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

Mohammed Ridwan

November 2, 2023

5

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.

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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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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.

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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.

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November 29, 2022

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Best Virtual Corporate Card For Business [2024]

In modern business, cash and checks have gone the way of the horse and buggy: they’re simply too inefficient. But even their replacements – traditional payment methods like debit and credit cards – are overdue for an upgrade.

Welcome virtual corporate cards.

These digital payment methods offer numerous perks, from faster payments and reconciliation to greater control and security. They’re quicker, safer, and easier to integrate and use for accounting and operational teams alike.

Plus, the industry is on the cusp of an explosion, which could send innovation through the stratosphere. Between 2021 and 2026 alone, virtual card spending is predicted to skyrocket from $1.9 trillion to $6.8 trillion.

Here’s what to know.

First, A Brief Refresher on Corporate Cards

Corporate credit cards are credit cards issued to a business entity – not a person – as the responsible party.

In most other respects, corporate cards are like regular credit cards. They require a credit check to apply, charge a regular interest rate, and even come with reward systems. Corporate purchase cards are also unique in that the business can issue dozens of employee cards on the same account.

Pluto corporate cards come with specific controls to help your business manage spend. Real time tracking, setting limits on the go and quick reconciliations are just a few of the things that Pluto can provide.

But there is more. For companies who need to act quickly and require flexibility in their card issuing, there are virtual cards.

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What is a Virtual Corporate Card?

Virtual corporate cards, like regular corporate cards, are linked to the business’ budget. Employees can use these cards to pay for business expenses without using their own personal cards or cash.

But unlike physical cards, virtual credit cards reside solely in the digital realm. These cards are essentially unique, digitally-generated 16-digit card numbers that tie to a specific spending account. (In this case, the business’ account.) Each virtual card contains other essential card details, too, like the following:

  • Cardholder’s name
  • Company’s billing address
  • Card number
  • Expiration date
  • CVV

Virtual cards are also unusual in that they can be generated and destroyed in moments. They can be designed to permit one-off charges, expire same-day, or hold only a specific dollar amount. Some virtual cards can even be linked to a particular vendor for one-time or recurring payments, perhaps with weekly or monthly spend limits.

Virtual cards can be accepted anywhere that online payments, and even some in-store payments, are accepted. Due to their ability to generate new numbers on demand, they offer additional security and control for business accounts. Plus, they can’t be lost or stolen like a regular credit card.

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Virtual Credit Card vs. Virtual Corporate Card

A virtual corporate card is simply a digital credit card issued to a corporation. For the most part, you can use virtual cards the same way you could use regular cards. However, like corporate cards, these virtual equivalents allow the issuing firm and receiving businesses to set particular spend and monitoring controls.  

Because virtual credit cards are 100% digital and able to generate new 16-digit numbers on demand, they’re optimized for safety and flexibility. They also make it easier to reconcile books and otherwise manage spending.

Why Use Pluto Virtual Corporate Cards?

Pluto virtual cards offer tons of perks and use cases. With more control and yet unparalleled flexibility, your business can remain nimble as you grow.

At the same time, department heads can keep an eye on expenses, spending, and accounting practices.

Flexible Setup and Spending

Modern companies need to be nimble, able to make purchases on the fly and reconcile their books in minutes, not days. Virtual cards let your business do so –without breaking their budgets.

Virtual cards provide unprecedented levels of flexibility to businesses of all sizes. After signing up, cards can be generated and issued to individuals with just a few clicks.

They also permit companies to limit available vendors, set a specific spending limit, expiration dates, and even the specific department budget the card should link to.

Unlimited cards

One of the biggest perks of Pluto's cards is that you can create as many as you need in a matter of seconds.

The times when an employee had to wait several days for the approvals and the card details to arrive are over.

For example - at 9:00, we had a team discussion about additional performance marketing activities.hile we were on the call, the department head created 3 virtual corporate card numbers for us to use.

It took him roughly 2 minutes to create them. All that without missing a beat on the call itself.

Right after we finished the call, we could start setting up ads.

Spend Control

Once you’ve generated a card – either for your team or by employee request – you can quickly personalize them for added constraint.

These controls are admittedly extensive, allowing your business to:

  • Lock cards to a particular merchant or vendor
  • Ensure cards can only pay to specific accounts
  • Generate cards with set one-time, monthly, or recurring expenditure limits
  • Institute purchase approval practices for individual cards, persons, or teams

Companies can use these various limits to prevent overspending, surprise fees, and unnecessary surcharges. Plus, with specific cards linked to individual employees or vendors, compartmentalized spend management becomes even easier. For many businesses, this is a welcome alternative to issuing high-limit cards to every employee that requires one.

In the example above, you can see one of the popular uses of Pluto virtual cards - employee benefits.

When a new employee joins, how much time does it usually take your HR department to get wellness or children's educational benefits to that employee?

With Pluto, it’ll take you leess than 2 minutes.

Higher Accountability

Another perk of virtual cards is that they can be generated for and linked to a single individual or team.

That makes purchase tracking easier, which increases personal and departmental accountability.

By using built-in accountability and analysis tools, your business can better track how and when money is spent at every level.  

Streamlined Accounts Payable

Enhance your finance team's efficiency with Pluto, featuring virtual corporate cards and integrated accounts payable software.  Pluto can integrate with your accounting software, making it easy to sync your chart of accounts, automate mapping your GL accounts, and bulk verify & export your expenses so you can close your books 10x faster.

From there, settlements can happen immediately rather than taking days or weeks. This eliminates the slow, potentially error-riddled manual accounting process with a faster, cheaper, and more efficient digital alternative.

Better Security

Pluto's virtual cards can help greatly reduce your overall card risk profile. Their increased security is due to their unique design, including their:

  • Digital nature, which precludes them from being physically stolen.
  • Set spending limits to prevent overcharging.
  • Ability to block vendors and retailers from storing personal or card information long-term, helping to prevent fraud
  • Ability to include one-time or vendor-specific expenditures and other spending controls, limiting financial hemorrhaging
  • Auto-lock features to freeze cards instantly
  • Ability to delete and regenerate virtual cards in seconds rather than days

Real-Time Reporting

Pluto's virtual cards feed their data directly into a centralized interface, allowing all data to show up in real-time reports, simplifying the analytical process. The spend management systems also offer real-time notifications.

Together, these features offer companies greater real-time visibility over their expenditures. This level of transparency can inculcate a healthier spending culture within a company beyond merely increasing accountability.

Plus, real-time reporting means that accounting teams and department heads can immediately respond to budget requests, verify receipts, and manage card limits.

Pluto expense management dashboard allows you to see everything and makes spend control a breeze.

Simple Reconciliation

Virtual credit cards provide an easy approval system to allow finance teams to take advantage of automatic reconciliations whenever possible.

Accounting teams can set codes for recurring transactions and tag controls to identify transactions before posting them to the general ledger. Each card can be linked to a specific employee to link specific transactions to each employee.   

With the right card and accounting integrations, it’s possible to automate the bulk of manual data entry and reconciliation out of the gate. Plus, you’ll increase the accuracy of your data and insights.

Efficient Vendor Payment and Management

You can also use virtual cards to simplify vendor management.

You can link specific cards to particular vendors, allowing you to track which teams use them regularly and how their prices change over time.

By setting limits and expiration dates to your specifications, you can prevent teams from “forgetting” about upcoming auto-renewals.

Reward Options

Pluto virtual corporate card offers a wide range of perks and benefits!

Instead of giving you Starbucks gift cards, we formed partnerships with some of the most critical services for the day-to-day operations of your business.

Reduce the Risk of Fraud

When multiple employees and vendors share a high-limit physical card, you run the risk of operational problems and fraud.

The more people who can access a single 16-digit number, the more likely unauthorized expenses can slip through the cracks.

Virtual credit cards don’t come with the same fraud and data loss risks that physical cards do.

  • They’re impervious to hacks that come with swiping physical cards at in-person terminals.
  • You can create cards for a particular purchase, vendor or project.
  • You can easily link cards to specific employees and/or vendors, offering full control while minimizing risk.

Virtual Corporate Card Use Cases

Due to their innate flexibility and unprecedented control, virtual credit card programs offer multiple potential use cases. There are too many to go over here – but we’ll address a few of the most common or impactful.

Agencies

Digital agencies need to be able to make payments on behalf of their clients. This can be done using virtual cards, which allows the agency to keep track of spending and ensures that funds are used for the intended purpose.

With Pluto, you can create virtual cards for every PPC campaign or bigger project and keep track of your agency's spending in one place.

Not only does this allow you to scale the clients' performance marketing efforts, but the spend control dashboard shows you exactly how much was spent. You can go as far as naming and tagging your virtual cards, so you can see how much was spent per PPC channel on individual clients.

Event Organizers

Catering, lights, music, production, venues, drivers so many things that even organizers have to keep in the air! If you are an event organizer, chances are you understand how important it is to keep your spending in one place. That way when the time comes to file taxes or show ROI, everything is itemized and accounted for.

With a virtual card, all your charges will be automatically filed under the right categories. You can also set limits on how much can be spent per vendor, so you don't have to worry about overspending.

And if you have a team working on the event with you, you can give them each their own virtual Pluto card (or physical) with their own spending limits. That way, you can see at a glance who is spending what and where.

Startups

When you are a startup, your want to fully focus on your product and leave the rest to someone else. With a virtual card, you don't have to worry about setting up a corporate credit line or dealing with complex expense reports.

Just set up your team with Pluto virtual cards and let them manage their own expenses. You can see what they are spending in real-time and track progress against your budget.

Also, when you are at your early phase, there is no time for lengthy approvals. SaaS, ads, tools, plugins - virtual card can service them all.

E-Commerce

You business is digital and so should be your payment tools. With a virtual card, you can make payments online without ever having to worry about the security of your information.

Worried about that Alibaba supplier? Create a virtual card with a limit just for that vendor and you're good to go. Put a spending limit on it, and you limited any potential risks as well.

  • Need your team to buy TikTok ads? -> Done. TikTok Ads Virtual Card
  • Need to pay an Upwork freelancer? -> Done. Upwork Specific Virtual Card

You see where we are going with this. Create as many virtual cards as you need for as many occasions as you need.

Consulting

Consultants are on the road most of the time, and when they are not - they are seated in the client premises, helping to grow the business.

Employee travel is one of the most commonly-cited reasons for individuals requiring their own corporate cards. Travel expenses may include hotel rooms, a food allowance, or additional budgeting to purchase essential materials while they’re away from home, so to speak.

However, even in your own teams, it’s possible for employees to get carried away. An expensive dinner, unexpected expenses, and hotel room upgrades may all be well within your budget. But if you want to prevent excessive spending on your dime, virtual card controls hand you that power.

Fleet Management

Any company that have a vehicle fleet knows that a lot of time can go into fuel cards management.

Pluto can provide both virtual and physical corporate cards which makes it a perfect solution for efficient fleet management. 

You can issue fuel cards to the drivers as needed, and scale up and down depending on the current business situation.

In addition to that you see the fuel expenses real-time and can set limits and approvals where required. 

Key Takeaways

  • Virtual corporate credit cards pave the way for the future while addressing a multitude of modern business pain points.
  • They hand companies greater control over their spending, simplify accounting across the board, and even help protect employees.
  • Plus, with so many nuances and use cases, it’s incredibly easy to personalize virtual cards to meet your unique needs.