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We got funded!

Leen Shami

May 26, 2022

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We're thrilled to announce that Pluto closed US$6M in Seed funding in February, led by Global Founders Capital.

With GFC being the lead investors, we've had participation from several of the world's leading investment firms and entrepreneurs. Soma Capital, Graph Ventures, Adapt Ventures, Ramp, Thejo Kote (Founder of Airbase), Shaan Puri, and William Hockey (Co-founder of Plaid) were some of the few who participated.

With our Seed round, we aim to get closer to achieving our mission; to streamline company expenses for MENA businesses. 

The problem

Company spending in the MENA region is problematic, time-consuming, and frustrating. Managing company spending in MENA today is difficult, time-consuming, and frustrating, as today, companies only get a single debit or credit card.

OTPs

Today, employees all share one company credit card, which usually leads to an OTP being sent to the CFO, financial leader, or founder of the company. Most bank OTPs last from 2 to 10 minutes before they’re expired. So, if an employee doesn’t get the OTP in time, they won’t be able to complete the transaction.

Overspending

When a company credit card is issued, you cannot control spending. This means there is no way to set limits on the card to avoid being overcharged by recurring subscriptions or employees going over budget.

No visibility

You cannot get real-time visibility or instant reports on business expenses with company credit cards. This makes making informed decisions about allocating resources in real-time more challenging.

Petty cash

Banks have no ideal solution for petty cash management. Companies typically maintain a cash vault at their offices, distribute loose cash to employees, and spend countless hours collecting and matching invoices.

The solution

Introducing Pluto Card: a corporate card & spend management platform that allows MENA companies to simplify and control their business expenses.

With Pluto's software, managers can issue their employees virtual cards with spend and control limits, cards that get canceled after a one-time purchase, and cards with a recurring daily, weekly, or monthly budget.

Employees can request expenses from their managers and submit reimbursement requests by dragging and dropping receipts onto the software. This happens in real-time, where managers can view employee requests as they happen, see what is being spent and where, and gain insight into instantaneous expense reports, helping them make informed decisions.

Pretty straightforward.

Want to see Pluto in action? Sign up and get a private demo here.

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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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Guides
January 3, 2024

Vlad Falin

Petty Cash Reconciliation: What It is, How to Do It, & Best Practices

The panic sets in when the custodian makes the entries for petty cash expenses and the balance mismatches by, let's say, AED 1500. 

When discrepancies happen, you have two options: mark it as a write off, or spend hours carrying out an investigation. Write offs are generally not accepted in companies and can lead to problems during audit season. The best option is to investigate. 

While the amount is meager, this cashier must scrutinize each voucher and receipt for the next few days to find the loophole. The employee in question will have to review over 100+ documents to spot the discrepancy, disrupting the petty cash operation and causing delays in closing the books.

This post will cover how to reconcile petty cash and optimize the process, so you never have to face this situation. We will look at some best practices to ensure the custodian does not spend weeks accounting for the missing AED 1500.

What is Petty Cash Reconciliation?

Petty cash reconciliation is the process of matching opening and closing balances of petty cash, where the difference must be equal to the total of documented petty cash expenses. 

Either the custodian or someone from the finance department performs this function to ensure the accuracy and completeness of records. It helps identify and rectify discrepancies that may arise due to errors of omission, commission, or principle. 

How Often Should Petty Cash Be Reconciled?

Petty cash reconciliation is generally done once a month if you rely on manual processes for petty cash management. It allows for timely identification of discrepancies, ensures efficient tracking of small expenses, and facilitates prompt resolution. 

However, if you have an expense management platform to record all the petty cash expenses digitally, you reconcile petty cash in real time. Since you directly add all the transactions on the platform, reconciliation becomes easy with the ability to track each cash money movement in an auditable platform. As a result, you identify discrepancies at the earliest and avoid a balance mismatch.

What Are the Steps of Cash Reconciliation?

If you use a digital platform for petty cash management, reconciliation becomes easy as the system highlights any discrepancy in the real time. So, it is as simple as flagging transactions with missing receipts.

petty cash reconciliation

However, if you have a manual petty cash process, here are the petty cash reconciliation steps:

1. Ascertain Fund Balance

Begin by determining the existing balance in the petty cash fund. This involves counting the physical cash on hand and comparing it to the initial amount allocated to the fund.

2. Gather Documentation Proofs

Collect all receipts and documentation related to petty cash expenditures. Ensure each expense is supported by a valid receipt, providing a clear record of how the funds were used.

3. Categorize Total Withdrawals and Spends

Categorize the various expenditures based on their nature (e.g., office supplies, refreshments, etc.). Tally the withdrawals within each category to gain insights into the distribution of expenses.

4. Reconcile Differences

Compare the total of documented expenses with the physical cash on hand. Identify any discrepancies or amounts that are unaccounted for. This step is crucial for ensuring that all expenditures are correctly represented.

5. Record in General Ledger

Record the reconciled petty cash transactions in the general ledger. It formalizes the financial entries and ensures that the petty cash activity is accurately reflected in the organization's overall accounting system.

6. Replenish

If the petty cash fund is running low or depleted, replenish the funds. Submit the reconciled documentation to the finance or accounting department for approval and allocate the necessary funds to restore the petty cash balance.

Challenges of the Manual Petty Cash Reconciliation Process

Here are the top four challenges of the manual petty cash reconciliation process:

1. Risk of Fraud, Waste, and Misuse

With manual reconciliation, it becomes easier for individuals to manipulate or misappropriate funds without proper oversight. The absence of real-time tracking leads to instances of waste or misuse of petty cash, posing a significant challenge to financial integrity.

For instance, an employee might submit duplicate receipts for the same expense, pocketing the reimbursement and leading to financial discrepancies. Duplicate receipts are difficult for custodians to keep track of when there are 1000’s of receipts. 

2. Custodian Chasing for Receipts

In a manual system, the petty cash custodian has to press the employees for the collection of receipts for expenses. It is time-consuming and delays the reconciliation process. It also leads to incomplete and missing documentation.

3. Lack of Internal Control

Manual processes lack the robust internal controls that automated systems offer. This absence of controls makes enforcing consistent adherence to organizational policies challenging and increases the risk of errors or unauthorized use of petty cash.

For example, an employee may submit incomplete or inaccurate receipts for petty cash expenses, leading to inconsistencies. As a result, it becomes difficult to ensure adherence to documentation standards.

4. Missing Cash or Documentation

The manual handling of petty cash poses a threat to losing physical money or documentation. Misplacement of receipts or cash, whether intentional or accidental, leads to hindrances in the reconciliation process and compromises the accuracy of financial records.

For instance, an employee may unintentionally misplace a set of petty cash receipts during an office activity. The missing documentation will create difficulty reconciling expenditures, introducing uncertainty into the financial records.

From these challenges, we understand that while we focus on optimizing the reconciliation process, we must first refine our petty cash management process. 

Instead of focusing on improving the assessment process, we shall first work on the internal procedures of approvals and documentation. It will ensure the completeness and accuracy of records and save custodians from spending weeks matching the balances.

Best Practices for Petty Cash Reconciliation

To avoid mismatches and ensure the accuracy of records, adopt the following best practices:

Maintain Receipts Digitally

Digitally store receipts using an electronic system or expense management platform to ensure a secure and easily accessible record of all transactions. It eliminates the risk of physical receipt loss or damage and facilitates efficient reconciliation.

Stringent Documentation and Regular Review

Ensure clear and detailed receipts for all expenses to enhance accountability. Regularly review these documents for prompt identification of discrepancies. It fosters transparency and helps maintain a true and fair view of the financial statements.

Set Controls

Establish precise petty cash policies and procedures for petty cash management, including predefined spending limits and approval processes. Such controls prevent misuse and ensure that expenditures align with organizational guidelines. You can additionally specify the expense category and vendors for enhanced control.

Securely Store Cash and Documents

Designate a locked and controlled space, like a safe or lockable drawer, for physical cash and accompanying documents in the petty cash system. Limit access to authorized personnel to minimize theft or mishandling risks. Regularly reconcile cash on hand with documented transactions to promptly identify and address any discrepancies, ensuring the overall integrity of the petty cash process.

Maintain a Log

Keep a detailed log or ledger of all petty cash transactions, including dates, amounts, and purposes. It serves as a comprehensive record for reconciliation and provides a historical overview of petty cash usage. A better way would be to maintain a digital log, which will be more accessible and accelerate the reconciliation process as well.

Use of Virtual Cards

Shift to virtual or prepaid cards for the petty cash process. Virtual cards allow for controlled and traceable spending with transactions automatically recorded. This digital approach enhances security and simplifies the reconciliation process. 

However, these virtual cards should not be mistaken for shared corporate cards or employees' personal debit cards, which could be reimbursed later. Such confusion makes the petty cash process more chaotic and takes away the ease of reconciling with digitization. You lose visibility, and the employees wait weeks to get reimbursed.

Digitization Simplifies Petty Cash Reconciliation

Petty cash reconciliation strengthens when the foundation is set right. It means having defined policies and methods. 

An expense management platform further assists the teams to manage effectively by providing real-time visibility. It helps you enforce the policies with advanced control and simplifies the approval and documentation process by providing all the details on a single dashboard, leaving no loopholes for any mistakes. 

Book a demo today! See how you can digitize your petty cash process to save time and ensure that a mismatch, even of an insignificant amount, never haunts your team. 

5
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Guides
October 18, 2023

Mohammed Ridwan

Future of B2B Payments


‎Introduction

In this blog post, we will dive into a discussion between two individuals about the future of financial services and the opportunities and challenges in the SME (Small and Medium-sized Enterprises) segment. The speakers discuss the impact of technology on businesses, the need for innovation in business payments, and the changing landscape of entrepreneurship. Let's explore the key themes discussed in this conversation.

The Impact of Technology on Businesses

The conversation begins by highlighting the significant focus on consumer-centric technology companies in recent years. Companies like Uber and Instacart have revolutionized the way individuals access services and products. However, the speakers note that there has been a lack of focus on technology solutions for businesses. This is starting to change, with a surge in B2B marketplaces and business planning tools emerging.

The Evolution of the SME Segment

The speakers acknowledge that the SME segment has traditionally been overlooked due to various obstacles and challenges. However, they discuss how the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the need for digital transformation in businesses. They mention that 56% of SMEs have pivoted or shifted their business models towards digital channels. This shift has opened up new opportunities for technology companies to cater to the evolving needs of SMEs.

Pain Points in Business Payments

One of the pain points discussed is the inefficiency and frustration associated with business payments. The speakers highlight the challenges faced by businesses when making and receiving payments. They mention the difficulties of distributing petty cash to employees, the reliance on personal cards for business expenses, and the cumbersome process of entering vendor details in banking portals. These challenges result in cash leakages, accounting nightmares, and inefficiencies.

The Opportunity for Innovation in Business Payments

The speakers emphasize the need for innovation in business payments. They discuss the potential for technology solutions to address the pain points faced by businesses. By streamlining payment processes, reducing fraud, and improving efficiency, businesses can save time and money. The speakers believe that there is a significant opportunity to disrupt the traditional business payments landscape and provide better solutions for businesses of all sizes.

The Changing Landscape of Entrepreneurship

The conversation concludes with a discussion on the changing landscape of entrepreneurship. The speakers predict that businesses will continue to shrink in size as more functions become automated. However, they also anticipate the emergence of a new breed of entrepreneurs who will serve multiple businesses through their own ventures. This shift towards self-employment and the gig economy is expected to create new opportunities and challenges for both entrepreneurs and businesses.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the discussion highlights the need for technology solutions in the SME segment and the opportunities for innovation in business payments. The speakers emphasize the importance of addressing the pain points faced by businesses and predict a future where entrepreneurship takes on a new form. As the business landscape continues to evolve, it is crucial for businesses and entrepreneurs to adapt and leverage technology to stay competitive. If you're interested in learning more about the future of financial services and how technology can transform your business payments, we invite you to explore the solutions offered by Holly Wally, the world's first wallet-as-a-service platform. Visit Holly Wally's website to find out how they can help you build your mobile wallets, increase revenue, and reduce time to market. Remember, the future is full of opportunities, and embracing innovation is the key to success in the ever-changing business landscape.

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Spend Management
December 1, 2023

Mohammed Ridwan

Top 6 Expense Management Software for Global Businesses in 2024

You have just received an OTP, and now you are guessing which one of your employees is spending this amount and why. You don’t have time to review it, nor can you delay the payment too much. You neither have control nor visibility. This is the problem of shared corporate cards. 

If you want to make it simpler for your employees, invest in expense management software. It is an automation tool to streamline employee-related expenses—reimbursement, petty cash, and corporate cards. In addition, it offers a centralized platform with real-time visibility into how employees spend company money. As a result, the entire cycle of approval and accounting becomes simpler.

In this post, we share the top six expense management software to help you get started. 

Top 6 Expense Management Software 

Here are six options for expense management software to manage employee-related expenses:

1. Pluto

pluto expense management software

Pluto is the best platform for managing employee expenses as it streamlines petty cash management, corporate cards, employee reimbursements and account payables. It is trusted by the largest finance and procurement teams in the Middle East, such as Tamara and Petrochem. With Pluto, you can transform reimbursements to get more control and visibility without causing delays or confusion.

Key Features:

  • Provides custom no-code approval workflows that adapt to the company's hierarchy for timely and accurate approvals 
  • Automates receipt capture through optical character recognition (OCR), with the ability to support bulk upload via WhatsApp
  • Supports unlimited corporate cards—virtual and physical, with budget controls to maintain expenses within corporate policies
  • Offers zero-balance cards, which get funded once the expense is approved
  • Ability to add comments and other transaction details to maintain a comprehensive audit log. View-only access is available for external accountants to review financial data without making changes
  • Facilitates card-specific policies to make branch and subsidiary-level reimbursements easy
  • Gives the option to make mass payments to reimburse employees
  • Offers custom expense reports to overview business expenses and spending trends
  • Alerts in case of duplicate receipt uploads to avoid fraud and compliance issues
  • Integrates with accounting platforms like Netsuite for advanced general ledger (GL) coding and tax tracking
  • Provides secure document storage with a five-year audit log and bank-grade encryption

Pricing:

Request a custom quote

Pros:

  • Enables branch and 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 onboarding due to a corporate card offering 
  • Integrates with all other major ERPS except Tally

2. Airbase

expense management tool by airbase

Airbase simplifies expense reporting with AI and ML and ensures quick, hassle-free, and smart corporate expense management. It is an automation solution for small to midsize businesses (SMBs) and large enterprises with 100-5,000 employees.

Key Features:

  • Offers 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
  • Facilitates reminders to upload receipts, eliminating the need to chase employees for receipts
  • Offers a designated email address to send receipts of virtual card transactions
  • Allows custom approval workflows and budget limits for physical cards
  • Provides alerts for suspicious activity, enabling quick responses to potential fraudulent purchases
  • Enables real-time audit trail with receipts, notes, and documentation for transparency
  • Automates expense reimbursements to employees' bank accounts once the expenses are approved

Pricing:

Request the sales team for a custom quote

Pros:

  • Flexible to accommodate varying team sizes and user base
  • Intuitive and easy to use; no training or previous knowledge required

Cons:

  • Slow mobile app; takes time to load pages 
  • Glitchy SSO-based login 
  • Not suitable for complex branch-level approvals and expenses

3. Ramp

expense management solution by ramp

Ramp is an integrated solution that streamlines expense management with corporate cards, automated expense tracking, and real-time reporting to help teams track expenses. It is a suitable solution for businesses of all sizes. 

Key Features:

  • Provides corporate cards with the ability to add spending policies to prevent unauthorized or non-compliant expenses
  • Facilitates customizable workflows for expense approval 
  • Enables employees to submit expenses on the go through SMS, mobile app, and integrations with platforms like Gmail and Lyft
  • Automates the capture and matching of receipts for every transaction, ensuring accurate expense tracking
  • Flags non-compliant expenses, including weekend spend, excessive tipping, and alcohol purchases, reducing the need for manual review
  • Provides instant access to real-time spending data, allowing businesses to make timely adjustments before exceeding budgets
  • Identifies cost savings opportunities, such as duplicate subscriptions and unused solutions

Pricing:

Offers three pricing packages—free or basic features, $15 per user per month for Ramp Plus, and custom quote for enterprises with features like enterprise ERP integration, custom implementation, and local card issuance.

Pros:

  • Unlimited 1.5% cash back on credit card purchases made using their VISA branded cards

Cons:

  • Only available to businesses registered in the US
  • Doesn’t have a mobile app for Android phones

4. Bill.com

Bill's expense management system

Bill.com simplifies employee expense tracking by providing real-time visibility and customization. It is an expense management solution for SMBs to control all corporate expenses. It streamlines a scattered expense management process with seamless syncing.

Key Features:

  • Extends credit limits ranging from $500 to $5 million to control spending within constraints
  • Provides custom approval workflows to speed up the approval process with minimal friction
  • Offers 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
  • Enables 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:

Offers 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
  • Glitches in the reimbursement process lead to pending approvals

5. Rydoo

expense management solution by rydoo

Rydoo is a cloud-based expense management tool that streamlines reimbursement cycles, automates expense flows, and enhances team productivity. It combines the capabilities of an expense tracker and a travel service, enabling you to book flights and hotels. It is suitable for medium-sized businesses that are building international relationships with overseas offices as it supports multiple languages and currencies. 

Key Features:

  • Supports OCR scanning feature for receipt management
  • Automates approval flows for expenses based on company policies
  • Assures global compliance by setting up rules, mileage rates, per diems, and tax rates for specific countries and regions. Also provides an advanced rule engine for tailored policies in the admin panel.
  • Reimburses employees in their local currency, supporting diverse international operations
  • Integrates with popular third-party apps like Dropbox, Slack, Uber, Lyft, and SAP
  • Supports accounting software widely used in the European Union, such as Exact Online and E-conomic
  • Offers full audit trails for maintaining company policies, IRS compliance, and resource conservation with a 10-year data storage period

Pricing:

Offers a team plan at €8 per user per month with OCR scanning and integrations, growth plan at €10 per user per month adding controls and SAP/Oracle integrations, and enterprise plan with API support and custom pricing for ERP and HR

Pros:

  • Makes it easier to add expenses in different currencies and get paid in local currency with multi-currency support 

Cons:

  • Increases in prices over time leading to significant cost jumps over the years (Source
  • OCR doesn’t work efficiently and requires manual entry

6. Zoho Expenses

expense management software by zoho expense

Zoho Expense is a travel and expense management solution designed to cater to the needs of growing businesses. Trusted by thousands of businesses across 150+ countries, it is a customizable expense-tracking tool offering a mobile-first approach, automation, and integration capabilities. Its integration with the Zoho suite makes it suitable for SMBs seeking efficient travel and expense management.

Key Features:

  • Provides complete control over all stages of employees' business trips—pre-travel approvals, bookings, and post-travel management with a powerful self-booking tool for efficient business travel
  • Offers customization and multi-level pre-travel approval flows along with automated visa requests, documentation, and forms
  • Supports expense reporting by auto-scanning receipts for automatic expense creation
  • Enables simplified approval processes and timely reimbursements
  • Integrates with company cards to offer direct card feed retrieval and automated reconciliation
  • Facilitates budget creation and comparison with actual spending with customizable rules to restrict overspending
  • Provides AI-driven fraud detection for expense audits with country-specific editions for local compliance and mileage rates
  • Supports real-time communication with employees through chat, comments, and notifications
  • Integrates with leading travel, HRMS, accounting, ERP, and collaboration solutions

Pricing:

Offers flexible pricing plans, starting with a free option and scaling up to $3 per active member per month, $5 per active member per month, and custom enterprise pricing

Pros:

  • Adaptable to global taxation regulations 
  • Easy to set up and deploy, very affordable for SMEs

Cons:

  • Limited payment gateway integration options
  • Can be a little confusing to learn especially when transitioning from app to desktop

Finding the Right Expense Management Solution

Consider these three factors while choosing the right expense management software — ease of use, security, and flexibility. Choosing the right expense management software can help you start your journey towards a healthy financial ecosystem. 

In the end, what matters are your internal policies and controls that govern the expenses. Because no matter what platform you choose, if there are gaps in your internal control systems, the software will not be able to do the heavy lifting. 

If you want more clarity on how you can stop the chaos in your company and manage expenses better, read our detailed post on internal control over financial reporting (ICFR). You can also book a call, and our team will help you better understand the bottlenecks and how you can streamline your expense management.