Float: Helping Your Scaling Startup Spend Properly

Imagine having a growing startup with only one corporate card that was maxed out every other day? That’s no proper way to spend for any company on the rise.

March 3, 2022

We took the time to speak with Rhianna, the Finance Director at Properly, a Canadian real estate company with a mission to make buying and selling more customer-centric. While Properly focuses on relieving stress for buyers and sellers, they were also determined to find a stress-free solution for themselves – and Float came through! We discussed the company’s experience using Float to understand what their previous spending policies were and how we made it better. Here’s what Rhianna had to say.

“As a startup, our credit card limit was low and our spend policies were essentially non-existent. What we had wasn’t scaleable and Float turned it all around.”

Q1: How long have you been using Float and why did you choose us?

When I joined Properly in April 2021, I knew the company needed a better solution to manage expenses. By July 2021, after an extensive search, I came across Float and we got started immediately. One thing I liked about Float compared to other options was that it easily integrated with our existing accounting system and had the OCR capabilities to read the tax off any given invoice.

Some of the other options we looked at weren’t able to register different provincial sales taxes, which means someone from our team would have to manually correct them. This was a big deal breaker for me and Float came through.

As a startup, it’s also really hard to get credit cards with high limits unless you put cash deposits against them or have funds held in trust – working with Float helped us avoid all of that. The low limit and single card worked when Properly was smaller, but as we grew it was not sustainable for the needs of our teams. The card required daily monitoring and the lack of flexibility given we only had one card meant employees were paying for costs out of pocket and had to take on the administrative burden of expense reports.

Given that our corporate card was being used by multiple people for multiple transactions, we found ourselves constantly chasing down employees for receipts to understand who made a purchase and why. All of this combined really pushed us to find a better solution and Float checked all of our boxes.

Q2: What were the biggest pain points that Float solved for your business?

Before, spend approvals were coming directly to me multiple times a day. I’m super busy so this would sometimes result in delays and employees were often left waiting for me to approve spend requests. This process was incredibly inefficient and not sustainable for us as a growing company. With Float’s Multi-Level Approvals feature, I no longer have to receive messages or questions about daily spending. These requests now go directly to the department manager for spend approvals of up to $10K, with anything higher required to go through the finance team. 

Another big pain point Float solved was that we’re now able to issue corporate cards per department with higher spending limits. This was especially helpful for our marketing team as their channels often depend on having a reliable financial partner to ensure smooth and uninterrupted execution.

Float also enables smarter budgeting across the company. Everything is displayed on the platform and it’s easier for us to track and review past purchases. So when Marketing sets a budget for  monthly channel spend and then requests an increase mid-month, we have the insights to identify whether or not it’s in budget and question why it’s needed.

Q3: What did spend and expense management look like before Float?

Our one corporate card was held by a number of employees across the company, so there was one group of people actively using it and another group asking me if they could. Tons of requests were coming my way or employees with the card would spend without providing the supporting receipts/ documentation. This resulted in inefficient month ends and time wasted hunting down receipts. I was searching for a better way to improve our policies and Float was deemed the best route.

Our team was growing, spending was on the rise and there was a deficiency in employees submitting their receipts. We weren’t set up to scale. If it wasn’t for Float, the finance team would have struggled to keep up with company growth.

Q4: Which Float feature is most useful to your team and why?

Float gives us the flexibility to set up cards with different titles, controls and spending limits. For example, we can create a card that has a $20K limit for recurring purchases or we can issue a single-use card with $200 on it. Initially, we started off using Float for our marketing team since they were our biggest spenders. But now, our entire company is reaping the benefits. 

Float also gives our finance team the power to spot and audit expenses coming through in real time. Instead of waiting until month end or year end to review expenses or any unusual purchases, we can check in whenever we want. Now that Float has the Multi-Level approval feature, we’re able to align all of our employees with our budget and approval limits for 2022 and give our department managers more responsibility. The middle man (me!) has been removed and managers have greater autonomy to oversee team spending and their overall budgets

Q5: What is the best part about working with Float?

“At Properly, one of our cultural norms is to “act like an owner” and Float enables our managers to do just that.”

Honestly, it’s the simplicity. Float makes it so easy to issue individual corporate cards to employees, while making it even easier for our finance team to track and manage corporate spending. Also, the autonomy it’s provided to our managers is next level. Our managers own their budget, have the ability to approve spend requests and can analyze everything on a daily basis to ensure their team isn’t abusing their spending power. It gives them more accountability and shows that we trust them –  it’s a win-win.

About Properly

Combining top talent, innovation and technology, Properly transforms the real estate experience for Canadians. From dreaming about buying a new home to closing the sale and everything in between, Properly delivers a stress-free, full-service and modern way to buy and sell your home. 

If you’re looking for a smarter way to track and manage your corporate spending, book a demo with our team to learn more!

Written by

Amrita Gurney

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