Every client needs spend management support in 2024. Here’s how your firm can help them.

How strong are your clients’ expense policies? Do they even have them? The risks of a weak (or nonexistent) expense policy are significant for all organizations—even small ones. Companies need to make sure employees spend money on behalf of the company only on approved items. Without a clear, well-managed policy, costs can quickly spiral out of control, whether accidentally or as a result of fraud.

Modern technology is helping expense management go beyond the traditional travel and entertainment scope, making it possible for organizations to have a comprehensive spend and expense management process that even brings in control and visibility of spend on vendor and procurement-type purchases.

I recently joined CPA.com’s Kim Blascoe and BILL’s Richard Corn in a webinar to discuss how RKL Virtual is applying the power of automation to help clients on this front. With the help of user-friendly spend management tools, our firm has elevated its stature as a trusted advisor to clients, while deepening relationships, demonstrating unparalleled value, and opening a reliable new revenue stream. Your firm can, too.

With the right technology, your firm—and your clients—will soar.

Not sure your firm has the resources and expertise to guide your clients’ spend management policies and practices? The right technology can give you a springboard to start.

When you use a solution designed specifically for spend management, it comes with best practices already built in, allowing your team to build on approaches that have been tried, tested and proven in the field for years. For example, the BILL Spend & Expense platform allows our clients to provide their employees and vendors with BILL Divvy virtual cards, which are preloaded with client-set rules for spending in line with the company’s expense policy. Both the platform and the cards are designed to operate in tight alignment with company-established spend rules, which are based on widely acknowledged best practices.

What are virtual cards and how do they work?
A virtual card is a unique 16-digit card number that is digitally generated and tied to a client’s BILL Divvy account. It can be used for virtual payments everywhere, just like a standard corporate card. Clients can create as many virtual cards as they need for free, so they can generate cards to be used for individual vendors, others tied to specific internal accounts, employee-specific cards, and so on. Virtual cards offer clients a host of advantages over traditional, highly manual spend strategies, including:

  • No overcharging
  • Instant card freeze
  • Automated expense categorization
  • Near-instant visibility

Virtual cards are safer than plastic cards because they diversify card numbers while being dedicated to one vendor or purpose. They offer greater control over company spend and a faster process for detecting and stopping fraud.

With technology-enhanced corporate cards, clients set the rules.
Both physical and virtual cards within a spend management platform operate according to client-set rules, which are flexible and easily customized. They cover a range of issues including:

  • Who can spend for the company
    Assigning funds to those authorized to spend on behalf of the organization is quick and easy with a card-based system. Each card works according to pre-established, adjustable parameters and spending limits.
  • Using the appropriate budget
    Your clients need a clear spending policy to make sure employees, as well as vendors who are assigned a virtual card, use the right budget for each purpose—especially those who have access to multiple budgets.
  • Uploading receipts for reconciliation
    End-of-month reconciliation can be time-consuming, error-prone and often frustrating when it requires either your clients’ employees or your own professionals chasing down receipts month after month. In a card-based system like BILL Spend & Expense, employees who use cards to spend money immediately receive a prompt to upload a receipt to the app, attached to that specific purchase.
  • Transaction reasons and classifications
    What if your clients could pre-code transactions so that they are automatically mapped to the correct place in the GL, based on which budget is being used? With a card-based system, they can. They can also require information (such as business purpose or spending categories) to be provided by the spender before any transactions are approved, based on budget used, amount spent, and more.

Build trust and open new revenue streams.
Becoming a client’s most trusted advisor requires providing insight across many parts of their business—spend management is only one piece of the puzzle. For firms looking for an entry point into an advisory relationship with clients, it can be a great starting point. For those already providing advisory services, spend management is one more tool for expanding and growing the relationship. Either way, it deserves a place in the advisory portfolio.

Keep learning

Guest contributor Victoria Pritchard is the Technology & Innovation Practice Leader for RKL Virtual Management Solutions. In her role, she leads all of RKL Virtual’s technology and innovation efforts across its outsourced back-office service offerings. Victoria uses a practical approach to identify and implement the latest technologies.

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