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2101 Blog How-To-Manage

Tools & Tips

A guide to managing business spend for your remote team

After over two years of working remotely (can you believe it?), you’ve probably got to grips with how to manage your team from home. Getting everyone in the same Zoom room is almost second nature, everything you need is likely stored on the cloud and Slack means you’re connected to your team.

But things get a little more complicated when it comes to handling expenses remotely. 

The pains of managing expenses remotely

Managing business expenses is messy for most companies, whether they’re in the same office or not. But the lack of overview and visibility can feel even more pronounced when your team is miles away.

The manual, outdated method of handling expenses leaves room for human error and fraud, not to mention the mountain of lost receipts. Once upon a time, at least you knew that pile was in the office. Now, it’s just as scattered as your team.

While 2020 came with many challenges, it also allowed companies to reflect on how they work, and how they can improve — one major area being expense management. 

So, here’s how automating your expense management can give you the oversight of your team spending, no matter where everyone is.

Centralised overview to see all your outgoings

At a time when every penny counts, staying on top of finances has never been more important. That goes for everyday expenses and big purchases, not to mention software subscriptions and marketing costs. With a modern expense solution like Pleo, admins can log in to see every purchase and all the vital data they need.

Manual expensing means you don’t really know where money is going. Maybe you have one credit card that’s shared around the office, or maybe employees pay out-of-pocket  — none of these is ideal for you or your team.

Having the full overview of your expenses means you’re saving time too. Uploading individual pictures of receipts online at the end of the month easily turns into a heavy workload for both sides.

Better budgeting with spending limits

Your financial needs for a remote team may be different than what you typically spend in an office. You most likely set up your team with office equipment, maybe they can expense broadband and phone bills and chances are, you’re relying on more subscriptions than ever before.

In our 2020 Annual Report, we found that total spending on phone and internet usage was up by 107% compared to 2019. As for office equipment and hardware, spending jumped by 65%.

Even though your team isn’t in the same office, this doesn’t mean you can’t control their business spending. With Pleo, you can set spending limits on each card with just the tap of a button, and they can be altered at any time. 

Spending limits mean your team knows exactly how much they can expense each month, and you can start forecasting spend.

Paying online with virtual cards

Working remotely may be temporary for your team, but more and more companies are taking the leap to work from home permanently. 

Whether your team is working remotely just for now or forever, this way of working likely means expenses are occurring online, rather than in-person.

Once you sign up to Pleo, our virtual cards can be issued, and used, instantly for online purchases. So your team doesn’t have to wait around to get their home office set up — they can get straight to business. 

No matter where your team finds themselves logging in at the moment, they’ve got a tool that empowers them to buy what they need to work.

Staying secure with Pleo 

While efficiency is our goal, security is always front of mind. With Pleo, the risk of fraud goes way down and the amount of human error is reduced… you can figure out smarter ways to spend your money. 

Not to mention, if you’re currently relying on a physical credit card to manage expenses, sharing those bank details online is never a safe option.

Virtual cards can be frozen or deleted at any time if you think you don't need to be paying for an online subscription anymore, for example. 

Trust and transparency for remote teams

Having a remote team comes with its own challenges. 

According to Harvard Business Review, most remote teams don’t feel trusted by their manager. This, followed by the fact that employees who feel trusted by their manager are 110% more likely to stay in their job than those who don’t, proves that it pays to value your team. 

And what says “we trust you” more than handing them a company card?

The old-fashioned way of handling expenses leaves people feeling untrusted at work. Pleo Hero, Ludvig Olsson, the CEO of Trickle told us how Pleo improved their work culture. 

“Previously we only had one payment card [in the company], which left my colleagues with two options – pay out-of-pocket or borrow that card. Borrowing the company credit card feels a bit like asking your parents for money to go to the movies when you were 12.”

How can Pleo help your remote team?

Pleo unifies your entire expense process and offers real-time monitoring of business spend. Not only making it easier for you to forecast outgoings but also to make strategic decisions on the best way to spend company money.

As the managing director or finance team, you have the power to decide who gets a Pleo card, and what the spending limit should be. 

And the benefits go two ways: your team will feel accountable for financial decisions and admins are able to indicate they trust employees, all while reducing paperwork and monotonous tasks.

For remote teams, it’s vital all ground is covered when it comes to looking after employees, whether that’s organising virtual team building events, setting them up with home office equipment or providing them with a streamlined system to confidently expense things at work. 

Smarter spending for your business

Save time on tedious admin and make smarter business decisions for the future. Join Pleo today.

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