Last week, we announced the launch of one of our most anticipated features to date: Pleo Assurance. For a product built on trust, transparency and decentralisation, it’s a bold move to launch a feature that allows managers to easily review their employees’ expenses; it could easily be perceived as going against everything we stand for. Here’s why we built it and why we believe it’s the way forward in enabling companies to spend responsibly and efficiently.
Control is not the way forward
It is widely known that some of the most innovative companies today, such as Google and Netflix, have managed to reach astronomical valuations in part due to their employees’ productivity.
In fact, research shows that employees at these companies are on average 40% more productive than employees at other companies.
But how did they get there?
As we explained in a previous article, part of the reason for their productivity is that they’ve managed to dramatically reduce organisational drag and processes, which can take up to 25% of employees’ time.
Removing control over company spending
In terms of company spending, removing internal processes and policies might manifest itself in decentralising purchasing and giving every employee a company card, empowering employees to buy what they need for work without asking for permission, or something else.
Whatever the case may be, it’s clear that in order to transition from a company operating on control and policies to one operating without them, there’s one instrumental element which needs to be in place: trust.
In other words, for decentralised spending to work, there needs to be a high degree of confidence and trust in place to suppress the need for control.
If you’re a Pleo customer or you’ve been following our journey for some time, you probably know that trust is part of our DNA; it is one of the core pillars of our product.
In fact, Pleo is built on the idea that increased trust and empowerment in the workplace leads to happier employees, reduced tedious manual work for everyone and even reduced operating costs.
As an example of our dedication to making trust a central part of our product, we facilitate delegated spending by making it easy, intuitive and free for managers to order Pleo cards for their entire teams.
Our product also helps build trust in managers and finance teams by being one of the only company spending and expense management tools that allows them to see company expenses as they happen, in real-time.
The second a purchase is made with a Pleo card, reviewers and finance teams can see it on their dashboard.
With Pleo, team reviewers and finance departments alike get detailed information about who made a specific purchase, what the money was spent on, why it was spent and the corresponding receipt.
All of this in real-time and all neatly organised in their expense view dashboard.
This has proven very powerful in enabling many companies to decentralise spending and trust their employees to act in the company’s best interest.
However, what we found after more than two years of growing our customer base to over 3000, spread across 4 countries, was that the product was missing a tool to enable bigger companies with hundreds or thousands of expenses every day to easily delegate spending and operate on trust.
Enabling trust with Assurance
Finance teams at large companies (and many small ones for that matter) simply don’t have the time to look at each and every expense people in their company make.
Even with tools like real-time overview of spending, we heard from our customers that there was a need for an added layer of safety in the (unlikely) event that the Pleo card is used inappropriately by someone in the company.
As we covered above, the vast majority of expenses are fine. With Assurance, companies can be sure that a simple, automated system is in place to catch the ones that matter.
This gives finance teams and reviewers the gift of time back by not having to review every single expense.
On top of that, Assurance gives additional context to employees with the Seen By extension of the feature.
Seen By allows employees to know exactly who in the company has seen an expense and its details, giving them peace of mind and time back to focus on what really matters.
Finally, Assurance comes with an Activity Log for reviewers, which shows all the events on a given expense to better understand its current state (is it approved? not approved? Was additional context asked for? etc.).
Responsible Spending, Assured
This is not the first step we take in enabling admins and managers to stay on top of company spending, but it is a big step in enabling companies to spend responsibly.
We’re very excited to be the only expense management and company spending tool to offer a product like Assurance, and we hope you are too.
You can give Pleo a try by signing up for a free one-month trial here, or learn more about Assurance by registering to our upcoming webinar, “Create a Healthy Company Spending Culture with Pleo Assurance“.