Ebook - Our guide to conquering small business expense management

Sarah Hiraki

 · 01/24/2020  · 01/24/2020

A better expense solution

Keeping track of outgoings is at the heart of good financial management – so we were startled when our research showed that nearly half of SMEs have no process for managing expenses. In fact, forty-four (44%) percent of SMEs* with more than one employee have no formal expense management process in place. For those business owners, having clear visibility over their expenditure is hard, if not impossible. This hidden financial crisis (one survey put the cost of fraudulent expenses at £1.9 billion!) can put profits at risk, hobble growth and undermine employee engagement.

The statistic was one finding from our most recent SME survey. We conducted the research to develop a detailed picture of how SMEs manage their finances and establish best practices that can help them grow.

Our simple survey shed light on a number of critical issues for businesses. We know our SME community is passionate about what they do and aren’t the sort to overlook a major cash-flow problem. So we have decided to unpick the inherent roadblocks businesses face when it comes to expense management. If you’re short on time, you can cut to the chase and download our helpful guide to Conquering Expenses here:

Download our ebook

The status quo

It’s our belief that SMEs aren’t at fault for this blindspot in their financial hygiene, but that a better, less cumbersome solution has been long awaited. It’s easy to see how expenses can be overlooked. By their nature they are ad-hoc and spontaneous and so fall outside of the day-to-day management of the business. Fast moving companies need to be agile and react to circumstances – and this leads to unforeseen expenses. Individuals are often empowered to make decisions in decentralised ways – they move too fast to always get prior approval. And often the amounts are small, a few pounds here or there. But these things add up. Individuals sit on personal expenses before submitting a sizeable claim, and lots of small expenses can add up to a large amount. So even as they fly under the radar, they are building up to be a significant risk. Expenses are tricky, but our tools have come a long way.

Until now it’s been hard to implement a process that provides visibility and control without harming agility. If the tools are complicated and require a lot of setup, getting buy-in from staff and preserving a culture of ‘how we do things’ can be difficult. No one likes filling in forms and keeping receipts. So, many just muddle through with a mixture of good intentions, unwritten rules and expectations: 26% of our survey said they had no process but things ‘seem to work out fine’. But, businesses of all sizes needn’t struggle anymore. Proper expense management is no longer just a tool of big enterprise.

Problem solved

Revolut Business and our bespoke integrations with the likes of Xero, Slack, QuickBooks and FreeAgent can make life easier. It’s an ideal expense management solution for companies who don’t have time for an expense management solution. Simply set up and go. Your Revolut Business account can issue cards, track expenses, control employee permissions, and even send reminder text messages so you staff never loses a receipt again; and all of this is contained in a single, user-friendly app. Welcome to the future.

Find out about end-to-end expense management and how easy it can be to implement in your business in more detail in our helpful (and free!) ebook. We’re here to help you grow and keep your business on the cutting edge. You can do this. Don’t let yourself become part of the 44%.

Download our ebook

*Percentage of small businesses with more than one employee (N=433) surveyed across UK, France and Poland in October and November 2019