If you’d rather spend more time making money than taking care of money, expense management plans are a new solution introduced by several fintech (financial technology) companies that have shaken up the way businesses track cash flow.
These plans typically come in different pricing tiers depending on the size of your business and which features you’re after.
Who can apply for expense management cards?
Usually, expense management cards are available to anyone with an ABN or ACN. You’ll need to provide a business address and ID during the application.
The pros and cons of expense management plans
Streamline your business accounts. Bring all your corporate cash flow together into one place and manage vendor accounts, employee spending, subscriptions, automated bill payments and more.
Simplify employee spending. Set budget limits for employee cards, reimburse staff and reconcile receipts easily. Some plans include unlimited employee cards.
Integrate with accounting software. Some platforms sync with popular software like MYOB, Zero and Netbook for seamless expense control.
Categorise virtual cards. Set up virtual cards to pay suppliers or subscriptions with better visibility on your ongoing spend in different expense categories.
Use a line of credit or preloaded cards. You may be able to apply for a line of credit for your business, or you can preload the cards and use them like debit cards, which help control spending.
A quagmire of comparison. These platforms are difficult to compare because they operate so differently. You’ll need to read our reviews to wrap your head around what each one offers.
New and evolving. Expense management plans are new to the scene and are constantly in development. While the new updates are great, it can make consistency difficult, especially when features are on hold until the next rollout.
Varied pricing models. Since plans are so diverse, it can be hard to know which one offers the best features for your business at the best price.
Why would you choose an Expense Management Business Card?
You might be using Expense Management Software (EMS) like ELMO or Concur to track your business expenses, along with a corporate credit card that you would track and reconcile daily.
At worst, you’ve been using an Excel spreadsheet and spending hours on manual entry, fiddling with receipts and petty cash.
Expense Management platforms give you full, straightforward control over your business’s financial ins and outs using a real-time dashboard. It automates the hard work for you by teaming accounting software with preloaded virtual or physical debit cards. Virtual cards can be issued in seconds, used online and in-person, and some can be synced to digital wallets for tap-and-go payments.
These all-in-one accounting solutions are well-suited for businesses with several employees, especially if your team have on-the-go expenses like travel or buying supplies. All spending on the cards can be tracked in real-time, and spending limits set up to keep finances in check.
What about rewards?
While you won’t see typical credit card-style reward points with expense management plans, there may be some perks like no added costs and lower foreign transaction fees. DiviPay has a rewards plan that offerss discounts on subscriptions such as Canva, Semrush and Openly.
What if I only have a small business?
Most expense management cards have tiered plans for different-sized businesses. It’s worth weighing up if the cost of an ongoing subscription to a platform like Netsuite plus a business credit card is costing more than switching to an all-in-one plan like Volopay.
Important things to know
You may need to book a demo or talk to a sales consultant. Unlike applying for a credit card or buying a software subscription, you may be asked to supply your contact information so an online demonstration can be organised. While it might feel like a sales tactic, it’s more a way for the staff to show you how the plan works and which one is best for your business.
An onboarding process may apply. Some providers also offer onboarding training for you and your staff to make sure you understand how to use the software and services in the best way.
How many employees need a card? Most providers charge a monthly fee, but what you get varies. For instance, one provider may charge per card issued, while another may charge a higher monthly fee with unlimited users.
Do I need it to integrate with my current software? Make sure the plan you choose syncs with any other accounting software like MYOB or Xero that you use.
What kind of spending do you do each month? Some plans come with a higher monthly fee and unlimited transactions, automated bill payment and subscription handling. Others offer a limited amount with the option to add more for an extra fee, which means you can customise the plan for your business and keep costs down.