November 13, 2015

The Best Ways to Manage Your Business Expenses


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Remember when you used to work a corporate job? Those days are long gone and now you get to call the shots. As an employee, you didn’t have to think about the behind-the-scenes work that made the business stay afloat. But as the boss, you do. And as the saying goes, “with great power comes great responsibility.” Now it’s your turn to take care of the backstage details. So let’s start with business expenses.

At AcceleratingCFO, we have helped numerous clients understand their finances by providing outsourced CFO business advisory services. And we want to help you too. So to get started, we’re giving you a brief overview of the best ways to manage your expenses on the go (don’t worry, you can thank us later).

First off, many corporate companies handle expenses through corporate payment programs: usually by one of the big credit card companies…you’ve probably heard of some of them. But today, with things going digital, newer businesses are bringing software-based and app-based expense management systems to the people, challenging traditional methods of expense reporting. While there are many options to choose from, we’ve outlined our top picks below.

Small Business Credit Card

If you would prefer to stick with a credit card, a small business payments service may be for you. While corporate programs can cater to large and small businesses, you’re best bet for a corporate card is investing in a small business credit card. The card will keep track of your business and travel expenses in one place, documenting where, what and how much money was spent. Besides the basics, certain programs can also offer account management, travel perks and points, and a comprehensive summary that tracks your annual spending. Signing up for a plan can be expensive though, so check if you have the proper funds before committing to anything.

Software-Based Options

Another option is investing in a cloud-based, software-based or app-based expense management system. Even if your team isn’t traveling back and forth all the time, these programs can work for handling expenses on the day-to-day. Software-based options streamline the expense management process online and on your smartphone. While these platforms do not offer corporate cards (or the perks that go along with it), they do provide other benefits. Below are a couple of favorites.

Certify

Certify creates expense reports through “mobile receipt capture,” which basically means that you can take pictures of receipts on your smartphone and upload the images through the Certify Mobile App. The app then auto-fills the expense entry and creates a report on the spot. The report can even be sent off before you get back to the office. Pretty efficient, right?

And, in the case your employees frequently travel, Certify also offers integrated travel booking, mobile access to travel itineraries and flight information, and user reviews of local business. So when you (or your team members) arrive at a location, you’ll know what to do and where to go. Oh, and did I mention that Certify was ranked #1 for user satisfaction on G2Crowd’s Winter 2015 Survey? Not too shabby…

Expensify

With over 2.5 million users and more than 300,000 companies using their service, Expensify is well known in the business expense management world. Like Certify, Expensify also generates expense reports through photographs of receipts and provides travel itineraries/information on their app.

But how do these platforms differ, you may ask? Well, Expensify recently partnered with several travel vendors including NexTravel, Uber, and Priceline. Their “preferred partnership” with NexTravel will also provide small businesses with the benefits of corporate travel, bridging the gap between software-based management systems and corporate payment programs. To top it all off, they are slated to integrate with GetThere, AtlasTravel and Airbnb in the coming months. It’s no secret: the future looks pretty bright for this platform.

All we’re saying is, it won’t hurt to read up on what expense management system will work best for you and your team. We know that taking care of all the nuances of a new business can be difficult, but knowing that there are resources out there that can make things easier will help your business in the short-term and in the long-term. Trust us: you don’t have to go at it alone.


Are you prepared to handle the biggest challenges faced by business owners?

Don’t get blindsided by problems that other talented leaders have already solved.

We’ve teamed up with Dr. Hector Lozada, Professor of Economics at Seton Hall to survey business owners ranging from start-up founders to seasoned CEOs. What came out of it is a cheat sheet for sidestepping the roadblocks, bottlenecks, and challenges that plague your colleagues and competitors.

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