It’s Time to Wave Goodbye to Expense Reports. Here’s Why.

Out with the old and in with the new — this is a common trend we’re seeing within startups as many look to drive efficiencies and leave traditional processes behind. In case you’re wondering, that includes manual expense reports. This time-consuming process has plagued nearly every business for more years than we’d like to count. But this is changing. There’s a surge of innovation happening today that’s making it possible for startups to do expense management better and faster — so much so that you can wave goodbye to manual expense reports.

Keeping things manual will cost you a pretty penny 💵

On average, it takes 20 minutes to file an expense report, plus any extra time finance teams spend reviewing them afterwards. For startups growing at rapid speed where expense reports are piling and resources are lean, things can start getting out of hand — especially with more company cards floating around and being shared among team members. 

Manual expense reports waste valuable time and resources and exhaust your finance teams with menial tasks like reconciling books and chasing employees down for receipts. Today with automated expense software, all of this can be done in a matter of seconds.⏱ All expenses are recorded in real time and upon every purchase, employees are instantly notified to submit their receipts. This makes life exponentially easier for finance teams, eliminating those long hours of reporting and all of the back and forth in between. 👏🏼

Better cost control for a brighter future ☀️

Automated expense software also provides startups greater visibility and control over company spending, while driving operational efficiencies at the same time. It shifts employees away from meaningless tasks so they can be more productive and focus on delivering higher value work. When finance teams are no longer bogged down by expense reporting, they’ll have more time to dive deeper into financial data and find opportunities to reduce operational costs. 💰 At the end of the day, all of these factors empower startups to better control their spending, which will ultimately impact their financial strength over time. This type of resilience is vital, especially for startups, as they quickly move from one growth stage to the next. 🚀

No more errors ✅

Approximately 19% of expense reports come back with errors — yikes! Correcting these mistakes creates more work for your finance team and even more discrepancies in your company’s financial data should they go unnoticed. Not to mention, it becomes difficult to determine the difference between instances of human error and repeat expense fraud. 🕵🏽‍♀️

Thanks to automation spending software, these costly issues can be slashed completely. With a more efficient system in place, finance teams can streamline their financial processes and have better oversight into how money is being spent, who is spending it and why. It also allows them to set clear spending controls and prevent unauthorized purchases, while making it easier to manage expenses in a way that’s accurate and up to date.

Everyone in the organization benefits 🤩

Let’s not forget that it also takes employees a lot of time and effort to fill out those expense requests and awaiting approval. Not to mention, the stress that comes with using your own personal credit card and counting down the days until reimbursement. 🙄 As we can see, manual expense reports require attention from all members of an organization, which is why axing them completely would benefit everyone on the team!  🙌  With all transactions recorded in real time, automation eliminates the need for expense reports altogether. It’s just that easy. 😄

We eliminated expense reports. Now what? 🤷🏾‍♀️

The answer is: Float! Our automation spend software is an innovative solution that helps startups fast track on their journey to growth and leave ancient, time-consuming reports and processes in the past where they belong. We intentionally designed this software to grow with you at high speed, accompanied by our physical and virtual corporate credit cards. It doesn’t matter how many cards are floating around, Float easily tracks your expenses in real time in one place, giving you full visibility and control over your company spend at all times. 

So long expense reports, don’t let the door hit you on the way out! 👋🏽

To learn more about Float, contact us today!

How to Create a Healthy Budget For Your Startup

Having an effective budget is the first line of defence for any startup, simply because every dollar counts. From marketing and recruiting to innovative technology and product development, setting a clear, sustainable budget makes all the difference when it comes to growing your business over the short and long term. That’s why it’s crucial that startups hit the ground running with robust processes that manage and track expenses, monitor cash flow and keep their budget in check. ✅

Every adventure starts with a roadmap. 🗺

Before stepping on the gas, it’s important to get clear on your budget and build a roadmap that will guide your corporate spending moving forward. Creating a healthy budget gives startups greater insight to operate within their means, anticipate and manage unexpected challenges and most importantly, drive revenue. It’s the ultimate tool for identifying where your money needs to go in order to grow. 💸 Budgets are also the perfect avenue to optimize your company’s spending and determine which areas of the business require the most of your budget.

Take control of your cash flow before it starts to control you. 🏋🏽‍♂️

Many people think of budgeting as their least favourite part of running a business, but if you want to be successful, this is a critical step. A budget helps to clearly track and estimate future expenses, forecast revenue growth as well as identify capital available to reinvest in the business. Without one, your team may find themselves running out of cash too soon or spending funds frivolously – which will cause more fires to put out than anyone wants. 🥵🔥

The recipe to a healthy budget 👩🏻‍🍳

A budget is a detailed plan that outlines where your money will go on a weekly, monthly and annual basis. We like to think of it as a recipe for growth and success. 🍽  Here are the key ingredients:

  • 1 cup of estimated revenue 💰
    • This is the amount of money you expect to generate from the sales of your products or services. 
  • 2 tablespoons of fixed costs 💵
    • These are all of your recurring expenses that won’t change based on how much revenue is generated. Fixed costs may include rent, insurance, utilities, employee salaries, accounting and legal services and equipment or software purchases.
  • 1 teaspoon of variable costs 💸
    • Variable costs will change based on production or sales volume. These costs are closely linked to anything associated with the production or purchase of the product or service you provide. This may include raw materials, inventory and production costs, travel expenses, corporate credit card fees, packaging costs and shipping costs.
  • 3 cups of cash flow 📊
    • Cash flow is all of the money coming in and out of your business. It’s the fuel to your operation, so it’s essential that you’re tracking its sources frequently. That’s where your budget comes in!

Pause and reflect. 🤔

After highlighting the components you need to develop a better budget, you should also ask yourself the following questions:

  • How much do we anticipate sales to grow in the following years?
  • How will we price our products and/or services?
  • How much will it cost to produce our product? How much inventory will we need?
  • What will our operating expenses be?
  • How many employees will we need? How much will we pay them? 
  • Do we need any equipment or software?
  • How much will we need to borrow?

Having the answers to these questions will allow you to build and finalize a realistic budget. With a better grasp on where your money is coming and going and how much you need to spend to grow, you can develop a healthy budget to support your key objectives and future-proof your business.

Your shortcut to a better budget ➡️ FLOAT.

At Float, our automation spend management software gives you the tools to monitor your corporate spending, create a healthy budget (and stick to it). 😉 With the help of smart technology, Float tracks and controls spending in real time, instantly records receipts and invoices and manages your accounts receivable and payable all in one place. Not to mention, we give companies quick access to virtual and physical corporate cards for employees, making it easier to stay on budget and promote healthy spending habits company wide. At the end of the day, Float helps teams and departments stay aligned on budget expectations to remain agile and accountable on your journey to growth! 

To learn more about Float, contact us today.

Why Is It Important to Track and Control Your Expenses?

The way a company manages and spends their money can either make or break them. Losing grip of your finances can place roadblocks in your startup’s journey to growth and can cause many complications down the line. Staying on top of your expenses and monitoring them annually, monthly and even weekly is a great way to keep your finances in check and hold your teams accountable, setting you up for a future of success.

Your future depends on it 💰

Tracking your expenses gives you the insights to be strategic and innovative, while powering you to grow at the same time. It goes beyond recordkeeping and provides visibility and context to where your money is going, who’s spending it and why. With this, companies can get into the driver’s seat of their corporate spending, allowing them to make better decisions that align with their budget and overall objectives. 

When companies fail to track their expenses, it can lead to overspending and ultimately hinder expansion and profitability – whether it’s onboarding new talent or investing in innovative technology and infrastructure. For startups in particular, this is especially critical if you’re looking to enter your next stage of growth.

Rule out spending issues and expense fraud 🕵🏻‍♂️

Failing to track and monitor where your money is going is like being blindfolded every time you make a business decision. 🙈  Not only that, it can also muddy the waters when it comes to identifying spending issues or inflated expense claims. Without the proper visibility into your finances, you run the risk of losing valuable dollars and ultimately impacting your bottom line. Having a full view of your daily, monthly and annual expenses will quickly reveal any inconsistencies and red flags and allow you to immediately resolve them before it’s too late.

Be prepared for tax season 🗂

Tax season is stressful enough for finance teams and managers – and when financials are all over the place, the office can feel like a total warzone. 💣  Maintaining a consistent and up-to-date record of expenses will eliminate the need for team members to rummage through files and drawers to locate receipts at the very last minute. Not to mention, it drives considerable efficiencies so that your finance team is not bogged down and that tax-saving opportunities and deductibles are not overlooked. Some key tax deductibles to look out for include: 

  • Business meals 🍕
  • Phone & Internet expenses  🤳🏾
  • Software expenses 💻
  • Travel and lodging expenses 🚗
  • Office supplies 📒
  • Home office expenses 🏠

Being organized and tracking your expenses can save your company more money and put it toward other areas of the business. 💸 And let’s not forget, the Canada Revenue Agency requires you to keep record of all your transactions. So, if you ever find yourself in the middle of an audit, you’ll be glad you read this. 😉

Stay accountable to your budget ✅

Building a budget is the easy part, but sticking to it requires the most muscle. 💪 Tracking your company’s expenses is one of the most critical ways to ensure your spending habits are aligned with your business goals and budget. When your finances are organized, your finance team can easily identify where cuts need to be made and what areas you can invest in. For example, let’s say you want to increase your marketing budget for an upcoming product launch. Having a clear picture of financials across the company empowers you to make informed spending decisions, without spreading yourself too thin. 😅

Revenue minus expenses equals PROFITABILITY. 💵

When you track your expenses, it becomes much easier to calculate your company’s profitability – and do it accurately! Funding is a key component for the success of any startup. When you have a clean book of financials, you’ll be able to effectively attract investors and increase your chances of getting funding. With greater insight into your finances, you’ll be able to show investors what growth looks like and how you plan to get there. 👏🏼

Achieve all of the above with Float. 🤩

Float gives businesses the power to set clear parameters for their financial processes with our automated spend software and corporate cards. 🔋 We make it possible for startups and their employees to track spending in real time without all of the nitty-gritty manual work. Float provides an instant overview of individual, department, and category spend so you can scale with insight, while allowing to set spending limits to easily stay on budget. By automating this entire management process, we bring greater efficiency, accuracy and oversight to your financial operations. With our corporate cards, we also bring your employees into the equation, holding them accountable to submit their receipts on time, stay on budget and uphold the company’s policies. 

Float makes it easier to organize and manage your financials with the tools to level up and grow at high speed. 🏎💨 To learn more about how Float can help you, contact us today!

How Startups Can Effectively Scale Their Teams

It’s no secret the backbone to any startup’s success are the people behind it – from how they work together to the innovative ideas they bring forth. But oftentimes, when rapid growth is on the horizon, many startups looking to scale often race to the hiring phase without taking a closer look into their own pool of talent. If revenue is shooting through the roof and demand is high, adding more people to the team won’t necessarily guarantee boosted productivity. In fact, it could just spike expenses higher and you’ll find yourself right back where you started. 

Why scaling your team doesn’t always mean growing your team

When a company is able to scale their team, this means that they can experience revenue growth without having to increase their hiring expenses. Before making any sudden moves, a great first step is getting clear on your company “why” and core values. When a company can easily communicate their purpose to employees, it makes for smooth sailing as they continue to expand over time.  If you hire more people down the line, it also makes the initial hiring process way more effective by knowing exactly what to look for in team members.
So, if you are looking to scale your team, a major rule of thumb is: keep revenue high ⬆️ and expenses low ⬇️. Here are three key ways you can do that:

1. Create innovative learning opportunities for employees

When companies go the extra mile to support and educate their employees, it gives them a greater incentive to excel and bring value to the organization. 🥳  But hey, we get it –  not all startups have the funds 💰 to launch in-depth training programs or weekly workshops from the get go. The good news is there are many other useful ways that startups can grow and develop employees and invest in their teams. You can do this by providing access to free online courses and resources, hosting in-house networking events and connecting employees with other mentors in the startup community. When you create learning opportunities for your team members, you’re actively reinvesting in your existing talent to support your future growth. 👏🏼

2. Automate anything and everything

If things are moving at lightning speed, time becomes one of your team’s most valuable assets. 🕑  When you automate the core systems and processes within your organization, you can get valuable time back so that your teams can focus on more strategic areas of the business. From client onboarding and offboarding to marketing communications and spend management, there’s likely a SaaS solution for that! 😉  Automating your operational processes can drive efficiencies and cost savings, while also helping your existing employees do their job better and more effectively. So, before you jump into a hiring spree, take a closer look at the way you’re currently using the people and resources you already have. Having these automated processes in place will ensure your team is hot and ready when business growth is in full force. 💪🔥

3. Promote a healthy spending culture

A key indicator of success for any startup is how they manage and spend their money. 💸 A healthy spending culture begins with strong financial processes and policies, open discussions about spending goals with employees and collaborative decision-making. Engaging employees in this way gives more purpose to their roles and empowers them to contribute their ideas. It gives them a real seat at the table and a greater sense of ownership over their work, which makes them feel valued, appreciated and seen – and more likely to produce their best work. Talk about forming a serious powerhouse! 💪

A great starting point for scaling your team 📍

If you’re a startup on the rise, a spend management software like Float is a non-negotiable if you plan to scale. It automates all financial processes, engages employees in spending decisions, reduces manual work for your finance team and drives operational efficiencies. You can set clear budgets and spend goals within every department, give employees quick access to corporate cards, authorize real-time spending and reduce wait times for purchase approvals to increase productivity. Float brings your entire team in line when it comes to corporate spending so you can keep your eye on the prize and grow without busting out at the seams. 🚀  

At the end of the day, the systems and people in your organization will determine your ability to grow and scale. While growth happens at rapid speed, it’s important to take a step back and find ways to keep that momentum going without emptying your pockets.