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How We Are Social mastered expense management

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Achille Manbou, Financial Controller


How did you manage expenses before Spendesk ?

At We are Social we have different types of expenses to manage: our own of course but also those we handle for our clients. As an agency, we make a lot of purchases on behalf of companies whose online presence we manage. For example, we need stock photos from image libraries, music for videos, or goodies for competitions. Our clients rely on us because their purchase processes can be cumbersome, so we need to be more agile than them.

Before Spendesk, we had two credit cards that got passed around between employees to pay for their operating expenses. Obviously that wasn’t practical, especially when everyone needed the card at the same time. It also meant that employees had to interrupt me several times a day to get the card to pay for small expenses, and I ended up playing the role of go-between.

Collecting receipts, assigning payments to the right projects, reconciling expenses, and managing accounting were all serious headaches. Especially in an agency with 120 staff.

Why did you need an expense management solution like Spendesk?

I really needed a tool both for reporting and operations. I need to be able to monitor expenses incurred but before, I didn’t even have real-time visibility of cash flow in the company. In my job I need to have all the data necessary to optimise our processes and budgets.

What’s more, managing expenses and payments is time consuming and frustrating: I was wasting so much time processing expense slips, which is neither my job nor my team's job. We needed to free up time to be able to focus on our real duties.

Why did you choose Spendesk?

Spendesk provides an innovative solution, and it was vital for us to choose a software in line with our DNA and our business vision. The added value for us today comes from being able to manage purchase requests and generate virtual credit cards, which allows our employees to make online purchases independently and securely.

And now, how do you manage your expenses?

In terms of reporting, Spendesk lets us assign a project code and client code to each expense, which allows us to track costs and work out our gross profit with much greater accuracy. I realised that we had a tendency to overestimate our gross profit by processing certain direct costs as overhead expenses. That’s been rectified now, so we’ve been able to optimise our expense tracking and budget monitoring.

Thanks to Spendesk virtual cards, our teams can quickly and easily pay for things online. And it's very secure, so that minimizes our risk of fraud.

Some of the We Are Social team also have their own physical cards. Our Production Department are always out in the field, for example, and our Office Manager needs to make purchases in-store. Our President also has a card to use for client lunches and other operational expenses.

Closing the books is now very simple. Spendesk lets me delegate the job of verifying and uploading receipts to the person paying, which is a huge time-saver. The tool is both user-friendly and fun to use, so employees play the game and are far more likely to provide the necessary documents.

With Spendesk, I control company spending while giving our teams complete autonomy. And I'm far more calm as a result. It's a real time- and money-saver!

By my count, I save two days every month with Spendesk!

A growing business inevitably gets a bit messy when it comes to expenses. The number of payments I had to process by myself kept climbing. Between invoices going astray and credit cards getting passed around, it got hard to keep a handle on processing expenses. We needed a solution that wouldn’t compromise our agility and that’s exactly what we found with Spendesk.

Achille ManbouFinancial Controller

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