review, and pay for business and employee expenses.

Keeping expense management processes tightly controlled ensures that businesses can reconcile their balance sheets.

These expenses include any purchases an employee makes to improve the business, from office supplies to business travel costs.

Often, modern expense reports reflect tons of digital items too, like subscriptions and cloud space.

What is Corporate Card Reconciliation?

The corporate card reconciliation process verifies that corporate card statements match a company’s general ledger.

Businesses rely on these processes to validate transactions, keep expenses reasonable, and prevent fraud. (Not to mention, reconciling the books is essential - come tax time.)

With reports that Pluto generates, the work is minimal. You issue corporate cards, put limits on them, and all the receipts and transactions are stored in the Reimbursement report.

Who is Responsible for a Company Credit Card?

From a legal and liability standpoint, employers and businesses are responsible for all expenses charged to a corporate credit card.

That said, businesses may outline use cases in which an employee is responsible for repaying their own charges, such as when they make personal purchases on their employer’s dime.

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All
Guides
December 1, 2023

Mohammed Ridwan

Purchase Order Automation: Transforming Business Transactions for the Better

The sales team needs a new SaaS product for cold calling, but the approval is due. It has been weeks, and neither the finance nor the legal team has reverted. The sales team keeps following up, and the procurement team is stuck in the loop of approvals, only to spend some more weeks negotiating with the right vendor later.

This is a common scenario in most companies where teams follow a fixed standard operating procedure, and procuring basic items takes months. All this, combined with multiple tools, complicates procurement further. One tool to raise requests, one for approvals, one to manage vendors, and so on. 

In this blog post, we will discuss how to automate purchase orders and simplify the procurement process. Instead of relying on hundreds of procurement automation software, we will look at how you can automate with minimal effort. 

What is Purchase Order Automation?

Purchase order automation is the process of automating and removing all the manual tasks associated with creating purchase orders. 

This is what the traditional procurement process looks like in most companies:

  • Employees fill out forms to raise purchase requests, but have a long wait before they receive a response.
  • The procurement team struggles to manage hundreds of purchase requests and seek approvals from different departments.
  • The finance team is disliked by both employees and the procurement team because they focus on cost-saving and resource optimization.

As a result, there is continuous internal resentment. 

Automating parts of this process lifts the weight off of each of them. Instead of relying on forms and different task management tools, you invest in centralized software to manage requests, set approval workflows, and maintain vendor databases.

How to Automate Purchase Orders

Here is a simple four-step method to automate your purchase orders: 

1. Find the Right Automation Software

We have explored the top procurement automation software previously, which will help you evaluate the alternatives available. To pick the right one, look for the following features: 

  • Ease of use- To simplify adoption and reduce training time
  • Flexible workflows- To adapt to complex organizational hierarchies
  • Integration- To connect and sync with existing accounting systems and ERPs
  • Reporting- To support data-driven decision-making and enhanced transparency
  • Real-time visibility- To track expenses and identify thefts and fraud
  • Scalability- To accommodate increased transactions and users without performance issues

2. Integrate With Your Accounting Software and ERPs

Integrating with your ERP

Connect your existing accounting software and ERPs to procurement automation software to sync vendors and transactions across multiple software platforms. 

As a result, it becomes easier to maintain vendor databases and reconcile accounts. You can streamline purchase orders and eliminate chances of errors. You get real-time visibility into the status of orders, ensuring that relevant stakeholders are informed at every stage.

3. Set Up Policy and Approval Workflow

Setting up policy and approval workflow

Create and enforce guidelines, rules, and approval hierarchies for purchase orders that align with organizational policies. This includes the following steps:

  • Outlining the approval workflow to follow the organizational hierarchy
  • Setting spending limits to control the amounts allocated in a single purchase order
  • Syncing and defining the preferred vendor's list
  • Specifying user permissions, access levels, and actions based on roles within the procurement process
  • Activating alerts for relevant stakeholders about the status of purchase orders, pending approvals, or other critical updates

This step will enhance security, communication, and transparency throughout the procurement workflow.

4. Implement Automation

Finally, once you complete the setup, you will be able to automate the following parts of purchase orders:

a. Approval Workflows

Creating approval workflows

You can set up trigger-based approval workflows without requiring any technical expertise. From approving purchase requests to clearing payments, you can set up a proper hierarchy with all the required stakeholders. 

So whether a purchase demands approval from three managers or three departments, you can accommodate the complexities without any delays.  

b. Vendor Database

Automate vendor list sync

Instead of importing/exporting or manually maintaining vendor data in your procurement software, you can integrate the software into your existing accounting system and ERPs for a convenient two-way sync.

You can also create a list of items for each vendor, making two-way and three-way matching easier. 

c. Receipts

Automate receipt management

Be it from email or WhatsApp, you no longer need to upload receipts and information in your system manually. The software captures the receipts and other key details via OCR, eliminating redundant record-keeping. 

Additionally, you can bulk upload the invoices to add all the information in a centralized platform and sync across accounting systems. This simplifies reconciliation and provides complete visibility into each expense. 

d. Expense Categorization

Automate expense categorization

You no longer need to manually add tax and general ledger (GL) codes to any expense. Based on the key information extracted via OCR, the software categorizes the expenses. Plus, this syncs across platforms, accelerating reconciliation. 

e. Goods Received Note (GRN) Matching

GRN matching

With OCR and receipt information retrieval, two-way and three-way matching becomes easy. The stakeholders can side-by-side compare the purchase order, invoice, and items listed. This significantly reduces the time spent on GRN matching and consolidates all the information on a unified platform. 

f. Audit Trails

Audit trails with Pluto

You get away with the need to maintain thousands of receipts and documents and get all the key information on a unified platform. From purchase requests to stakeholders involved and order status, you get complete visibility into each order. 

This audit trail becomes a blessing during the audit season when you only need 30 seconds to retrieve a specific receipt or document.  

How Automating Purchase Orders Makes Procurement Easier

While automation comes with multiple benefits, one reason to try it out would be gaining control and visibility. 

You go from not knowing what the teams need, where the money is going, which department spends the most, or why these reports don’t make any sense to getting clarity on every aspect of procurement, not just purchase orders. 

Here are five more benefits of automating purchase orders: 

1. Reduce Error and Manual Tasks

You minimize the risk of human errors that come from manual data entry. For instance, a manual typo in the quantity ordered leads to complications and delays. Similarly, a mistake in categorization can cause legal issues. Automation ensures accuracy by eliminating such human errors.

2. Faster Reconciliation

You get real-time data synced across your accounting systems, easing the reconciliation process. The finance team can quickly match records, such as invoices and receipts, without delays and discrepancies. Further, this eases the process of GRN matching, helping you close books much faster with accuracy.

3. Streamlined Approvals

You accelerate the approval process for purchase orders even with complex hierarchies. Instead of waiting for physical signatures or manual confirmations, you get trigger-based approval workflows. As a result, you can set up a proper notification system to send purchase order requests to designated approvers, speeding up the entire approval chain.

4. Compliance Support

You can enhance compliance with organizational policies and regulatory standards. For instance, the system can flag a purchase order exceeding predefined spending limits, ensuring compliance with budget constraints. This helps prevent unauthorized purchases or deviations from established guidelines.

5. Scalable

You can scale procurement easily to meet the evolving needs of the business. As the organization grows, the automated system handles increased transaction volumes without affecting or increasing the manual effort.

Your Search for a Purchase Order Automation Tool Ends Here

Stop looking for different automation tools for each step in your procurement process. You don’t need an individual solution for purchase requests, purchase orders, and processing payments. You can automate it all on a single platform and ensure accuracy and consistency among your accounting systems. 

At Pluto, our main aim is to stop the chaos and make procurement easier for three core stakeholders—spenders (employees), savers (finance teams), and sourcers (procurement teams). We streamline the entire process on a centralized platform and give you more visibility and control at each stage. And whether you want to automate one step or digitize your entire procurement process, Pluto gives you the flexibility to meet your needs. 

Refer to our dedicated post on procurement automation to understand how a single procurement platform can sync with your accounting systems and automate the procurement process on a centralized platform.

5
All
Spend Management
March 30, 2023

Vlad Falin

How IT & Procurement Teams Should Evaluate Spend Management Products

In today's fast-paced business world, managing expenses can be a daunting task for IT and procurement teams.

To help you out, we compiled a list of features and functionalities that you should consider when picking your spend management platform.

Spoiler alert, Pluto has them all.

PCI DSS Level 1 Provider

One of the essential features that should be given high importance is the product's PCI DSS Level 1 compliance.

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a set of guidelines and security requirements designed to safeguard payment card data. 

The standard was developed by major credit card companies, including Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, and JCB, to ensure that all companies that handle payment card data maintain a secure environment. PCI DSS compliance helps to prevent fraud and data breaches, protecting both the company and its customers.

PCI DSS Level 1 is the highest level of certification a company can achieve for PCI compliance. 

It requires companies to undergo a rigorous independent audit to ensure compliance with all 12 of the PCI DSS requirements, including network security, access control, and vulnerability management. 

Achieving PCI DSS Level 1 certification demonstrates that a company has a comprehensive and effective security program in place to protect payment card data.

When evaluating corporate spend management products, IT and procurement teams should look for products that have achieved PCI DSS Level 1 compliance to ensure that the product meets the highest security standards. 

This will help to ensure that the company's payment card data is adequately protected and that the company is meeting its compliance obligations. By prioritizing PCI DSS Level 1 compliance, IT and procurement teams can help to safeguard their company's reputation and financial well-being.

Being PCI DSS Level 1 compliant is essential for any organization that handles corporate card information, as it provides a high level of security and assurance that the organization is taking all necessary measures to protect its customers’ data.

Pluto Card is proud to be PCI DSS Level 1 compliant. This means that our customers can trust that we have taken all necessary measures to secure their data and protect it from unauthorized access. 

We also partner with vendors who are held to the highest security standards, such as PCI or SOC2 compliance.

Passwordless Login

Passwordless login is a secure and convenient way for users to access their accounts without the need for a password. It is an effective way to protect against unwanted access to your account, as passwords can be easily compromised or stolen. By tying your Pluto access with a company email account provided by your organization ensures that when your employees lose access to their company email address they also lose access to Pluto. 

At Pluto Card, we understand the importance of passwordless login, and we offer this feature to our customers. With our passwordless login feature, our customers can access their accounts quickly and securely, without the need for a password.

Activity Log And Audit Trails

Activity logs and audit trails are crucial for ensuring strict auditing everywhere. An activity log records all user activity within an application or system, while an audit trail provides a record of all changes made to data within the system.

Pluto Card offers a 7-year audit log, which means that our customers can track critical changes made to their data over a seven-year period.

Data Access

Employees that are using our platform have only as much access as they need, and we have infrastructure redundancy built into Pluto, which means that all compute and data is  run in multiple geographies. 

Business continuity is paramount at Pluto - to this end, we ensure data redundancy with redundant backups in multiple geographies as well.

In addition, at Pluto, your application data is always encrypted in transit, and at rest. 

Continuous Security Scans

Pluto also provides a continuous security scan, which tackles multiple dimensions, including code or dependency  vulnerabilities, infrastructure, and public endpoint scans. 

Our customers can be assured that we take security very seriously and are always on the lookout for any potential security threats. 

In the event of a security incident, we have an immediate incident response plan in place and will notify impacted customers without undue delay of any unauthorized disclosure of customer data.

24x7 Customer Support and Dedicated Account Manager

In addition to these security features, Pluto Card also provides 24x7 customer support.

We understand that our customers need support around the clock, and we are always available to help with any questions or issues that may arise.

Data Infrastructure, Redundancy and E2E Encryption

We also provide infrastructure and data redundancy, which means that our customers’ data is highly available and secure, even in the event of a system failure or outage. 

Data is always encrypted in transit, which means that it is always protected during transmission between servers or devices.

Finally, another crucial feature that IT and procurement teams should consider when evaluating corporate spend management products is data residency and retention policies. 

Pluto Card offers an audit trail for changes to customer data, so we can track who did what. 

Additionally, we have a data residency promise of 7 years, which means that we retain customer data for that period of time. 

This can be important for compliance with regulatory requirements, such as tax or financial reporting.

Conclusion

In conclusion, when evaluating corporate spend management products for your enterprise, it’s essential to consider the security features that the product offers. 

PCI DSS Level 1 Compliance, passwordless login, activity logs and audit trails, and data residency and retention policies are all critical features that can help ensure the security and integrity of your organization’s financial data. 

Pluto Card offers all of these features, along with 24x7 customer support and infrastructure and data redundancy, making it an excellent choice for organizations looking for a secure and reliable corporate spend management solution.

For more information  visit Pluto and book a demo.