Insights & Trends
The Top Startup Problems Expense Management Solves For

The Top Startup Problems Expense Management Solves For

Alex Roha

18 Aug 2022
5 minute read

The funds are in, a market need is identified, and the team is coming together. Great! The world of startups is ahead. However, amid all the scaling, finances need to be in order to keep growth on the right track.

Regardless of a company's stage in its journey, problems can arise if the right expense management solution isn’t deployed. Luckily, Navan has identified some of the top difficulties budding companies will face and the solutions that will make all the difference:

The Problem: Manual Processes

As companies scale, expenses are bound to grow in tandem. But there are hidden costs within the manual processes that many companies fall back on when organizing expenses. When expenses are tracked manually, there is a higher chance for human error and a potential increase in expense fraud. Undetected, the bottom line you’ve worked so hard to grow falls victim to any abnormality in your data. And when encumbered with manual work, your accounting team can’t focus on more crucial tasks.

The Solution: Automated Systems

Throw out those antiquated expense report processes and usher your finance teams into the automation station. An automated expense solution allows admins to set spend controls upfront to prevent policy violations before they happen. This means any potential error or out-of-policy spend is flagged and can be handled immediately by the program admin in real-time.

Automation also leads to faster reconciliation at the end of the month since books are kept tidy and centralized. Automatic reimbursements mean that team members aren’t left wondering when they will receive their money. And with some automated solutions, receipts can be filed straight from employees' phones, giving teammates time back from their day since they do not have to file every individual expense. Finance teams, as a result, can shift focus from record-keeping to higher-value work, like financial planning.

A solution like Navan Expense also means corporate cards can automatically control employee costs. Proactive policies are programmatically built into smart cards so that expense management is automated, from swipe to reconciliation. With pre-determined policies tailored to individuals and teams, program admins can reduce out-of-policy spending with a more “set it and forget it” mindset that the technology automatically handles.

The Problem: Disjointed Platforms

Odds are, you’re not handwriting a record of every printer ink refill and customer lunch in a notepad (or maybe you are, and your hand is getting tired). Most companies have technology solutions that allow them to upload receipts or calculate expenses, but that process often involves time-consuming, stitched-together systems. 

If these platforms don’t work in tandem—say, for example, one platform is used for booking travel and another is used for expense reporting—time is wasted re-entering data over and over again. Multiple systems can lead to incorrect data points and errors or some data being siloed without finance teams even noticing.

The Solution: Unified Technology

Budding companies can keep receipts, data, and records organized by utilizing synergistically built solutions. Ditch the use of multiple systems with multiple logins so that data is centralized. Consolidation leads to streamlined management. 

A unified solution also means that as the company scales, there is one hub housing all that sweet business data and it can quickly grow alongside the organization—there is no need for keeping track along multiple platforms.

The Problem: Controlling Costs

When scaling, companies are bound to add more departments, more team members, and even more offices. With so many employees needing funds for projects, payroll, and travel, the bottom line will ultimately be affected. But how well do you actually know your bottom line? Is there flexibility in the details behind company dollars being spent? Without a birds-eye view of company spending, cost control becomes ambiguous. 

The Solution: Data Visibility

Data is the lifeblood of managing and understanding the costs required to keep a company’s financial plan running. By granularly looking at the data surrounding spend, companies can create a system of checks and balances—checking where money is being utilized, if budgets meet needs, finding unnecessary expenses, and then creating a financial strategy to balance these out.

The ability to make smart decisions faster—while streamlining processes—will likely lead to greater success in reaching business targets and operational improvements. A solution easily tailored to distinct data points means financial leaders can customize their analyses across staff, departments, and individual teams.

Changing the Narrative of Cumbersome Reconciliation

Just like the unique needs of each startup, not all spend management solutions are created equal.

Patreon, an artist-driven membership platform, chose Navan in 2022 over its competitors because of the technology’s depth of policy control.

"We can customize policy by level and department, and it can be role-specific. There are so many ways that [we] can instill policy controls by certain designations, which is how we would want to enforce custom rules,” said Crsytel Ryu, Patreon’s Senior Director of Financial Operations.

With Navan Expense, startups can define spending in whatever configuration works best for growth. Finding a software solution that is intuitive and quick to integrate is crucial, all while being affordable. Whether for everyday needs around the office or to set parameters for travel, Liquid cards provide an instant view into every swipe—physically or virtually.

Navan Expense also leverages AI spend auditing technology and internal controls to monitor for any indications of suspicious transactions. Thanks to policy controls that finance leaders can tailor to a granular level, Navan customers can achieve up to a 90% reduction in out-of-policy spending—and 100% peace of mind.

Get up and running in just 5 mins today and find out how the travel management software can benefit your startup, or schedule a demo and get a real-time look at the benefits of Navan's all-in-one solution.

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