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The Pluto blog

CFO Cornerstone: Navigating Finance's Complex Landscape

Stay informed with the latest insights on pioneering expense, procurement, and payables practices designed for today's modern finance teams.

Finance blog

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All
June 20, 2024

Mohammed Ridwan

11 Benefits of Corporate Cards for Business in 2024

Discover the benefits of corporate cards — more visibility, accountability, and control over business expenses. Choose smart budget-controlled cards today.

When employees have to handle business expenses like purchasing supplies or covering travel costs, they often resort to petty cash or pay from their pockets, awaiting reimbursements later. However, this seemingly simple method poses challenges for effective expense management.

From the employee's perspective, the process involves fronting the expense, tracking receipts, and waiting for reimbursement, which can take weeks. This tedious process is prone to errors and increases the likelihood of lost receipts or duplicate submissions.

For businesses, managing these reimbursements entails labor-intensive tasks. Internal teams spend hours manually approving and reconciling expenses, all without real-time visibility. Additionally, there's the constant risk of compliance breaches.

Hence, in this article, we'll explore a better alternative and look at the benefits of corporate cards for simplified expense management.

Benefits of Corporate Cards

Corporate cards are payment cards issued to employees by companies to cover business expenses. Companies can deploy them by distributing dedicated cards to authorized personnel, setting spending limits, specific budgets & controls, and integrating them into expense management systems for real-time tracking and oversight.

Here are 11 advantages of corporate cards that make them a preferred choice: 

1. Offer Custom Spending Controls

You can customize corporate cards according to your company's specific corporate card policies. Right from the start, you can establish budget limits, control what merchant the employee can spend at, and what types of expenses will be allowed on the card budgets, preferred vendors, and payment categories. This enables you to enforce internal policies effectively and implement precise spending controls directly within the card system, eliminating the need for manual intervention.

Moreover, you can assign vendor-specific cards, enabling employees to purchase exclusively from designated vendors. Likewise, by specifying expense categories, you can prevent card misuse, such as limiting card usage to gas stations for drivers. This targeted approach ensures that expenses align with company objectives while enhancing control over spending. 

2. Provide Real-Time Visibility

Corporate cards eliminate the need to wait until the end of the month to get a spending overview. Instead, they offer real-time visibility, allowing businesses to track expenses as they happen. This immediate insight enables proactive compliance management and budgeting, preventing unexpected surprises at the end of the month. 

Additionally, corporate cards provide comprehensive analytics via a centralized dashboard. These analytics can be filtered to discern spending trends, enabling data-driven decision-making.

We wouldn’t know until the statement turned up at the end of the month what had been spent and where.But now, rather than waiting until the end of the week to collect enough receipts, we can actually see the money as it goes.

Christopher Anthony, Global Business Controller

3. Automate Compliance

Corporate cards have features designed to automate compliance controls—like approval workflows and auto-freeze cards—that enforce accountability and prevent unauthorized spending.

With the customizable no-code approval workflow builder, you create custom approval processes. Each transaction undergoes thorough authorization, ensuring transparency and accountability throughout the spending process. Moreover, you can set auto-freeze policies, such as in cases of missing or duplicate receipts, to proactively mitigate risks.

Additionally, corporate cards enable the assignment of zero-balance cards. With this feature, cards initially have zero balance, and employees request additional funds before each transaction. This enables you to authorize each expenditure and minimize the risk of misuse or overspending.

4. Facilitate Agile Needs

Corporate cards provide a versatile solution by offering both physical and virtual corporate cards. These cards can be tailored to specific needs, whether single-use or zero-balance cards, ensuring precise expenditure control. 

Further, employees can withdraw funds from ATMs, with the transactions recorded as unreconciled cash-in-hand, enhancing accountability. Also, the centralized application streamlines the process for requesting additional funds, eliminating unnecessary bureaucracy.

5. Enhance Accountability

Contrary to business credit cards, where companies wait for end-of-month statements to gain insights into spending, individual corporate cards allocate a dedicated card and budget to each employee. This facilitates real-time visibility into transactions, enabling businesses to pinpoint expenditures down to the individual level. This heightened transparency simplifies expense tracking and facilitates swift resolution of any discrepancies that may arise. 

With employees being directly responsible for their allocated cards, documenting expenses becomes a standard practice, ensuring thoroughness and accuracy in financial records.

6. Extend Cashback and Rewards

Corporate cards provide incentives like rewards, cashback, redeemable points and vouchers. These perks differ from company to company; some offer rewards for every transaction, while others provide gifts upon reaching certain spending milestones. 

For example, users enjoy up to 2% cashback (subject to T&Cs) on each foreign transaction within Pluto.

7. Improve Employee Experience

Corporate cards redefine expense management, sparing employees from the inconvenience of reimbursements and petty cash handling. With a dedicated card for business expenses, employees no longer need to dip into their pockets or spend hours filing paperwork. 

Corporate cards offer a dedicated expense management platform, which streamlines the entire process. Especially with Pluto, you get WhatsApp integration that simplifies expense filing by allowing employees to upload documents directly via WhatsApp. This seamless integration, coupled with optical character recognition (OCR) capabilities, ensures that receipts are captured and synced with transactions effortlessly, saving time and reducing administrative burdens.

The beauty in one part that I was amazed about Pluto, in terms of your technology, was your whole integration with WhatsApp and the ease of how easy it was to swipe, make a payment, take a picture, upload it via WhatsApp, and it's there on the platform for approval.

Lee Kersen Mascarenhas

8. Expedite Reconciliation Process

Corporate cards offer a centralized platform for consolidating transaction data and uploading essential documents. With OCR capabilities, receipt capture becomes faster and more accurate, reducing errors and flagging potential fraud. This ensures comprehensive documentation and an easily accessible audit trail within a unified system.

As a result, businesses benefit from streamlined expense reconciliation, significantly reducing errors, compliance breaches, and fraudulent activities. This enhanced efficiency enables a faster reconciliation process and closure of financial records, improving operational effectiveness.

9. Sync With ERPs and Accounting Tools

Corporate cards digitize and automate expense management processes, sparing businesses the hassle of manual data entry. They seamlessly integrate with ERP systems, enabling seamless sync with general ledger entries. 

This automation reduces the likelihood of duplicate entries and errors inherent in manual input. Moreover, corporate cards automate adding general ledger and tax codes to transactions, enhancing accuracy and efficiency in financial record-keeping. 

Overall, this integration saves time and maintains consistency in financial data across platforms, ensuring data integrity and reliability.

10. Eliminate Rogue Spending

Corporate cards effectively eliminate tail spending by implementing preset controls. Even if a card is used beyond its intended scope, managers can promptly flag unauthorized or non-compliant transactions, ensuring adherence to company policies. 

Moreover, the system's advanced OCR capabilities detect duplicate receipts, adding an extra layer of protection against fraudulent activities. This comprehensive approach strengthens fraud prevention measures and promotes financial transparency.

For us, the main benefit of Pluto is that we don't have to think about petty cash and worry about spending at all. It runs on Autopilot and Pluto prompts us when it needs attention, so we can better focus on our core competency without the extra mental load. Another huge selling point has been the incredible customer support across the board. Everyone on the Pluto team has been extremely helpful through any questions we had.

Gabriel García Leyva

11. Support Global Transactions

Corporate cards manage both local as well as global transactions, making them ideal for effective travel and entertainment spending. They support multiple currencies, simplifying cross-border payments and avoiding currency conversion hassle. Their fast and secure transactions minimize payment delays, ensuring smooth business operations.

Get Pluto For More Control and Visibility Over Your Expenses

Transitioning to corporate cards isn't merely about going cashless but increasing visibility, accountability and control. 

However, Pluto offers an extra layer of benefits—simplified expense filing, seamless integration with accounting tools, and a customizable approval workflow builder—ensuring you're always audit-ready.   

Always at the end of this month we used to get these huge groups of receipts to process… but now that we have a system that allows us to process in real time ahead of the month end everything becomes more powerful and controlled for the team

Gabriel García Leyva

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are corporate cards?

Corporate cards are budget-controlled payment cards issued to employees by companies for business-related expenses. These cards streamline purchasing processes while providing companies real-time oversight and insights into expenditure, enhancing financial efficiency and transparency.

What are the disadvantages of corporate cards?

Corporate cards can lead to overspending in the absence of strict spending rules. Moreover, tracking expenses is challenging without expense management tools. Additionally, the annual fees add up and limit cost-effectiveness. Also, some vendors may not accept corporate cards, needing other payment methods.

Who can use corporate cards?

Corporate cards are employed by businesses of all sizes to facilitate employee spending on business-related expenses. They are issued to employees authorized to make purchases or payments autonomously, enhancing expense management and transparency and providing various benefits such as rewards and simplified reconciliation.

How many corporate cards can I get? 

While regular banking institutions have a certain limit on the number of corporate cards assigned, Pluto offers unlimited physical and virtual cards. Thus, you can offer dedicated cards to your employees without having to deal with the hassle of shared credit cards.

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Procurement
December 11, 2023

Vlad Falin

Procurement Management: A Guide to the Basics of the Procurement Cycle

Picture handling hundreds of weekly purchase requests from different departments, each demanding new vendor searches. When you finally make purchases after going through the cycle of approvals and negotiations, you end up facing goods and invoice discrepancies. 

That’s a chaotic situation you certainly want to avoid. 

While procurement may seem like a simple purchase on paper, the process requires planning and structure for larger organizations. 

One way to avoid this chaos is through procurement management, which helps businesses streamline the acquisition and record-keeping process. This reduces overhead costs and helps you remain profitable.  

In this post, we will explore what is procurement management, outline the steps involved, and give tips to optimize your procurement cycle for an effective procurement management system. 

What is Procurement Management? 

Procurement management refers to the strategic acquisition of goods and services to meet the needs of an organization. It covers the entire goods procurement process from raising purchase requests to settling payments with vendors. This involves the procurement team’s planning, sourcing, negotiating, validating, and clearing payments to ensure a proper supply chain. 

See a Demo

Steps Involved in the Procurement Management System

Steps Involved in the Procurement Management System

A standard procurement management process is intricate and involves several stakeholders. Here are the key steps:

  1. Needs Assessment: Identify internal requirements through meticulous forecasting.
  2. Vendor Selection and Database Establishment: Thoroughly vet vendors, creating a robust database for strategic partnerships.
  3. Negotiation of Terms: Engage in negotiations on pricing and delivery schedules to optimize resource utilization.
  4. Purchase Order Generation: Transform approved purchase requests into precise orders to minimize potential errors.
  5. Goods Receipt and Matching: Validate received goods against purchase orders (GRN matching) to ensure order accuracy and quality control.
  6. Invoice Approval and Payment Processing: Ensure accuracy before approving invoices and proceeding with payments.
  7. Record Maintenance for Auditing: Systematically document all transactions for transparent auditing, ensuring compliance and accountability.

Although the process looks simple, it has several loopholes. There are numerous steps involved, and the entire process becomes tricky to execute. These steps are scattered across multiple platforms, complicating reconciliation during the audit season.

Furthermore, it requires approvals at certain stages, making it unfavorable for larger teams with complex hierarchies. 

How to Optimize the Procurement Management System

You can overcome these challenges by automating your systems. 

Automation makes this lengthy and complex process a simple and efficient procurement cycle. The employees get a dedicated platform to raise requests. Furthermore, stakeholders can efficiently review and approve requests with automated notifications. 

Automation also simplifies GRN matching through the data stored in the software. Accounting and payment integrations help clear approved invoices within seconds. 

Throughout this process, you gain real-time visibility and control over expenses. Moreover, having all your information on a unified platform simplifies reconciliation and ensures a proper audit trail.

Here are five ways automating the procurement process helps your business:

1. Internal Control Over Financial Reporting (ICFR)

Automation ensures compliance with ICFR standards and upholds quality controls throughout the procurement process. It does this by using trigger-based approval workflows that follow predefined financial controls. It implements validation checks to ensure that procurement transactions meet quality control standards. This makes two-way and three-way matching seamless. 

By deploying a single software solution, you detect and prevent potential errors or discrepancies in financial reporting.

2. Documentation

Automation brings together purchase requests, purchase orders, receipts, and all the relevant conversations on a unified platform. This makes storing and retrieving information easier, especially during the audit season. Also, optical character recognition (OCR) technology simplifies extracting key information, eliminating the need for manual data entry. 

As a result, you improve document accuracy and prevent errors such as late or incorrect returns due to missing receipts, invoices, payables, and supporting documentation.

3. Integration

Automation software integrates with your accounting software, payment gateways, and ERPs bringing together the scattered pieces of procurement. 

It allows you to request, manage, match goods receipts, and pay vendors from a single place. The best part is that your data remains consistent across all your software making the lives of financial controllers easier.

4. Measure

Automation offers you real-time visibility through a custom dashboard. It gives you a holistic view of the procure-to-pay process with a centralized data repository. 

This makes it easier to extract insights and optimize the process to improve margins, such as average payables due, top vendors, department-wise expenses, etc.

5. Standardize Workflows

Automation helps you create standardized workflows to ensure consistency and efficiency. As a result, each stakeholder gets notified to complete their part. So, be it approving expenses or GRN matching, these set workflows eliminate the need to chase employees averting potential delays. 

Challenges of Automating the Procurement Cycle 

While automation does offer several benefits, choosing the right tool is crucial. One wrong decision and you might end up in one of the following situations:

  • You invest in a basic software that lacks functionality and doesn’t solve your procurement issues.
  • You choose a complex product that is difficult to understand and operate. 
  • You get a tool that doesn’t integrate with your existing accounting and payment software, increasing the manual task of syncing data across these systems. 
  • You get multiple products for different steps that lack integration, hindering efficient and streamlined procurement management. 

Automation becomes a nightmare with the wrong software. All these scenarios lead to resource wastage. Moreover, weeks and months spent on implementation disrupt the supply chain.

What a Good Automation Procurement Management System Looks Like

Here’s how a comprehensive automation platform makes your procurement process easy, functional, flexible, and scalable. 

1. Standardize Process

Standardize Process

You have a centralized platform to consolidate the scattered procurement process. Whether purchase requests, approval workflows, or recurring SaaS payments, it allows you to automate as many procurement elements as you want. 

It lets you digitize the entire process without compromising your current workflows. This boosts transparency and provides better control over your expenses. 

2. Streamline Approvals

Streamline Approvals

You get a no-code trigger-based approval workflow engine that helps you set exact approval hierarchies to get approvals without disruptions.

For example, you can add if-then rules and set a precise and intricate workflow. Thus, when an employee raises a purchase request, instead of chasing stakeholders, this system notifies them to review and approve the requests. 

Additionally, all queries or clarifications unfold within the procurement software, ensuring comprehensive documentation and visibility. This eliminates maverick spending and fosters an accountable procurement process. 

3. Vendor Management 

Vendor Management 

You can sync all your vendors to your accounting software and ERPs. This creates vendor consistency across platforms, accelerating the purchase order creation. You also get the ability to add the list of items and simplify the purchase order and GRN matching process.

4. Receipt Management 

Receipt Management 

You get a dedicated dashboard to manage all your receipts. The software captures invoices from emails and WhatsApp and uses OCR technology to extract key information. This streamlines GRN matching as all vendor, purchase order, and invoice details are in one place. 

Pluto's procure-to-pay module is an excellent example of this centralization. It accelerates reconciliation with GL codes and tax codes, enhancing finance teams' visibility and control over purchase order spending.

5. Centralize Documentation

Centralize Documentation

You have a unified information source as the software integrates with your accounting and payment software and your ERP. Hence, it becomes easy to store and maintain data while maintaining consistency across. 

For instance, Pluto offers you a wide range of integrations, such as NetSuite, Xero, QuickBooks, Zoho, etc., so that you focus on procuring goods and get complete documentation with accuracy. 

6. Detailed Reports 

Report

You get comprehensive reports, making it easier to extract insights and make data-driven decisions. Also, as all the information is stored within the software, there are no gaps or loss of context. You get an accurate picture of your procurement process. This allows for strategic planning and forecasting. 

For instance, with Pluto, you get insights, such as average time for approvals, average payables due, top vendors, department-wise spending, location-wise spending, etc. 

7. Audit Trails

Audit Trails

Since there’s a unified platform to maintain thousands of receipts, you get complete visibility into each order from purchase requests to stakeholders involved and order status. This audit trail becomes a blessing during the audit season when you need less than 30 seconds to retrieve a specific receipt or document.  

There’s More to Procurement Management than Automation

Procurement management is not just about automation. While it does enhance the three core components of procurement—people, process, and paperwork, procurement management requires more than the adoption of software. 

Pluto aims not just to automate your processes but also to support your existing workflows. Then, be it purchase requests, accounts payable, or accounting, it strives to improve your processes by removing all the bottlenecks that cause chaos.  

Know more about how we can help your business. Book a demo and we’ll see you across to maximize the efficiency of your procurement process.

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Updates
December 7, 2023

Mohammed Ridwan

Pluto Wins Big at the MENA Fintech Awards

The MENA Fintech Awards, a prestigious event within the financial technology industry, recently celebrated the most innovative and impactful solutions in the sector. 

We at Pluto are thrilled to announce that our company has been honoured with the 'Best Corporate Solution' award! This recognition is a testament to our team's hard work, dedication, and innovative approach in the fintech space.

Our co-founders, having spent a considerable part of their lives in the UAE. Working within the fintech sector, identified a significant gap in the region's finance sector. They observed that the tools, platforms, and software available to CFOs and finance teams were not only outdated but also overly complex, hindering efficient financial management.

With Pluto, they embarked on a mission to develop a software solution that would change how mid to enterprise level businesses handled their finances. 

The MENA Fintech Awards, organised in collaboration with the MENA Fintech Association, are designed to recognize excellence and innovation in financial technology. These awards are a highlight of the Abu Dhabi Finance Week (ADFinanceWeek), an event that fosters innovation and growth in the fintech sector. The 'Best Corporate Solution' category, in which we were victorious, emphasises practical, innovative solutions that address significant corporate financial challenges.

Our award-winning solution, the Pluto Card, addresses various corporate financial management needs. It offers features like employee reimbursements, petty cash management, and an efficient account payable cycle, along with robust accounting integrations. 

Winning the 'Best Corporate Solution' award at the MENA Fintech Awards is not just an honor but also a motivation for our future endeavours. We are excited about our upcoming initiatives, which include further enhancements to the Pluto Card and expanding our market reach to serve more businesses globally.

We extend our deepest gratitude to the organisers of the MENA Fintech Awards and ADFinanceWeek, the judges for recognizing our efforts, and most importantly, our dedicated team and loyal customers. Your support and trust in our solution have been invaluable!

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Procurement
December 6, 2023

Vlad Falin

Procurement Automation: Top 4 Procurement Process to Automate in 2024

The standard procurement process is tiresome and confusing. 

You have multiple purchase requests from multiple departments. You wait weeks for approvals, and then a few more, before you can vet and negotiate with vendors. Finally, when the goods are delivered, you must assess their quality and ensure you got what you had ordered. 

All this is done with constant pressure to speed up the process and ensure procurement cost savings. It is not scalable, and it has many loopholes. Eventually, you end up with supply chain bottlenecks, increasing procurement costs. 

Such a chaotic process impacts all three core components of procurement—people, process, and paperwork. Goods are delayed, processes are tiresome, and paperwork is incomplete and scattered.

But, with automation in place, you can centralize the entire supply chain and get more visibility and control. Employees will have a dedicated platform for raising requests, the process will be streamlined, and paperwork will be consolidated on a unified dashboard. 

In this post, we will cover how you can automate your procurement process without impacting your supply chain because any mismanagement directly translates into a broken supply chain. 

See a Demo

What is Automation in Procurement?

Procurement automation is the process of adopting software to digitize and centralize your procurement process. Instead of relying on forms for purchase requests, emails/Slacks for approvals, or accounting software for accounts payable, you move your procurement process onto a single platform that automates all these processes. 

procurement automation with Pluto

You just have to set the policy and workflows, and the software manages the chaotic parts while adhering to company policies. And since these software integrate with your existing accounting software and ERPs, you need not change your procurement process much. You can choose which elements you want to automate and get the flexibility to adapt to your business needs. 

Top 4 Procurement Processes to Automate

1. Purchase Requests

Purchase requests involve employees raising requests for the purchase of goods or services. They specify the goods required, and the procurement team ensures that all stakeholders give their approvals to the requests. The larger the expense, the more stakeholders involved. Plus, this becomes complex for larger firms when there are intricate hierarchies. 

By automating this process, all the requests are consolidated and the approval process is accelerated. For instance, Pluto facilitates trigger-based custom approval workflows to notify stakeholders and get approvals without disruptions. This ensures compliance with procurement policies and complete visibility into spending. 

2. Purchase Orders

Purchase orders involve creating and approving legal documents that outline the details of a purchase, including quantity, price, and delivery terms. However, this process becomes chaotic when vendor lists are scattered across platforms and you don't have proper systems for consolidating all purchase requests and orders.

Automate PO for procurement automation

Automating purchase orders consolidates all the purchase orders in a single platform. It enables multiple functions, such as converting purchase requests into purchase orders as soon as they get approved, maintaining a preferred vendors list, offering punchout systems to create purchase orders faster, etc. As a result, you enhance the accuracy of the purchase order and improve supplier management. 

3. Goods Received Note (GRN) Matching

GRN matching involves verifying that the goods received match the details specified in the purchase order and confirming their acceptance. Any mismanagement at this stage negatively impacts inventory, leaving you with poor quality or unnecessary goods. Moreover, doing this manually takes time and leaves room for errors.

Automate goods received notes in procurement

Automating GRN matching consolidates purchase orders and bills on a single platform for easy two-way and three-way matching. 

For instance, Pluto captures the receipts and matches them to the purchase orders for accuracy, expediting the reconciliation process. You get complete visibility into the products that don’t match the purchase order. As a result, the verification process fastens with minimal discrepancies.

4. Accounts payable

Accounts payable involves managing and paying invoices for goods and services received, ensuring timely and accurate financial transactions. Manually, this process takes weeks before the invoice gets approved. In other cases, teams end up paying the invoice twice, leading to the issue of double payments. In the end, procurement teams lose visibility into where the money is going, making cost optimization difficult. 

Accounts payable automation

Automating accounts payable streamlines invoice processing to reduce errors and enhance overall financial efficiency. For instance, Pluto integrates with your accounting software and payment gateways to automate payments. As soon as the invoices are approved, you get a dedicated dashboard for awaiting payments. With a single click, you make payments while ensuring data consolidation without any delays.

Top 3 Challenges in Procurement Automation 

While procurement automation can enhance your procurement process, here are some challenges that need your attention:

1. Resistance

Employees resist adopting automated processes due to fear of job displacement or reluctance to change established workflows. This happens because they don't understand the real benefits of technology and how it can assist them in their jobs. As a result, the adoption process slows down, hinders efficiency, and leads to a lack of cooperation from key stakeholders.

To overcome this, provide training and education on the benefits of procurement automation. Involve employees in decision-making and showcase successful case studies to alleviate concerns. This will set clear expectations and also help specify the requirements of the software. 

2. Implementation Cost

The upfront costs associated with implementing automation tools and systems for procurement processes are substantial. This includes costs from purchasing software and hardware and the expenses associated with system integration, training, and potential disruptions during implementation. Thus, it becomes difficult to get stakeholders on board and get approval despite long-term benefits.

To overcome this, conduct a thorough cost-benefit analysis and share the results with stakeholders. Discuss the operational efficiency of procurement automation and consider phased implementation to spread costs. Also, explore scalable solutions, so you don't have to keep reassessing and re-investing in the automation solution.

3. Security 

Security concerns about the privacy of sensitive procurement data arise with adopting automated systems, especially due to large amounts of vendor, payment, and employee data. This makes it susceptible to cybersecurity threats, raising concerns regarding data breaches or unauthorized access.

To overcome this, look for certified software ensuring data protection regulations compliance. For instance, Pluto is PCI DSS Level 1 certified, which is bank-grade security. You can also conduct regular audits and encrypt sensitive information for added protection.

Automate Procurement Process With Pluto

You can tackle these procurement automation challenges and others, too, such as flexibility, technical issues, and supply chain complexity, by choosing the right automation partner. A solution that caters to your need to provide visibility, control, flexibility, and ease without disrupting your supply chain. 

Here are some ways that Pluto can support your procurement automation to streamline the 3Ps of a procure to pay software—people, process, and paperwork::

1. Approval Workflows

You get a no-code trigger-based approval workflow engine that helps you set exact approval hierarchies to get approvals without any disruptions. You add if-then rules and set a precise and intricate workflow. 

Thus, when an employee raises a purchase request, instead of chasing stakeholders, this system notifies all of them to review and approve the requests. Also, if queries and any clarification are required, all the conversation takes place in Pluto itself, giving you complete documentation and visibility. 

2. Vendor Management 

You get a unified platform to consolidate all your vendors with integrations to your accounting software and ERPs. You can sync and manage all the vendors for faster purchase order creation. You can add the list of items and simplify the purchase order and GRN matching process.

3. Receipt Management 

You get a dedicated dashboard to manage all your receipts. Pluto captures the invoices from emails and WhatsApp and uses optical character recognition (OCR) technology to extract key information. As a result, GRN matching becomes easy as you have all the vendor, purchase order, and invoice details in one place. Also, with all the details consolidated, you accelerate the reconciliation process by documenting all the key information on a single platform. 

4. Payment Processing

You get direct integrations with your accounting software and payment gateways, making payment processing easy. Since Pluto already supports the approval process and GRN matching, you don’t end up paying for faulty goods. Also, you get all the information on a single platform with its current status and other key information, so you avoid double payments. 

5. Reconciliation

You close books 10X faster with Pluto. With OCR technology, you need not manually add general ledger and tax codes. And since all the accounting software is synced, the information remains consistent throughout the system, making reconciling easier. Also, if any discrepancies arise, you have complete visibility into each AED you spend with Pluto.

Simplify Procurement Automation

Your procurement team doesn’t need multiple procurement automation software for each process. You will end up with multiple platforms, struggling to integrate them, and spending hours trying to work the pieces together instead of getting flexibility. 

Pluto streamlines the process while facilitating integrations with your existing accounting software, ERPs, and payment gateways. You get a layer of automation that sits on top of current processes to meet your needs. Hence, you get a solution that fixes all the loopholes instead of disrupting your current processes. 

We explored the top 6 procurement software solutions for modern businesses on our blog, and recommend checking the options and picking one that offers functionality without disrupting your workflow. 

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Procurement
December 4, 2023

Mohammed Ridwan

Top 7 Accounts Payable Automation Software

An invoice has landed in your inbox. As soon as it arrived, a team member cleared the payment. Later, when another team member came across it, they made the payment again. This is a common scenario of duplicate payments that results in cash leakage. Invoices are not consolidated. There is no proper approval workflow, and stakeholders lack visibility. 

Overall, managing accounts payable (AP) becomes a nightmare. 

An automation tool solves these bottlenecks and provides a centralized platform for invoice management and accounts payable. An accounts payable automation software automates invoice capture and retrieval to consolidate all the information on a unified platform. You get real-time visibility and control over your payables. 

As a result, you establish better vendor relationships and supply chain management without impacting cash flows.

This post will cover 7 AP automation software to help you choose the right automation partner.  

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Top 7 accounts payable automation software 

Here are the top 7 AP automation software. You can pick one of these to automate your accounts payable based on your company size and needs.

1. Pluto

account payable automation software by pluto

Pluto is an accounts payable software that transforms your AP processes by simplifying bill processing. From enabling GRN matching to setting fully customizable multi-layer approval workflows, it is the best AP automation software to manage your vendor payments. 

Key Features:

  • Facilitates three-way GRN matching with purchase orders and item-based matching
  • Offers a flexible approval engine capable of managing intricate hierarchies without requiring technical expertise
  • Enables multi-layer invoice approvals with policies to align with your company's structure
  • Ability to upload invoices easily via WhatsApp images and emails to speed up the receipt capture process
  • Facilitates optical character recognition (OCR) technology to retrieve invoice information, including tax and general ledger (GL) codes
  • Offers a centralized dashboard to gather bills in one place and track the status to avoid double payments
  • Consolidates approved invoices in a single window to highlight pending bills and avoid delays
  • Raises alerts for upcoming payments, enables scheduling payments in advance and automates invoices 
  • Allows you to seamlessly carry out bulk local and international wire transfers for easy payment clearing through their treasury partners.
  • Enables you to split payments for different tax and GL codes, departments, etc. 
  • Provides vendor-specific corporate cards to control budgets and detect irrelevant expenses
  • Supports ERP integration to synchronize your vendors, purchase orders, and bills
  • Integrates with accounting software such as Oracle, NetSuite, Zoho, Quickbooks, Wafeq, Xero, etc.
  • Provides a complete audit trail of the process to ensure visibility at each step
  • Shows real-time analytics to facilitate deep insights for supporting budget control

Pricing: 

Free to get started 

Pros:

  • Free to get started!
  • Enables branch and subsidiary-level spend tracking (not offered by other platforms)
  • Offers up to 2% cashback on all non-AED transactions 
  • Independent PCI DSS Level 1 certification for advanced security
  • SSO/SAML Capabilities for Enterprises
  • Better Forex rates than most local banks 

Cons:

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

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2. Tipalti

AP automation software by tipalti

Tipalti is an automation tool that supports end-to-end AP processes. It streamlines accounts payables and facilitates global payments in local currencies for various recipients, from suppliers to freelancers. The cloud-based platform helps finance teams manage payments without losing visibility and control. 

Key Features:

  • Supports supplier onboarding and vetting to ensure supplier reliability and trustworthiness
  • Integrates with ERP and accounting systems to help with reconciliation reporting
  • Uses OCR to scan, capture, match, and process invoice data to reduce manual errors
  • Provides built-in approval workflows and payment scheduling 
  • Offers invoice processing, including two-way and three-way purchase order matching and approval to avoid overpayments
  • Assists AP processes for subsidiaries and entities

Pricing: 

Starts at $129 per month per user for the platform fee and charges for additional features separately

Pros:

  • Can manage supplier bank account details in a secure environment

Cons:

  • Cannot use it for prepayment invoices on inventory purchases with the ERP system
  • High foreign currency exchange fees
  • Tax forms can be difficult to fill out and very difficult if you do not speak English

3. Airbase

AP automation platform by Airbase

Airbase manages global AP processes. It focuses on ensuring compliance and syncing with your accounting tool to streamline payment. 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
  • Supports onboarding with a self-service vendor portal and custom questionnaires
  • Has a centralized dashboard with all key information about the invoice to avoid friction 
  • Accepts invoices from email or vendor portal across all subsidiaries
  • Offers automated approval workflows based on multiple parameters, such as vendor, amount, GL category, etc.
  • Enables three-way invoice matching to ensure compliance and reduce wasted spend
  • Real-time audit trail with receipts, notes, and documentation for transparency

Pricing: 

Request a custom quote

Pros:

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

Cons:

  • The mobile app is slow and takes time to load pages 
  • SSO-based login is not smooth
  • Not suitable for complex branch-level approvals and expenses

4. Ramp

Ramp's AP automation solution

Ramp is an accounts payable solution for managing payments and business expenses. It automates bill entries, approvals, and payments while offering complete visibility and control. By tracking each AP step from data recording to approvals, it simplifies payment processing and takes the burden off teams. 

Key Features:

  • Uses artificial intelligence (AI) to extract key details from invoices to offer accuracy and eliminate data-entry errors
  • Identifies duplicate invoices and helps with two-way matching to purchase orders
  • Offers custom approval workflows to minimize errors and ensure timely payments 
  • Provides a unified dashboard with visibility into the status of invoices
  • Consolidates multiple payment options, such as check, card, same-day ACH, or international wire
  • Integrates with accounting solutions, such as QuickBooks, Xero, Oracle NetSuite, Sage, etc. for auto-sync bill pay transactions
  • Supports international payment processing in multiple currencies 
  • Tracks vendor data and transactions for easy reporting and data-driven decisions

Pricing: 

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:

  • Works with multiple subsidiaries
  • Offers cash back on credit card purchases made using VISA cards

Cons:

  • Can’t unmatch an incorrectly matched invoice (invoice to credit card)
  • Approval routing can only be set on the vendor level, not the department level
  • Limitations in syncing repayments

5. Bill

Accounts payable automation tool by Bill

Bill is an accounts payable solution for SMBs to control payables, receivables, expenses, and all corporate expenses. It allows businesses to streamline scattered AP processes into a single platform and gain more control over their finances. 

Key Features:

  • Enables custom approval workflows for minimal hassle
  • Automates purchase order workflows with the option for automated two-way and three-way matching
  • Automates receipt matching, categorization, and expense reporting, decreasing administrative tasks
  • Syncs with all major accounting systems like QuickBooks, Sage, Intacct, and NetSuite
  • OCR auto-populates invoices for data entry
  • Provides bulk payments of approved invoices with payment choices, such as ACH, credit cards, checks, and international wire transfers
  • Offers audit trail of any changes or actions related to the invoice on a single page

Pricing: 

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

6. Procurify

Procurify's AP automation software

Procurify streamlines AP reconciliation, offering a straightforward solution for financial operations. From catalog management to custom user controls, it helps to track the procurement process in real time. Its no-code configuration allows for a prompt deployment in under six weeks, making it a suitable choice for mid-market to enterprise organizations.

Key Features:

  • Creates, tracks, and maintains an audit trail of all procurement transactions for transparency and compliance
  • Ensures that requested items are approved against budgets before procurement
  • Integrates with trusted vendors through punchout catalogs to streamline the ordering process
  • Syncs bills and completes bill payments directly with platforms like QuickBooks Online, NetSuite, and other major accounting systems
  • Supports OCR  technology to extract data from invoices

Pricing: 

Starts at $2000/month with a custom pricing tier

Pros:

  • Ability to upload different invoices in the same PO and group invoices

Cons:

  • Doesn’t offer payment services, so you need to carry out payments on a different platform
  • Physical inventory has to be tracked outside Procurify

7. ZipHq

Accounts payable automation by ZipHQ

Ziphq is an end-to-end procure to pay software designed to streamline the entire procurement process, from purchase order to payment. It caters to businesses of all sizes — startups, mid-size companies, and enterprises with no-code configuration and deployment in under six weeks.

Key Features:

  • Offers vendor cards to automate recurring and one-time payments
  • Centralizes purchasing workflows, providing real-time visibility into the AP process
  • Facilitates automatic purchase order matching, ensuring invoice accuracy and timely payments
  • Provides automated, no-code workflows, referencing all stakeholders in the approval chain
  • Allows employees to comment on invoices and tag stakeholders, ensuring everyone has the context and visibility needed
  • Automates renewal planning with workflows initiated well ahead of deadlines, enabling stakeholders to make informed decisions
  • Supports vendor payments in 140+ countries and 40+ currencies
  • Integrates with ERP, ensuring quick and easy reconciliation, even for complex, multi-subsidiary operations

Pricing: 

Request a demo quote

Pros:

  • Provides various customization options to configure internal processes

Cons:

  • Localized to the USA market
  • Takes over five days to settle vendor payments 
  • Can’t bulk upload documents

How to choose the right accounts payable automation software?

User-friendliness

Select software that is adaptable and user-friendly, with intuitive trigger-based workflows and a clean interface, ensuring ease of use without excessive reliance on support for basic tasks.

Versatile payment capabilities

Choose a solution that supports a broad spectrum of payment methods, including the ability to issue vendor-specific cards for secure and speedy payments, a feature not commonly found in many platforms.

Accurate Invoice Processing

Opt for software with OCR technology to enhance invoice processing speed and accuracy, capable of handling invoices from various sources and integrating them into a centralized database for reduced manual entry.

Efficient Approval Workflows

The software should include a straightforward, no-code workflow builder that can handle complex hierarchies, essential for large organizations with intricate approval processes.

Seamless System Integration

Ensure the software integrates well with existing accounting systems to automate data entry and maintain synchronized records, which is crucial for effective financial management.

Advanced Reporting Features

Reporting functionality that offers insights into spending patterns and department-specific expenditures is vital. The software should provide a robust reporting dashboard with options for deeper analytics.

Choosing the right accounts payable automation software 

Implementing accounts payable software will support your procurement process only when you carefully pick an option that provides flexibility, visibility, and security without losing on functionality. 

Imagine software that makes it easy to clear payments but doesn’t settle payments for days on the vendor’s end. Contrarily, consider an option your legal or IT team is skeptical of implementing. 

That is why, at Pluto, we focus on simplifying processes and cutting all the chaos without risking security, flexibility, or functionality. We simplify accounts payable by syncing with your payment gateways for faster payments at better forex rates than banks. You get a PCI DSS Level 1 certified solution that provides you with bank-grade security. 

So, book a demo and learn more about how you can optimize your entire procurement process.

5
All
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.

5
All
Procurement
November 23, 2023

Mohammed Ridwan

Top 9 Procure-to-Pay Software for Enterprises

You want a procure-to-pay (P2P) software that automates your procurement process and addresses issues like lack of visibility, double payments, and delayed approvals. However, since such a tool has multiple users at different hierarchies and a complex workflow, you often end up with a more complex process if you don’t choose the right software. 

With ad-hoc processes, many issues pop-up: employees wait weeks for approvals, procurement teams have no real-time visibility over purchase requests and don’t know how to prioritize, finance teams get minimal control over expenses, and the entire process is chaotic. Hence, choosing the right procure-to-pay solution requires a focus on ease of use and flexibility. 

In this post, we will share the best procure-to-pay software for businesses in the UAE. We will discuss how P2P software helps with procurement management and which tools are worth considering. 

What is Procure-to-Pay Software?

Procure-to-pay software is a tool to automate the complete procurement process, which combines accounts payable (AP) software and procurement software.

Instead of having your procurement processes and data scattered across emails, Jira, different task management tools, and custom ERPs, you bring it onto a single platform. 

Procure to Pay software

By moving from your legacy tools to an automated P2P software, you can:

  • automate approval workflows, making the purchase request (PR) process easier and faster. Flexible approval workflows enable all stakeholders to approve requests with a trigger-based flow. 
  • integrate with ERPs to maintain a preferred vendor list and manage order items. While most P2P software supports record-keeping only, some allow the conversion of PRs to purchase orders (PO) automatically after approval.
  • match the goods received note (GRN) to enable two-way or three-way matching and ensure proper inventory and timely vendor payments. 
  • process payments with multiple payment options to avoid delays and foster vendor relationships. It also helps avoid double payments, underpayment, or overpayment. 
  • reconcile data faster via integrations with accounting software, enabling more visibility and control. Accounting teams get the right documents, and finance teams get visibility over expenses.

Since legacy ERPs aren’t enough to manage your entire procurement process, adding P2P software makes purchasing and payments easier. 

Top 9 Procure-to-Pay Software

Here is a procure-to-pay software list for companies in the UAE: 

1. Pluto

Procure-to-Pay software by Pluto

Pluto is an all-in-one procure-to-pay solution to transform your procurement and AP processes. It sits on top of your ERP as a layer to manage the multiple stages of the procurement process. From automating PRs to setting multi-layer approval workflows and managing vendors, it is the ultimate solution to transform a chaotic procurement process into a faster and more efficient one. 

Key Features:

  • Features fully customizable workflows for raising PR and POs, requiring no technical expertise
  • Offers a flexible approval engine capable of managing intricate hierarchies
  • Enables multi-layer invoice approvals with policies to align with your company's structure
  • Ability to upload invoices easily via WhatsApp images, eliminating the need to search for invoice details. Also facilitates invoice capture via emails directly to speed up the receipt capture process
  • A centralized dashboard to gather bills in one place and track the status to avoid double payments
  • Vendor-specific corporate cards to control budgets and detect irrelevant expenses
  • Supports local and international wire transfers to make payments 
  • OCR technology minimizes manual data entry by creating and populating bills from invoices
  • Supports ERP integration to synchronize your vendors, POs, and bills and integrates with accounting software, such as Oracle, NetSuite, Zoho, Quickbooks, Wafeq, Xero, etc.
  • Integrates with payment gateways and accounting software for seamless payments and reconciliation (a feature not available in other solutions)
  • Raises alerts for upcoming payments and enables scheduling payments in advance and automate invoices 
  • Provides a complete audit trail of the process to ensure visibility at each step
  • Shows real-time analytics to facilitate deep insights for supporting budget control

Pricing: 

Request the sales team for a custom quote

Pros:

  • More financial control with vendor-specific corporate cards 
  • Better Forex rates than most local banks 
  • Multiple integration options including Netsuite, Dynamics and more

Cons:

  • Slightly longer on-boarding due to unlimited corporate purchasing card offering 
  • Directly integrates with all other major ERPs except Tally

2. Order.co

Procure to pay solution by Order

Order.co is a procure-to-pay platform that provides you access to over 15,000+ vendors in addition to your preferred vendors. It acts as an online marketplace like Amazon or eBay to help you procure items for your business. You add items to the cart, and it enables a rule-based approval system for POs with complete control and visibility. 

Key Features:

  • Provides a custom, pre-approved Order.co catalog, including your current vendors and a vast network of 15,000+ vendors
  • Supports purchases from multiple vendors regardless of their ordering methods (API, website, email)
  • Sources the best prices for your needs to automatically generate POs and set up recurring orders to save time and reduce manual errors
  • Offers real-time budgeting and reporting insights by the user, location, cost center, or vendor
  • Simplifies payment processing by consolidating all orders from multiple vendors into one monthly invoice

Pricing:

Dependent upon locations and usage; contact hello@order.co for pricing information

Pros:

  • Customizable product lists for ordering 
  • Easy-to-create customizable workflows
  • Ability to categorize purchases and run reports

Cons:

  • Set up is confusing and requires customer support help
  • Can not order from multiple vendors at the same time

3. Yooz

Procure to pay platform by Yooz

Yooz optimizes the procurement process by focusing on invoice management.  It is suitable for mid-size companies of all sectors wanting to automate procurement with a cloud-based procure-to-pay solution. It uses artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technologies to enhance security and control in their account payable automation software.

Key Features:

  • Enables online, real-time management of supplier relationships, improving communication and collaboration
  • Provides mobile access for invoice approval and communication
  • Maintains regulation-compliant traceability, ensuring adherence to relevant laws and standards
  • Automates real-time general ledger (GL) coding and PO matching
  • Captures all types of documents through various channels, such as email, drag and drop, mobile, scan, and secure file transfer protocol (SFTP)
  • Integrates with accounting software and ERPs
  • Allows users to approve and pay invoices in batches, offering multiple payment options, such as virtual credit card, ACH, e-check, and paper check
  • Offers a range of services, including consulting, configuration, training, and user support

Pricing: 

Free trial for up to 15 days followed by a "pay-as-you-use" model. Also offers “gold edition” subscription pricing (based on the volume of documents) for an unlimited number of users and 4 hours of complimentary service

Pros:

  • Integrates with Sage Intacct
  • Ability to tag people in the comments and email them directly from the invoice
  • Numerous criteria available for setting up the approval workflows

Cons: 

  • Doesn’t offer payment services in the UAE, so you need to carry out payments on a different platform
  • Doesn't have integrations with major vendors as a form of punchout
  • Time-consuming to download and export files
  • Hard for vendors to send the invoices through Yooz

4. Kissflow

Procure to pay solution by Kissflow

Kissflow simplifies and enhances procurement processes while ensuring transparency and compliance. It helps users automate the entire process without requiring technical expertise or coding experience. It comes with 50+ ready-to-use applications, enabling unlimited automation applications.  

Key Features:

  • Offers fluid forms to enable easy capturing, approval, and tracking of PRs
  • Allows users to register and maintain vendors with access to multilingual catalogs
  • Integration with accounting systems, ERPs, and finance systems like Quickbooks, SAP, and Microsoft Dynamics 
  • Accelerates the invoice approval process with timely alerts and automated checks. Connect invoices to contracts, POs, and service entry sheets in a single dashboard
  • Customizable reports to visualize data using charts, filters, and heatmaps
  • Ability to define and manage budget restrictions with dynamic rules throughout the entire procure-to-pay lifecycle
  • Customized approval workflows to ensure transparency with rule-based approval processes
  • Smart alerts that provide real-time updates on the status of POs and invoices to keep stakeholders informed 

Pricing: 

Starts at $2499/month (billed annually). Pricing varies based on transaction volume and number of users

Pros: 

  • Intuitive interface with a relatively short learning curve

Cons:

  • Does not support payment flows in the UAE
  • Cost of its license is high (particularly for SMBs)
  • Can not handle intricate processes that require a high degree of customization or involve multiple conditional branches
  • Customization options are limited, including specific integrations, advanced business rules, or more sophisticated automation capabilities

5. Coupa

Procure-to-pay software by coupa

Coupa is a cloud-based automation platform to manage procurement processes. It facilitates supply chain optimization by providing visibility and control. It brings consumer shopping ease to the procurement process. With a focus on user adoption, it provides an intuitive shopping experience for employees, making it easier to adhere to pre-approved spending guidelines.

Key Features:

  • Simplifies procurement by allowing organizations to track pre-approved spending and get real-time visibility into POs and order lifecycle
  • Maximizes pre-approved spend to offer complete visibility over the purchase-to-pay processes
  • Promotes user adoption at all levels with an easy-to-use interface, creating value for both employees and vendors
  • Provides a centralized platform within Coupa Procure, allowing easy comparison of items across multiple vendors
  • Offers real-time budget management with budget meters, allowing organizations to assess budget sufficiency before committing to spending
  • Employs AI and machine learning to detect errors and fraud across business spend
  • Enables quick notifications of disruptions and allows vendors to confirm availability, minimizing unplanned downtime
  • Provides real-time visibility into inventory availability, helping organizations reduce redundant and wasteful spending

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 

6. Esker

Procure to pay platform by Esker

Esker is a cloud-based automation procurement software. It helps you optimize procurement processes and collaborate strategically with your vendors. With the ability to integrate across various company departments, it simplifies user adoption while facilitating visibility and control.

Key Features:

  • Facilitates approval mechanism and GRN matching for each PR and invoice 
  • Offers real-time analytics, enabling you to maintain tighter budget controls
  • Gives access to products from preferred vendors, aligning purchases with company procurement policies
  • Provides a self-service portal, facilitating supplier onboarding, catalog management, and invoice status access
  • Customizable dashboards to manage daily tasks, monitor productivity, and identify issues and opportunities as they arise
  • Enables you to customize the interface with your company's corporate identity, enhancing the supplier's ability to identify and engage with your organization seamlessly

Pricing: 

Contact sales for pricing

Pros:

  • Contains filtered views to allow for focused priorities 
  • Auto-sends payment reminders

Cons:

  • Gets expensive with each customization implemented
  • Doesn’t allow unused/old customer accounts to be deleted
  • Integration with accounting software isn't seamless 
  • Approval workflow requires a manual trigger to start

7. PayEm

Procure to pay software by PayEm

PayEm offers a procure-to-pay solution, covering everything in one place to replace your traditional procurement process. With a core focus on processing PR, it simplifies the creation of POs with custom forms and approval workflows. It facilitates collaboration between procurement and finance teams to enhance visibility and control. 

Key Features:

  • Offers custom request forms equipped with conditional logic to ensure a user-friendly experience
  • Provides fully customizable automated approval workflows based on factors like amounts, subsidiaries, and stakeholders
  • Integrates with communication platforms like Slack and email, allowing request tracking and approvals
  • Consolidates all the requests and approvals, simplifying discussions, document sharing, and creating an audit log
  • Enables real-time updates and clear overviews of request statuses, minimizing the need for follow-up inquiries
  • Offers OCR technology for invoice processing
  • Syncs with your ERP and enables exporting reconciled transactions and uploading them to your ERP 
  • Automates vendor management with payment scheduling, funds transferring, and limits setting for each vendor

Pricing: 

Request a custom quote

Pros:

  • Multiple virtual credit cards for different vendors
  • Supports global transactions 

Cons:

  • Some vendors don't accept PayEm cards
  • High transaction clearing time 
  • Limits the user to either a virtual or physical card at one time 

8. Pipefy

Pipefy Procure to pay platform

Pipefy is an automation procure-to-pay tool to manage end-to-end procurement processes, from PR to paying vendors, to create a frictionless experience. It aims to break silos between teams to simplify purchase and AP. 

Key Features:

  • Allows you to create and customize workflows, from purchase requisition to supplier management
  • Provides secure portals where records and documents can be organized, ensuring that all information is easily accessible, especially during audits
  • Ensures compliance with custom forms that include required fields to accelerate POs
  • Enables access to real-time insights to help you forecast ideal quantities and vendors for requisitions
  • Evaluates your processes, delivering reliable data to enable strategic and data-driven decisions
  • Integrates with your existing ERPs and accounting systems, such as NetSuite, Oracle E-business Suite, QuickBooks, Sage Intacct, etc.  
  • Enables deadline alerts, approval flows, and information exchange to prevent late fees and cashing in on early payment discounts
  • Offers a customizable dashboard to streamline vendor registration, updates, onboarding, and contract management

Pricing:

Offers three packages starting with a free option for smaller teams, and a subsequent model that costs $20 per month per user and $34 per month per user. Also, offers an enterprise plan with custom pricing

Pros: 

  • Offers templates for organizing processes

Cons:

  • Complex sign-up process
  • Workflows aren’t flexible with difficulty with respect to adding new users and making changes 
  • Difficult to import data and search in the database for information

9. Procurify

Procure to pay software solution by Procurify

Procurify speeds up the procurement process, enhances internal communication, and reduces financial risks. It is an easy-to-implement tool that saves time for finance and operations teams. From catalog management to custom user controls, it helps to track the procurement process in real time. 

Key Features:

  • Tailors POs to match your internal processes and vendor expectations
  • Creates, tracks, and maintains an audit trail of all procurement transactions for transparency and compliance
  • Enhances financial controls by enabling PO-based purchasing
  • Ensures that requested items are approved against budgets before procurement
  • Syncs PO with your accounting system or ERP, whether via API, CSV, flat file, or direct integration
  • Integrates with trusted vendors through punchout catalogs to streamline the ordering process
  • Enables blanket PO, which involve making multiple purchases against a single PO, even when details of future purchases may be unknown
  • Provides PO workflows to save on shipping costs, unlock vendor discounts, and reduce paperwork 

Pricing: 

Starts at $2000/month with a custom pricing tier

Pros:

  • Easy-to-make amendments in the original PO
  • Enables ordering from multiple websites for resources, including Amazon
  • Makes it easy to upload documents to support expense and order reports

Cons:

  • Doesn’t offer payment services in UAE, so you will need to carry out payments on a different platform
  • Doesn’t cater to the UAE market, and does not support UAE-specific workflows such as VAT management
  • Cannot edit orders once they are approved
  • Cannot see the order history for a catalog item without running a report
  • Physical inventory has to be tracked outside Procurify

Which Procure-to-Pay Software Should You Pick?

Don’t choose a platform that offers the maximum functionality. Instead, choose the one that is user-friendly and flexible. 

Procurement is already a complex process that requires visibility by different stakeholders. Choosing a tool that offers visibility and accommodates complex business needs will help you transform your chaotic procure-to-pay process

If you want to get started, book a demo, and our team will help you identify the bottlenecks and make the entire process simpler and manageable.

Disclaimer: The comparisons and rankings of procure to pay 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.

Product updates

5
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Updates
April 4, 2024

Mohammed Ridwan

PlutoCard is Now GetPluto: Your Unified Payable Solution

PlutoCard now becomes GetPluto — your new one-stop solution for all payables.  

What's New?

After much anticipation and hard work, we're excited to announce the migration from plutocard.io to getpluto.com, a step towards redefining corporate payments.

With getpluto.com, we are extending our vision beyond providing corporate cards

We understand the challenges that businesses face when handling their finances. It involves more than swiping a card and filing expenses. That's why we've developed a comprehensive suite of products and features to simplify everything from procurement to payables. 

So, whether you want to streamline purchase requests, integrate your ERP without impacting costs, or manage reimbursements — getpluto.com has you covered!

Beyond Cards: The All-In-One Platform

Here's a glimpse of what Pluto has to offer:

  1. Procure-to-pay: Streamline your procurement process from purchase requests to invoice matching, all in one place.
  2. Bill management: Centralize bill management and payments for faster approvals, better vendor relationships, and more accurate two/three-way matching.
  3. Accounting ERP integrations: Sync seamlessly with major ERPs like Xero, Zoho, QuickBooks, Dynamics, and Netsuite to close your books 10X faster.
  4. Petty cash management: Digitize cash-in-hand management to eliminate leaks without losing flexibility or visibility.
  5. T&E reimbursements: Simplify travel and expense reimbursements with unlimited budget-controlled corporate cards and custom approval workflows.
  6. Corporate cards: Get budget-controlled corporate cards with built-in compliance management — from receipt capture to policy enforcement. 

“We have been using Pluto for a few months now, and we literally have everything in one place.”

~ Lee Kersen Mascarenhas, Head of Operations at BloomingBox

From Our CoFounder — Mo Aziz

Pluto's Corporate Cards have been serving the largest businesses in UAE powered by a platform built for companies of all sizes: from small-scale SMEs to businesses with 1000s of employees.

But company spending does not happen just through Corporate Cards…

At Pluto, we believe CFO & Finance teams need a unified, comprehensive platform that solves all types of corporate spending problems end-to-end.

The new Pluto is our step towards this future where UAE businesses get a best-in-class platform, helping manage company spending across Cards, Reimbursements, Invoice Management, Procurement & more.

Join Us At getpluto.com

We're excited about the possibilities that getpluto.com brings. 

We understand the importance of this change and are here to support you at every step of the way, offering a more comprehensive platform to meet all your financial needs.

Sign up for a demo or create a free account at getpluto.com today and discover how Pluto simplifies payments for—finance teams, procurement teams, and employees.

Thank you for your continued support!

5
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Updates
December 11, 2023

Vlad Falin

5 Strategies For Cost Reduction in Procurement To Improve Bottom Line

It’s challenging to always be on your toes, looking for ways to cut costs. Be it negotiation or automating manual, time-consuming processes, your main focus is always to optimize expenses and improve the bottom line. This comprises 36% of CPOs whose top priority is delivering bottom-line savings. 

Hence, in this post, we will discuss the top 5 procurement cost reduction strategies. We’ll also discuss the process of getting started and ways to improve the procure-to-pay process to ensure procurement cost savings

See a Demo

5 Cost-Saving Strategies in Procurement

Here are the top 5 cost reduction techniques in procurement that you can implement in the short and long run:

1. Reduction in Maverick Spending

Reduction in Maverick Spending

Maverick spending refers to expenses beyond the established policy and procurement process. It involves unauthorized purchasing that is either not approved or doesn't adhere to the pre-approved vendors or negotiated contracts. 

Such expenses impact financial and operational efficiency, leading to budget overruns and supplier relationship strain. For instance, an employee purchases office supplies from a non-approved vendor. It can lead to higher costs due to a lack of negotiated discounts and impact the organization's ability to leverage consolidated spending for better terms and conditions.

To reduce maverick spending, you must actively communicate procurement policies to avoid such expenses. You must monitor all the transactions and address any such instances. This requires greater visibility into the spending at each stage and an analysis of how company resources are being used. You will also need to set spending controls based on the company policies to avoid constant monitoring. 

Purchase request flow

As a result, you gain better control over the procurement process, negotiate better contracts with preferred suppliers, and leverage volume discounts without disrupting the supply chain. This will help you maintain compliance with established procurement policies and save costs by avoiding unauthorized expenses. 

2. Contract Management

Contract management involves reassessing the existing contracts and negotiating supplier agreements. This includes negotiation, execution, and ongoing monitoring to ensure cost optimization.

Contract Management

To ensure strong contract management practices, regularly revisit contract terms, assess performance metrics, and proactively identify areas for improvement. Prioritize negotiation preparation by investing in training for procurement professionals, ensuring they possess the skills to secure favorable terms and adapt agreements to evolving business needs. 

Contract management aids in maximizing the value of agreements, minimizing risk, and ensuring that suppliers deliver as per the agreed terms. It also promotes better relationship management and identifies opportunities for cost optimization.

3. Request Specification

Request Specification

Request specification involves creating clear and detailed specifications for the goods or services that the organization intends to procure. This involves detailing purchase requests and understanding the needs of the teams to deliver what they need and not spend money on unnecessary features and misfit products. This helps ensure suppliers understand the exact requirements, leading to more accurate quotes and better value for money.

To ensure detailed request specifications, involve all the stakeholders in the approval process and get buy-in from each of them. Follow a standardized approval workflow to raise purchase requests. This ensures consistency and gets the maximum information possible. However, it is important to implement customized workflows to suit your business hierarchies.

hierarchies

This reduces the risk of feature overlap and better consolidates the purchases for negotiating more favorable deals. Moreover, the specificity of needs lowers the chances of cost overruns or disputes during the procurement process.

4. Spending Consolidation

Consolidating spending means automating procurement processes to achieve economies of scale. This includes consolidating purchases, standardizing suppliers, and leveraging bulk buying power. Doing so lets you negotiate better terms with suppliers, reduce administrative overhead, and achieve cost savings through volume discounts.

For instance, if you consolidate spending on packaging materials by sourcing from a single supplier, you negotiate bulk discounts, streamline procurement processes, and benefit from standardized materials. This approach reduces costs through economies of scale, simplifies logistics, and enhances overall operational efficiency.

Spending Consolidation

To consolidate spending, conduct a thorough spend analysis, identify opportunities for consolidation, and negotiate with suppliers for better terms. Additionally, implement procurement software to streamline procurement processes. This will give you insights into your spending behaviors and help you identify optimization opportunities. Also, create a cross-functional procurement team to promote collaboration and standardization across the organization. Moreover, ensure proper cross-functional workflows to get stakeholders involved at each stage. 

5. Vendor Diversity

Vendor Diversity

Vendor diversity involves engaging with various suppliers to reduce dependency on a single source. This strategy ensures increased competition, better negotiation opportunities, and improved risk management.

For instance, having vendor diversity enables you to source materials from multiple suppliers rather than relying solely on one. This creates competition among suppliers, encouraging competitive pricing and service levels to mitigate risks associated with potential disruptions from a single supplier. Hence, in the event of supply chain challenges or fluctuations, you get the flexibility to maintain production and minimize the impact on operations.

To ensure vendor diversity, adopt a global sourcing strategy and conduct thorough market research to identify potential suppliers across the globe with clear criteria for supplier selection. Additionally, actively seek partnerships with businesses that bring unique strengths to your supply chain. Moreover, it is important to also regularly reassess and diversify your supplier portfolio to ensure adaptability to changing market dynamics. Fostering open communication to build strong, collaborative relationships with various suppliers is a must

As a result, you get better pricing, quality, and innovation. It also provides a safety net if one supplier faces disruptions or fails to meet expectations.

Three-Step Process for Cost Reduction in Procurement

Before implementing these strategies, go through this strategic process each time you have to hunt down expenses for cost savings:

1. Analyze Spend

Analyze Spend

Start by conducting a comprehensive spending analysis to understand where the money goes. Use financial records, invoices, and procurement data to categorize and analyze spending patterns. In such cases, having procure-to-pay software helps a lot in getting insights and real-time visibility.

This step provides a clear overview of the organization's spending habits, allowing identification of areas for potential cost savings. It serves as a foundation for informed decision-making in subsequent cost-reduction strategies.

2. Identify the Biggest Expense

Compare across departments or suppliers to identify the largest expenses or categories and spot any unusual expenses. This step allows for targeted efforts in cost reduction.

Discuss these insights with relevant stakeholders to understand why these costs exist and their impact. Also, align the understanding of ‘savings’ with them to avoid unnecessary delays and rejections. It is advisable to align it with something measurable to make it easier to sell the business case and implement the necessary changes. 

For instance, the information technology (IT) department proposes investing in new software that, in the long run, promises increased efficiency and reduced maintenance costs. However, the finance team, focused on immediate budget constraints, may interpret ‘savings’ as strictly short-term cost reductions rather than considering long-term benefits. 

To align understanding, the IT team can quantify long-term savings through reduced downtime, improved productivity, and potential scalability benefits. This ensures both departments share a common definition of ‘savings’ and facilitates a collaborative decision-making process.

Additionally, you can target the smaller spend or tail-end spend as well. It is easier to cut people from making one-off purchases or buying small items on Amazon that another department may have. 

3. Conduct Market Research and Maintenance

Conduct market research to understand current pricing, trends, and available alternatives for the identified major expenses. Based on your research, you can optimize these expenses without impacting the supply chain. This includes incentives such as:

  • Use spending data analysis to negotiate improved terms with suppliers. Seek discounts or bundled services to reduce costs without disrupting the supply chain.
  • Research alternative suppliers or vendors for the identified major expenses. Assess their offerings, pricing, and reliability to diversify options and secure more cost-effective alternatives.
  • Invest in automation to optimize procurement processes, reducing administrative overhead without disrupting the supply chain.
  • Analyze inventory levels and adjust ordering practices based on demand forecasts to prevent overstocking or stockouts.
  • Regularly monitor the expenses and supplier performance and reassess strategies to adjust optimization efforts based on changing market conditions and organizational needs.

Keep updating this information to stay informed about changes in the market. This ensures that you are well-informed about competitive pricing and industry trends. Additionally, you get the necessary data to negotiate better terms with suppliers, explore cost-effective alternatives, and adapt to market fluctuations, contributing to more strategic and informed decision-making.

How to Ensure Maximum Procurement Cost Reduction

Most companies have procurement processes running on autopilot with standard operating procedures. However, this leads to inconsistent efforts of procurement teams in reducing costs. They have to dedicate hours to analysis and optimization, which can be changed with intentional efforts to ongoing cost savings practices in procurement. 

However, with traditional manual processes, getting real-time visibility and comprehensive insights is impossible. To streamline the process and consolidate the expenses, you must adopt tools that support your cost savings initiative. This means centralizing all the information to build a unified platform for complete visibility and control. 

Pluto simplifies this for you. Not only do you get insights and controls, but you can also create cross-functional workflows to facilitate the collaborative procurement process. You can integrate your entire accounting and accounts payable system onto a single platform and streamline the entire process. As a result, you get real-time visibility and can optimize expenses in time.  

Book a demo to know more about how Pluto fits into your business and helps you streamline your procurement process for collaborative cost-saving efforts.

5
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Updates
December 7, 2023

Mohammed Ridwan

Pluto Wins Big at the MENA Fintech Awards

The MENA Fintech Awards, a prestigious event within the financial technology industry, recently celebrated the most innovative and impactful solutions in the sector. 

We at Pluto are thrilled to announce that our company has been honoured with the 'Best Corporate Solution' award! This recognition is a testament to our team's hard work, dedication, and innovative approach in the fintech space.

Our co-founders, having spent a considerable part of their lives in the UAE. Working within the fintech sector, identified a significant gap in the region's finance sector. They observed that the tools, platforms, and software available to CFOs and finance teams were not only outdated but also overly complex, hindering efficient financial management.

With Pluto, they embarked on a mission to develop a software solution that would change how mid to enterprise level businesses handled their finances. 

The MENA Fintech Awards, organised in collaboration with the MENA Fintech Association, are designed to recognize excellence and innovation in financial technology. These awards are a highlight of the Abu Dhabi Finance Week (ADFinanceWeek), an event that fosters innovation and growth in the fintech sector. The 'Best Corporate Solution' category, in which we were victorious, emphasises practical, innovative solutions that address significant corporate financial challenges.

Our award-winning solution, the Pluto Card, addresses various corporate financial management needs. It offers features like employee reimbursements, petty cash management, and an efficient account payable cycle, along with robust accounting integrations. 

Winning the 'Best Corporate Solution' award at the MENA Fintech Awards is not just an honor but also a motivation for our future endeavours. We are excited about our upcoming initiatives, which include further enhancements to the Pluto Card and expanding our market reach to serve more businesses globally.

We extend our deepest gratitude to the organisers of the MENA Fintech Awards and ADFinanceWeek, the judges for recognizing our efforts, and most importantly, our dedicated team and loyal customers. Your support and trust in our solution have been invaluable!

5
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Updates
March 23, 2023

Leen Shami

New

Ramadan Benefits in the Workplace: A Guide to the UAE and MENA Region

The month of Ramadan provides HR Managers with the opportunity to take the initiative in their organization and implement a benefit program for employees and to remind them to support their Muslim colleagues during this holy month.

What are the benefits of implementing a Ramadan employee benefits program?

Employees who observe Ramadan may require special considerations in order to maintain a high level of performance.

The main goal of any corporate environment is to get the best possible results, but this can only be achieved if your team is given a supportive environment.

During Ramadan, HR managers and employers should consider implementing employee benefits programs to ensure that their employees are able to fulfill their religious commitments while feeling supported by their companies.  

By doing so, you will help ensure that every member of your team has access to the resources they need to be productive and successful.

Employee benefits program

Flexible working hours

Allow employees to come in late or leave early during Ramadan, modify their hours so they can work when they feel the most energized,and be able to take part in religious activities such as prayers while still being productive at work.

Remote or hybrid work

Remote or hybrid work can provide employees with more flexibility and autonomy to manage their work and religious obligations during Ramadan, allowing them to maintain their productivity and well-being while observing the holy month's spiritual practices.

Set up dedicated prayer spaces

Having dedicated prayer spaces can help employees maintain their spiritual practices during the workday. This is particularly important during Ramadan when employees may need to perform their daily prayers. Providing these spaces can make it easier for employees to observe their religious obligations without having to leave the workplace or worry about finding a suitable location to pray.

Accommodate dietary needs

Provide employees with food options that meets all dietary needs, so they can break their fast at the office if needed.

Examples of foods that are commonly used to break the fast:

  • Dates
  • Dried fruits
  • Ayran (yogurt drink)
  • Soups
  • Sambusak ( pastry filled with cheese or meat)

Inclusivity

 Promote open dialogue between employees of different faiths to foster an inclusive workplace environment. Consider arranging a presentation for those who would like to learn more about Ramadan and Islam.

Gift and Bonus Programs

Corporate gift and bonus programs during Ramadan can take many forms, but the underlying purpose is to show appreciation to employees for their efforts and to strengthen the relationship between the employer and employees.

Here are some common examples of corporate gift and bonus programs during Ramadan:

Eid al-Fitr bonus

It could be an additional incentive where employers give their employees an additional payment or bonus at the end of Ramadan to celebrate Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the month of fasting.

Corporate gifts

Companies may offer gifts such as food hampers, prayer mats, and other religious items to their employees during Ramadan as a way to show appreciation and respect for their faith.

You could also delight your employees with a gift that they can use to enjoy dinner with their families. One way of doing this is by issuing Pluto corporate cards for your employees with an allocated budget on them. For e.g., you can issue a your employee a Pluto corporate card with a 500 AED spend limit to be used a restaurant of their choice.

Charitable donations

Some companies may choose to make charitable donations on behalf of their employees during Ramadan as a way to give back to the community and show solidarity with those in need.

You can add on to that by giving your employees the opportunity to pick what charity they would like the company to donate to.

It's worth noting that corporate gift and bonus programs during Ramadan should not be seen as an obligation or a substitute for fair compensation and benefits throughout the year. Rather, they are a way to show appreciation and strengthen the relationship between employer and employees.

Iftar and Suhoor Programs

Iftar and Suhoor are the two main meals that Muslims consume during Ramadan. 

Iftar is the meal that is eaten after breaking the fast at sunset, while suhoor is the pre-dawn meal that is eaten before the fast begins.

These meals have significant cultural and religious importance, and hosting iftar and suhoor programs can provide a sense of community and inclusivity in the workplace during Ramadan.

Importance of iftar and suhoor programs

Iftar and suhoor programs provide the opportunity for employees to come together and share in the spiritual significance of Ramadan.

These types of activities are also beneficial for team building, as they create an atmosphere of camaraderie among colleagues and foster a stronger work culture.

Its importance can be categorized into three main points:

  1. Connection: Sharing a meal with colleagues can help to strengthen connections and build relationships, fostering a sense of community in the workplace.
  2. Cultural awareness: Hosting iftar and suhoor programs can provide an opportunity for employees of different backgrounds and faiths to learn about Ramadan and its traditions.
  3. Appreciation: Providing meals for employees during these times shows that the company values and appreciates its employees and their religious beliefs.

Examples of iftar and suhoor programs for employees and how to host one:

  • Potluck iftar: Organize a potluck iftar at the office, where employees bring their favorite dish to share with their colleagues.
  • Company-sponsored iftar: Host an iftar event at a restaurant,  where the company provides food and drinks for employees to break their fast [see list of recommended restaurants below].
  • Virtual iftar: For remote workers or those who cannot attend in person, host a virtual iftar.
  • Charity iftar: Host an iftar event where a portion of the proceeds goes to a charity or non-profit organization. (Please make sure you are in line with UAE charity regulations before doing so. Learn more here)
  • Catered iftar: Hire a catering company to provide a full meal for employees to break their fast [see list of recommended catering companies below].
  • Suhoor breakfast: Host a breakfast event before the start of the workday for employees who are fasting.
  • Iftar meal delivery: Deliver meals to employees who are working late or unable to attend the in-person event.
  • Ramadan decorations: Decorate the workplace with Ramadan-themed decorations to create a festive atmosphere.
  • Ramadan trivia: Host a trivia game related to Ramadan and its traditions during the iftar or suhoor event.
  • Ramadan volunteer day: Organize a volunteer day where employees can give back to the community during the month of Ramadan.

Prayer programs

Observing taraweeh and Laylat al-Qadr during Ramadan helps Muslims to deepen their faith and spirituality, and it provides an opportunity to reflect on their actions and intentions throughout the year.

An employee prayer program during Ramadan can have numerous benefits for companies and their employees, including promoting diversity and inclusion, improving morale and relationships, and fulfilling social responsibility.

Taraweeh

Taraweeh prayers are additional prayers that Muslims perform during the holy month of Ramadan after the Isha prayer. These prayers are performed in congregation and typically consist of 8 to 20 cycles of prayer, depending on the tradition.

Companies can host taraweeh prayers at a mosque or the office on specific days of the week, such as Tuesdays, to create a sense of belonging and inclusivity among employees.

Laylet al-Qadr

Laylat al-Qadr, also known as the Night of Power, is considered to be one of the holiest nights in Islam. It is believed to be the night when the first verses of the Quran were revealed to the Prophet Muhammad, and it is said to be a night of forgiveness and mercy.

With laylat al-qadr being the most important night of Ramadan, it is important for your company to offer benefits during this day, such as:

  • Consider giving the following day as PTO, since most Muslims stay up all night in prayer and reflection.
  • Offer a transportation stipend to the mosque in order to show the company’s support of their employees religious beliefs.
  • You can do so using Pluto’s platform by offereing a one-time purchase card with a set limit that can only be used with taxis, Careems, Uber or for gas.

Ramadan email templates that can be shared with employees

There is a lot to take care of when preparing for Ramadan. We've put together some sample email templates for various corporate initiatives to make your job easier.

Email Template 1: Announcing flexible working hours during Ramadan

Subject: Ramadan Working Hours

Dear [Employee Name],

As the holy month of Ramadan approaches, we would like to inform you that we will be implementing flexible working hours during this time to accommodate those who will be observing the fast.

Our office will be open from [start time] to [end time]. We understand that some employees may need to adjust their schedules due to the early morning and evening prayers, as well as breaking their fast in the evenings.

If you need to adjust your working hours, please speak to your line manager, who will be happy to discuss the best option for you.

Our company values diversity and inclusivity, and we hope that this initiative will help our employees observe Ramadan comfortably.

We wish all our staff observing Ramadan a blessed month, and may you get the best out of this spiritual journey.

Ramadan Mubarak!

Best regards,

[Your Name]

Email Template 2: Announcing company charitable donations during Ramadan

Subject: Ramadan Charitable Donations

Dear [Employee Name],

As we approach the holy month of Ramadan, we would like to remind you that our company values generosity and charitable giving. In line with this, we have decided to make a donation to [charity name], which supports [cause].

We believe that this is a great opportunity to give back to those in need and demonstrate our commitment to making a positive impact in the community. We hope that this donation will inspire you to consider making a charitable contribution during this holy month.

Thank you for being part of our company, and we wish you a blessed Ramadan.

Best regards,

[Your Name]

Email Template 3: Inviting employees to an Iftar meal

Subject: [Company Name] invites you  to an Iftar Meal

Dear [Employee Name],

We would like to invite you to an Iftar meal on [date and time], which will be held at [location]. This event is an opportunity for our employees to come together and break their fasts as a community.

Please RSVP to [email/phone number] by [RSVP deadline] to confirm your attendance. If you have any dietary requirements, please let us know, and we will do our best to accommodate them.

We hope that this event will be an enjoyable experience for everyone and that it will help to strengthen our company culture.

Thank you for your hard work and dedication, and we wish you a blessed Ramadan.

Best regards,

[Your Name]

Corporate gifting list

Iftar or suhoor restaurant list

  • Asateer Tent at Atlantis the Palm
  • Sufra
  • The Majlis
  • Allo Beirut
  • Hutong
  • Terrace on the Corniche at St. Regis Abu Dhabi
  • The Royal Majlis
  • Eunoia By Carine
  • Bombay Bungalow
  • Brasserie Boulud
  • Ibn AlBahr
  • Al Falak Ballroom
  • Karam Al Bahr

Company catering list

  • Ogram
  • Blast catering
  • Eat catering
  • The Majlis
  • Dish

Conclusion

Ultimately, providing Ramadan benefits demonstrates an employer and HR's commitment to promoting diversity and religious freedom in the workplace.

It also helps create a sense of community among employees that can lead to increased morale, collaboration, communication, and overall productivity.

By offering an employee benefits program during the holy month of Ramadan, employers can show their dedication to creating a supportive and inclusive environment for all of their employees, regardless of faith or background.

Ramadan benefits can thus be an important part of workplace culture, helping to create a positive atmosphere in which everyone feels welcome, respected, and valued.

5
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Updates
May 26, 2022

Leen Shami

We got funded!

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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June 20, 2024

Mohammed Ridwan

11 Benefits of Corporate Cards for Business in 2024

When employees have to handle business expenses like purchasing supplies or covering travel costs, they often resort to petty cash or pay from their pockets, awaiting reimbursements later. However, this seemingly simple method poses challenges for effective expense management.

From the employee's perspective, the process involves fronting the expense, tracking receipts, and waiting for reimbursement, which can take weeks. This tedious process is prone to errors and increases the likelihood of lost receipts or duplicate submissions.

For businesses, managing these reimbursements entails labor-intensive tasks. Internal teams spend hours manually approving and reconciling expenses, all without real-time visibility. Additionally, there's the constant risk of compliance breaches.

Hence, in this article, we'll explore a better alternative and look at the benefits of corporate cards for simplified expense management.

Benefits of Corporate Cards

Corporate cards are payment cards issued to employees by companies to cover business expenses. Companies can deploy them by distributing dedicated cards to authorized personnel, setting spending limits, specific budgets & controls, and integrating them into expense management systems for real-time tracking and oversight.

Here are 11 advantages of corporate cards that make them a preferred choice: 

1. Offer Custom Spending Controls

You can customize corporate cards according to your company's specific corporate card policies. Right from the start, you can establish budget limits, control what merchant the employee can spend at, and what types of expenses will be allowed on the card budgets, preferred vendors, and payment categories. This enables you to enforce internal policies effectively and implement precise spending controls directly within the card system, eliminating the need for manual intervention.

Moreover, you can assign vendor-specific cards, enabling employees to purchase exclusively from designated vendors. Likewise, by specifying expense categories, you can prevent card misuse, such as limiting card usage to gas stations for drivers. This targeted approach ensures that expenses align with company objectives while enhancing control over spending. 

2. Provide Real-Time Visibility

Corporate cards eliminate the need to wait until the end of the month to get a spending overview. Instead, they offer real-time visibility, allowing businesses to track expenses as they happen. This immediate insight enables proactive compliance management and budgeting, preventing unexpected surprises at the end of the month. 

Additionally, corporate cards provide comprehensive analytics via a centralized dashboard. These analytics can be filtered to discern spending trends, enabling data-driven decision-making.

We wouldn’t know until the statement turned up at the end of the month what had been spent and where.But now, rather than waiting until the end of the week to collect enough receipts, we can actually see the money as it goes.

Christopher Anthony, Global Business Controller

3. Automate Compliance

Corporate cards have features designed to automate compliance controls—like approval workflows and auto-freeze cards—that enforce accountability and prevent unauthorized spending.

With the customizable no-code approval workflow builder, you create custom approval processes. Each transaction undergoes thorough authorization, ensuring transparency and accountability throughout the spending process. Moreover, you can set auto-freeze policies, such as in cases of missing or duplicate receipts, to proactively mitigate risks.

Additionally, corporate cards enable the assignment of zero-balance cards. With this feature, cards initially have zero balance, and employees request additional funds before each transaction. This enables you to authorize each expenditure and minimize the risk of misuse or overspending.

4. Facilitate Agile Needs

Corporate cards provide a versatile solution by offering both physical and virtual corporate cards. These cards can be tailored to specific needs, whether single-use or zero-balance cards, ensuring precise expenditure control. 

Further, employees can withdraw funds from ATMs, with the transactions recorded as unreconciled cash-in-hand, enhancing accountability. Also, the centralized application streamlines the process for requesting additional funds, eliminating unnecessary bureaucracy.

5. Enhance Accountability

Contrary to business credit cards, where companies wait for end-of-month statements to gain insights into spending, individual corporate cards allocate a dedicated card and budget to each employee. This facilitates real-time visibility into transactions, enabling businesses to pinpoint expenditures down to the individual level. This heightened transparency simplifies expense tracking and facilitates swift resolution of any discrepancies that may arise. 

With employees being directly responsible for their allocated cards, documenting expenses becomes a standard practice, ensuring thoroughness and accuracy in financial records.

6. Extend Cashback and Rewards

Corporate cards provide incentives like rewards, cashback, redeemable points and vouchers. These perks differ from company to company; some offer rewards for every transaction, while others provide gifts upon reaching certain spending milestones. 

For example, users enjoy up to 2% cashback (subject to T&Cs) on each foreign transaction within Pluto.

7. Improve Employee Experience

Corporate cards redefine expense management, sparing employees from the inconvenience of reimbursements and petty cash handling. With a dedicated card for business expenses, employees no longer need to dip into their pockets or spend hours filing paperwork. 

Corporate cards offer a dedicated expense management platform, which streamlines the entire process. Especially with Pluto, you get WhatsApp integration that simplifies expense filing by allowing employees to upload documents directly via WhatsApp. This seamless integration, coupled with optical character recognition (OCR) capabilities, ensures that receipts are captured and synced with transactions effortlessly, saving time and reducing administrative burdens.

The beauty in one part that I was amazed about Pluto, in terms of your technology, was your whole integration with WhatsApp and the ease of how easy it was to swipe, make a payment, take a picture, upload it via WhatsApp, and it's there on the platform for approval.

Lee Kersen Mascarenhas

8. Expedite Reconciliation Process

Corporate cards offer a centralized platform for consolidating transaction data and uploading essential documents. With OCR capabilities, receipt capture becomes faster and more accurate, reducing errors and flagging potential fraud. This ensures comprehensive documentation and an easily accessible audit trail within a unified system.

As a result, businesses benefit from streamlined expense reconciliation, significantly reducing errors, compliance breaches, and fraudulent activities. This enhanced efficiency enables a faster reconciliation process and closure of financial records, improving operational effectiveness.

9. Sync With ERPs and Accounting Tools

Corporate cards digitize and automate expense management processes, sparing businesses the hassle of manual data entry. They seamlessly integrate with ERP systems, enabling seamless sync with general ledger entries. 

This automation reduces the likelihood of duplicate entries and errors inherent in manual input. Moreover, corporate cards automate adding general ledger and tax codes to transactions, enhancing accuracy and efficiency in financial record-keeping. 

Overall, this integration saves time and maintains consistency in financial data across platforms, ensuring data integrity and reliability.

10. Eliminate Rogue Spending

Corporate cards effectively eliminate tail spending by implementing preset controls. Even if a card is used beyond its intended scope, managers can promptly flag unauthorized or non-compliant transactions, ensuring adherence to company policies. 

Moreover, the system's advanced OCR capabilities detect duplicate receipts, adding an extra layer of protection against fraudulent activities. This comprehensive approach strengthens fraud prevention measures and promotes financial transparency.

For us, the main benefit of Pluto is that we don't have to think about petty cash and worry about spending at all. It runs on Autopilot and Pluto prompts us when it needs attention, so we can better focus on our core competency without the extra mental load. Another huge selling point has been the incredible customer support across the board. Everyone on the Pluto team has been extremely helpful through any questions we had.

Gabriel García Leyva

11. Support Global Transactions

Corporate cards manage both local as well as global transactions, making them ideal for effective travel and entertainment spending. They support multiple currencies, simplifying cross-border payments and avoiding currency conversion hassle. Their fast and secure transactions minimize payment delays, ensuring smooth business operations.

Get Pluto For More Control and Visibility Over Your Expenses

Transitioning to corporate cards isn't merely about going cashless but increasing visibility, accountability and control. 

However, Pluto offers an extra layer of benefits—simplified expense filing, seamless integration with accounting tools, and a customizable approval workflow builder—ensuring you're always audit-ready.   

Always at the end of this month we used to get these huge groups of receipts to process… but now that we have a system that allows us to process in real time ahead of the month end everything becomes more powerful and controlled for the team

Gabriel García Leyva

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are corporate cards?

Corporate cards are budget-controlled payment cards issued to employees by companies for business-related expenses. These cards streamline purchasing processes while providing companies real-time oversight and insights into expenditure, enhancing financial efficiency and transparency.

What are the disadvantages of corporate cards?

Corporate cards can lead to overspending in the absence of strict spending rules. Moreover, tracking expenses is challenging without expense management tools. Additionally, the annual fees add up and limit cost-effectiveness. Also, some vendors may not accept corporate cards, needing other payment methods.

Who can use corporate cards?

Corporate cards are employed by businesses of all sizes to facilitate employee spending on business-related expenses. They are issued to employees authorized to make purchases or payments autonomously, enhancing expense management and transparency and providing various benefits such as rewards and simplified reconciliation.

How many corporate cards can I get? 

While regular banking institutions have a certain limit on the number of corporate cards assigned, Pluto offers unlimited physical and virtual cards. Thus, you can offer dedicated cards to your employees without having to deal with the hassle of shared credit cards.

5
All
Updates
April 4, 2024

Mohammed Ridwan

PlutoCard is Now GetPluto: Your Unified Payable Solution

PlutoCard now becomes GetPluto — your new one-stop solution for all payables.  

What's New?

After much anticipation and hard work, we're excited to announce the migration from plutocard.io to getpluto.com, a step towards redefining corporate payments.

With getpluto.com, we are extending our vision beyond providing corporate cards

We understand the challenges that businesses face when handling their finances. It involves more than swiping a card and filing expenses. That's why we've developed a comprehensive suite of products and features to simplify everything from procurement to payables. 

So, whether you want to streamline purchase requests, integrate your ERP without impacting costs, or manage reimbursements — getpluto.com has you covered!

Beyond Cards: The All-In-One Platform

Here's a glimpse of what Pluto has to offer:

  1. Procure-to-pay: Streamline your procurement process from purchase requests to invoice matching, all in one place.
  2. Bill management: Centralize bill management and payments for faster approvals, better vendor relationships, and more accurate two/three-way matching.
  3. Accounting ERP integrations: Sync seamlessly with major ERPs like Xero, Zoho, QuickBooks, Dynamics, and Netsuite to close your books 10X faster.
  4. Petty cash management: Digitize cash-in-hand management to eliminate leaks without losing flexibility or visibility.
  5. T&E reimbursements: Simplify travel and expense reimbursements with unlimited budget-controlled corporate cards and custom approval workflows.
  6. Corporate cards: Get budget-controlled corporate cards with built-in compliance management — from receipt capture to policy enforcement. 

“We have been using Pluto for a few months now, and we literally have everything in one place.”

~ Lee Kersen Mascarenhas, Head of Operations at BloomingBox

From Our CoFounder — Mo Aziz

Pluto's Corporate Cards have been serving the largest businesses in UAE powered by a platform built for companies of all sizes: from small-scale SMEs to businesses with 1000s of employees.

But company spending does not happen just through Corporate Cards…

At Pluto, we believe CFO & Finance teams need a unified, comprehensive platform that solves all types of corporate spending problems end-to-end.

The new Pluto is our step towards this future where UAE businesses get a best-in-class platform, helping manage company spending across Cards, Reimbursements, Invoice Management, Procurement & more.

Join Us At getpluto.com

We're excited about the possibilities that getpluto.com brings. 

We understand the importance of this change and are here to support you at every step of the way, offering a more comprehensive platform to meet all your financial needs.

Sign up for a demo or create a free account at getpluto.com today and discover how Pluto simplifies payments for—finance teams, procurement teams, and employees.

Thank you for your continued support!

5
All
Spend Management
January 30, 2024

Mohammed Ridwan

How to Improve the Expense Reconciliation Process to Close Books Faster

For every expense, teams maintain extensive documents like purchase orders, goods received notes (GRN), invoices, etc. With each increasing expense, the finance team has to spend more and more time on spend management — maintaining these documents, syncing data across accounting systems, ensuring proper approval, categorizing accurately, etc.

This manual process is time-consuming and prone to errors like missing receipts, employee fraud, unrecorded expenses, data entry typos, etc.

As a result, teams have inconsistent data across company systems and spend more time fixing these issues than focusing on their core activities. So, when finance teams strive to improve budget allocations, streamline expense tracking, and enhance financial reporting, they find themselves dedicating substantial time to addressing discrepancies among different financial databases and systems.

This blog will cover improving the expense reconciliation process and replacing manual and old methods with an improved solution.

What is Expense Reconciliation?

Expense reconciliation is a process that matches the actual expenses with the corresponding book entries. It involves comparing two sets of financial records, such as bank statements, credit card statements, receipts, etc., to identify and rectify discrepancies between them.

So, for every expense, you have an entry at an external source and in the internal systems. You match them together to ensure the accuracy of financial reporting, compliance with accounting standards, and prevention of errors or fraud.

However, companies rely on outdated systems — entry-level accounting tools, spreadsheet-based solutions, or legacy ERPs, which cannot handle end-to-end reconciliation processes. These compel finance teams to spend valuable time on manual tasks like data entry and receipt management, hindering reconciliation efficiency and increasing the risk of errors in financial data. 

Hence, submitting and tracking expenses becomes cumbersome for employees, while finance teams face manual verification and reconciliation challenges. Managers struggle with delayed approvals, and the overall process becomes susceptible to errors, affecting accuracy and compliance.

How to Reconcile Expenses Faster

Invest in spend management software to reconcile expenses faster. With spend management software, you can track and monitor each transaction on a centralized platform in real time.

Expense reconciliation with Pluto

The automated process makes reconciliation simpler and faster by providing a single source of information and enabling advanced controls. You can create customizable approval workflows and specify spending rules to suit complex hierarchies and ensure compliance with company policies. 

Especially with Pluto, each expense triggers the approval workflow and notifies employees to upload the receipt through WhatsApp. The accounting system integration syncs data across the financial systems to provide a consistent and accurate database.

Here is how switching to Pluto helps you reconcile efficiently and close your books of accounts ten times faster:

1. Easy to Identify Discrepancies

Find expanse policy discrepancies

In a traditional manual reconciliation process, identifying discrepancies involves sifting through piles of paperwork or navigating complex spreadsheets.

With Pluto's automated system, this cumbersome task is simplified. The platform's alert system actively flags potential issues, promptly notifying users of duplicate receipts. It not only streamlines the identification of irregularities but also introduces a proactive layer of fraud prevention.

You can visualize and interact with discrepancies directly on the centralized platform, turning what used to be a tedious task into a more intuitive and efficient process.

2. Speed and Accuracy 

Automation, real-time tracking, receipt capture (via optical character recognition (OCR)), approval workflows, and robust controls accelerate reconciliation cycles on Pluto. 

You need not spend a minute on a manual redundant task. The platform captures and extracts invoices from emails and WhatsApp on a centralized platform. The trigger-based workflows ensure prompt approvals without any friction. Matching documents for three-way and four-way matching simplifies with all the documents on a single tool. 

Therefore, the inherent accuracy of financial data, coupled with efficient discrepancy identification, ensures speed and reliability in the reconciliation process. 

3. Real-Time Tracking and Visibility 

Expense reconciliation tracking

Unlike conventional tracking methods, Pluto offers real-time insights through its centralized dashboard. This furnishes internal teams with immediate visibility into transactions, guaranteeing proactive adherence to company policies.

The agility provided by real-time tracking enables timely data-driven decision-making based on the latest and most accurate data.

4. Better Data Sync for a True Picture

Integrate Pluto with your ERPs

Manual data entry is prone to errors and delays, leading to discrepancies in financial records. Pluto's seamless integration with major accounting systems like Xero, Zoho, QuickBooks, Netsuite, and Dynamics ensures that the financial data is up-to-date and aligns with the organization's accounting records. This synchronization eliminates the need for manual adjustments and corrections, providing a true and accurate picture of the organization's financial status.

5. Enhanced Controls Over Processes 

Expense workflow automation

Building intricate approval workflows is simplified with Pluto. You can set up approval processes using simple if-then rules without the need for complex coding. Devise custom workflows that align perfectly with your company policies, creating a seamless and controlled process.

6. Traceable Audit Trail

Pluto maintains a traceable audit trail of all financial transactions and activities. It provides a comprehensive record of changes made to financial data. From the initiation of a transaction to any subsequent modifications, the traceable audit trail ensures transparency and accountability. This trail helps you avoid fraud and trackback discrepancies without friction.

Also, you can lock transactions post-approval, which adds an additional layer of security and integrity, facilitating smoother audits.

7. Save Time and Money

Automating financial processes, including procurement, expenses, and payables, significantly reduces manual steps in reconciliation.

Pluto's ability to capture general ledger and tax codes from expenses automates data entry. It reduces the time spent on routine reconciliation tasks. This efficiency allows finance teams to allocate resources more strategically, focusing on higher-value initiatives rather than repetitive manual tasks.

Timely financial insights help finance teams support decision-making processes with precision and confidence, fostering a data-driven financial ecosystem.

Internal Controls Strengthen Expense Reconciliation

Expense reconciliation burdens finance teams with time-consuming manual efforts and the constant threat of challenges like duplicate receipts and policy violations. These complexities lead to prolonged reconciliation cycles, hindering financial efficiency.

However, the actual progress happens when you strengthen internal control over financial reporting (ICFR), which is the anchor for successful automation in finance.  

When you embrace ICFR strategically, it bolsters internal controls, protects against risks and fraud, and sets the stage for smooth automation. The impact goes beyond just easing manual work; it promotes precision, reliability, and transparency in financial workflows. 

In simple terms, ICFR mitigates risks tied to financial inaccuracies. Read how to improve your ICFR framework for enhanced reconciliation processes.