With working from home set as the new paradigm, it is growing essential to manage meetings, projects, and team communication seamlessly for different teams with different requirements.
Organizations usually go ahead and install platforms that allow them to decentralize work. This is the right move given that we are still working to understand the new normal. However, financial processing for remotely managed teams is usually done last. This means employees are often scrambling to purchase essential software, book tickets, or required consumables.
While sorting out the financial side is less glamorous than figuring out video-conferencing options, it is essential for the smooth running of the business. It is not going to cut it to keep going back to legacy systems. Performance and productivity are highly dependent on employees’ freedom to spend.
Challenges of remote working
Studies demonstrate the five major challenges when managing remote teams are:
- Communication problems
- Scheduling conflicts
- Language and cultural barriers
- Tracking performance and productivity
- Lack of cohesion
The above issues are also prevalent in company spending while managing remote employees. Working under legacy systems exacerbates these issues given that we are in the middle of the fourth industrial revolution.
Within the digital landscape, old-fashioned face-to-face communication, slow business processing, and using physical company cards are simply not enough.
The pandemic has accelerated the move to remote working. Here are some things that can be done to make the transition smooth and seamless.
Managing Remote Spending
Operational spending for remote employees and teams needs to be simple, accessible, and dynamic. Enabling a simplified method for remote employees to pay online is the best way to start. Subscribing to essential softwares/tools, buying office supplies, and booking travel are necessary for the smooth running of the business.
However, working remotely means employees cannot walk to their manager and ask for a company credit card. The question arises of how they will pay should the need arise for an online workshop/training or a new keyboard.
Virtual cards are the same as physical prepaid cards, except that exist in the cloud. They offer a smart and safe method for online payments irrespective of location, making them highly beneficial, indispensable even.
These virtual cards can be customized to suit specific needs. For example, they can be
- Individual Cards – These can be used only by the employee whose name is on the card
- Departmental Card – These are cards created for use by specific departments to share. For instance, the marketing department.
- Project-specific Cards – These allow employees assigned to a single project from multiple departments to obtain money from the same expense center
Virtual cards offer the option to be leveraged for one-time payments or for repeat subscriptions. The former option means that once the payment is executed, the card is rendered useless. Repeat subscriptions are simplified using subscription cards for payments to the same supplier for the same purpose.
The key takeaway here is that every payment has its own, unique card details. Each individual card is created for a specific payment and can’t be used elsewhere, making them far safer than using the traditional company credit card.
How does a virtual card work?
- Geetha is part of the sales team and finds the annual subscription to a software she requires.
- She requests a virtual card from her manager through the online platform chosen.
- The manager is notified by the application email and has access to the payment request and supporting information making it easy to approve the purchase.
- Geetha pays for the annual subscription and the receipt for the payment is attached within the application.
- The finance team now has access to all payments, approvals, and receipts in a centralized platform capable of integrating with existing accounting and ERP software.
Organizations that rely exclusively on physical cards are going to find it tough when transitioning to remote working as individual employees cannot each be given a company credit card. This means operational expenses have to come out of the employee’s own pockets followed by expense reports which is the fastest way to lower morale.
But, what if it is possible to issue every employee a company card without having to be worried about the consequences?
Zaggle Save Cards enable organizations to place a cap on each card, limiting the items employees can spend on, with the added capability of being able to track all payments in real-time.
How do physical cards work?
- All remote employees are issued a card. These come with pre-set payment limits [one-off, weekly, and/or monthly]. Any payment that exceeds this limit needs approval.
- The manager is notified via the app and can approve the purchase.
- When traveling or with a client, the card can be used as usual, like a normal credit card.
- Upon purchasing anything, the employee simply needs to take a photo of their receipt and upload it to the app. This saves them the hassle of having to keep track of the physical copy of the bills.
- This provides end-to-end visibility to managers and finance teams in real-time over where the money is being spent and what’s being spent. They also have the option to block/freeze cards if necessary.
- These cards draw their money from a limited pool of funds and are not directly connected to the company’s main bank account. The risk of employees making massive errors with the company money is eliminated.
Real-time visibility over remote spends
Making operational spending easy and accessible is a great start to managing remote employees. However, it is imperative to understand where and how the spend occurs to facilitate robust financial decisions.
With virtual cards, every transaction is recorded and available on the dashboard in real-time. This eliminates the need to wait for expense reports to be processed or card statements to come by mail to reconcile the numbers.
Further, Zaggle is capable of categorizing transactions across multiple metrics such as user, merchant, expense category, expense centre, and more.
This provides a concise report on who spent how much, on what at any time. With impeccable data organization and differential access, Zaggle Save eliminates the need to match receipts to transactions through automation.