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May 25, 2022

The Remote CFO Spend Guide

By 
Corpay One

During the pandemic, 31% of businesses increased telework offered to employees.¹ Now, fully remote companies and teams are becoming the norm.

When your team is remote, processes you used to have back in the office (like dropping a stack of bills for approval, for example) become impossible. Remote CFOs need to get their arms around every expense, manage spend and keep company finances secure.

That’s where a remote-friendly spending platform comes in. We have the benefit of working with remote finance team leaders - and being a remote team ourselves! We know the challenges our remote customers face on a daily basis and our product roadmap is directly informed by how much easier we can make day-to-day spend management for them.

Here are some of the ways we've found smart spend management helps remote teams stay organized, productive and on the right track.

Make onboarding easier

Spending company money is a task an employee shouldn’t take lightly. So employers shouldn’t make it an afterthought.

One of the most challenging things about leading a remote team (something we’re aware of, as a remote organization ourselves!) is making sure people are properly onboarded and able to use all of your organization’s everyday tools.

The Harvard Business Review has a guide on setting remote employees up for success. Two of the points they make? Getting employees set up on your tech stack right away and making unspoken assumptions explicit.

Spend control policies, like where and how much can be spent on a company card, is a company policy your new employees will need to know. You can't always assume they'll know how to spend appropriately.

Corpay One helps you roll these policies out seamlessly. You can even adjust card and bill pay permissions remotely if an employee’s role changes.

With a remote-friendly finance automation platform, it’s easy to invite your team and get started. And with platforms like Corpay One, you don’t pay per user (or per month, for that matter!) - so you can onboard your entire team for free.

Everything we build is designed to make your life easier - not complicate things with a new tool. So, set up takes less than 15 minutes and we have a dedicated onboarding team to help you learn as you go. And with a UI that’s as easy as drag & drop, anyone on your team will be able to do it.

Protect and preserve your financial health

The financial health of a business can make or break it - this isn’t big news. Yet, according to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, over half of fraud cases occur due to lack of internal controls.²

With a complete spend management platform like Corpay One, you get spend control and comprehensive security features. Fraud protection is built into your day-to-day payments platform.

Issuing your team a card with built-in spend control is one of your first lines of defense against overspending. Give employees a spending limit that aligns with your budget.

Other things that can cause undue financial hardship to growing businesses? Internal fraud and duplicate bill detection. Corpay One’s advanced scanning and machine learning can read a document (like a bill, receipt or credit note) and flag it if it’s already been scanned - so you don’t end up paying the same bill twice.

On top of spend control, you need a platform that comes with security features that protect your organization when you have a distributed team. Missing credit card? Deactivate an employee card right from inside Corpay One as soon as you know it’s been lost or stolen.

Corpay One also has a built-in audit trail on every bill to guard against employees tampering with expenses. You can see every person who makes a change to a bill, receipt or vendor record.

Stop chasing paper (literally)

As a finance leader, tracking down paper invoices, receipts and manually completing expense reports is the last thing you want your team to spending time on. And when you’re a remote team, operating on a paper system is nearly impossible.

For a business manually processing expense reports under the "scan, print, write, scan, email, print, file" system, it takes an average of 20 minutes and $58 to complete a single report.³ And that doesn't include the time it takes to get these expenses approved, paid and recorded in an accounting system. Plus, if the report has errors, which every 1 in 5 do, it takes an additional 18 minutes and $52/report to correct it.³ Needless to say, these costs (and paper stacks) add up fast.

With a platform like Corpay One, this could take just a few minutes - and you wouldn't have to worry about time or money lost due to manual errors. Uploading a bill or a receipt to a report is as easy as a snap of a photo from your phone or drag & drop on your computer.

There's also a way to eliminate manually scanning bills and invoices altogether. Corpay One give you a unique address, no different than an email address, that vendors can send invoices and bills to directly. Simply sending them to this address scans and enters them into the system for you - all you need to do is approve and submit the payment!

Plus, we sync with QuickBooks in real time - so all of your payment details are accounted for, in all the right places.

Keep everything in one place

Most teams use multiple tools to run their finance tasks - and that can get expensive. And without one centralized system, it's nearly impossible to see all of your bills, receipts, reimbursements, payments and vendors in one place.

Corpay One combines and simplifies all your finance tools into one powerful platform. No more manual reconciliation or switching from one program to the other. With Corpay One, you can integrate the tools you are already using. Sync your existing accounting system, like QuickBooks Online or Xero, to create one seamless automation process.

Why not let your tools do the work for you - together, in one place?

Cut out cutting checks

There is nothing more tedious than hand-writing a check, putting it in an envelope, licking a stamp and dropping it in the "Outbound" tray - or driving to the post office. In 2022, businesses simply have bigger, high-impact tasks to tackle.

A study by AIIM found that on average it costs $12.90 to manually process a single invoice.⁴ If you are processing 50 invoices a month, that’s just under $8,000 a year on invoices alone. Plus, that doesn’t include the cost of labor for the hours your team dedicates to bill pay each month.

That time and money could be put towards strategic initiatives for your business.

With a spend management platform like Corpay One, you can streamline the payments process, without giving up the control you need. Easily automate payments to your vendors via Check, ACH, credit card, virtual card or wire.⁵ Your dispersed team can even submit payments on-the-go with our mobile app, no matter where they are.

Get easy expense approvals - from every level

As CFO, you’re likely very familiar with a chain of approval - and how long it can take for a single line item to get make it through everyone, especially the blockers.

For a remote business (or any business, really!), in-person meetings with the sole purpose of getting a signature is not an efficient use of time. And when the approver isn’t a drive away, the print-sign-scan-email system isn’t any more efficient.

With a smart spend management platform, you no longer have to keep your team chasing and waiting. Imagine investing all of that time and money into valuable initiatives or scaling your business. Automating approvals means you can.

With Corpay One, there's no more back-and-forth. Our approval workflows allow you to automate every necessary expense approval, ensuring the right people can send an expense report for payment. Receive notifications when a report or payment is ready for review and submit approvals on the spot - no shoulder taps necessary.

Plus, the Corpay One mobile app is a way to ensure there are less delays from late approvals or lost receipts. Submit approvals on-the-go and upload receipts - easily.

Avoid overspending

Remember in 2019, when electric scooter startups were the thing? Then you might also remember the cautionary tale that came out of Unicorn, a Texas-based scooter startup. They made headlines at the end of 2019 when they abruptly went out of business.

Their reason? They overspent. “Facebook and Google ads, payments for loans, and other expenses,” an email from their founder to customers read.

Businesses can only survive when the amount of money they have in the bank (be it from investors or earned from business activity) exceeds the amount they spend.

That’s where spend control comes in. Platforms like Corpay One help companies manage spend in two ways:

1. Before Spending Happens

The Corpay One Mastercard® is a smart credit card. When we say smart, we mean it’s plugged into an additional layer of automation that can remotely change where and how the card can be used.

For example, if you want to make a spendthrift manager’s weekly allowable spend to $1000. You can do that!

Or, maybe you want to restrict a certain field employee’s card spending to just fuel and maintenance. You can do that, too!

2. After Spending Happens: When You Notice a Certain Spending Pattern

Inside of Corpay One, you can build automation to flag certain spending patterns for additional approval.

For example, see the following Workflow. Here, expenses greater than $5,000 require approval from the entire Leadership department. That way you and your fellow C-Suite team members can see all of the big ticket purchases employees are making. From there, you can choose to approve or decline the bill.

You can also create a Workflow that flags expenses if there is a variance in price. This is helpful if a vendor who you pay on a recurring basis suddenly starts charging you more than normal.

If you’re leading a remote finance function, have a modern spend control solution at your disposal can help make day-to-day work run more smoothly. A study by Ladders, a job posting site, analyzed 50,000 of North American employers and found remote career opportunities increased from 3% of publicly available job posting in Q1 2020, to 24% in Q1 2022. Remote work isn't going away and supporting your organization with modern solutions can help you scale more smoothly.

If you want to learn more about Corpay One, you can book a demo with a member of our team or, you can get started for free. Set up is quick and we offer one-on-one support for eligible customers.

We’d love to welcome your remote team to our platform!

Sources:
¹ 2020 Results of the Business Response Survey. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
² 2022 Report to the Nations. Copyright 2022 by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, Inc.
³ How Much Do Expense Reports Really Cost? Survey by GBTA Foundation and HRS, October 2015.
Automating AP/AR Financial Processes, AIIM White Paper, 2014.
⁵ 2.9% transaction fee applies when funding Check and ACH payments with a Visa®, Discover® or Mastercard®  credit card, including the Corpay Mastercard®. All cards subject to availability and approval, including credit approval. See Corpay Mastercard® and Corpay One terms and conditions for details. US customers only.

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