Automating repetitive processes
Newzoo has a small, yet diligent finance team of three. And as a smart, modern company, it knows the value of putting new technology to work whenever possible.
“Our team is very broad, so we handle everything from the bookkeeping, account payable, accounts receivable, expense reports, and even travel expenses and other administrative tasks. Plus forecasting, and financial reporting - it's very broad.”
“Our goal is to automate as much as we can, so that we can focus on the higher level instead of booking payments and other small things. I think we are really making big progress towards that - we’ve already automated a lot of our procedures.”
Spendesk lets the team avoid many of the slow processes that bog down too many companies. All forms of spending including expense claims, online purchases and subscriptions are now on a fast track.
“Automation saves us a lot of time, avoids mistakes, and then frees up time for us to work on forecasting, or maybe pay more attention on how to classify different costs. We participate more in the company's decision-making by providing more valuable insights on financials as a finance team, instead of just processing tons of data like we did before.”
Managing software subscriptions
Software subscriptions are a tricky subject for plenty of companies. When you rely on the corporate credit card for every payment, it quickly leads to issues.
“We used to have most of the software subscriptions and out of pocket expenses on credit cards, which became difficult to manage. It was challenging to identify which team had ownership over what expenses or software subscriptions, especially since different teams had various subscriptions for the same software. Keeping track of all subscriptions turned into a big challenge.”
“Spendesk has really helped us create a process for software subscription management.”
Assistant Controller Stella Zheng explains, “we really love the virtual cards. They’re such an effective way to manage all the software costs, because we can assign a budget per month for one software, one subscription, and then match that budget against the right team.”
“They really avoid lots of extra work. If an employee wanted to pay for new software previously, they would need to talk to the office manager who would either purchase it for them, or would physically go to their laptop and input all the banking details. However, employees can now do all that with the virtual card.”
“There was a lot of extra admin involved that we don’t have to worry about anymore.”
Easily reimbursing employee expense claims
Newzoo came to Spendesk for subscription management. But it stayed for expense automation. “Once we started using Spendesk, we realized that the expense reimbursement process is far superior to what we had before.”
“We were using a different platform - it was automated as well. But it was less advanced and overly complicated for the average employee. People had to submit expense reports manually, upload all their information and assign things like accounting codes and VAT. For new joiners, the process was also quite hard to follow. ”
“Now they just get the login details from us, drag and drop their receipts, and they forget about it. We’re hearing consistently throughout the company just how easily everyone is picking it up and how user friendly it is.”
Another improvement from the previous process is the ability to reimburse out of pocket expenses directly from the Spendesk wallet, meaning that once the expense reimbursement requests go through the approval process, we can release them directly instead of having to upload SEPA forms to the bank portal. This means the employees get reimbursed faster and the finance team spends less time on this task.
“Every user understands how the flow goes, and where to click. We never hear ‘how do we upload our expense reports?’ anymore. It's great!”
Making the process simple for the whole company
Increasing automation is a key goal for Newzoo. But as Martynas explains, that only works when the tools are intuitive and logical for everyone to use. Which was a key reason he chose Spendesk.
“I think the first thing that appealed was how the user experience looks like. I just logged in for the first time, and I knew where to click. Everything is clearly presented.”
And of course, this is even more valuable for non-finance team members. “I thought, ‘for the average employee, it will also be the same.’ They'll immediately know, ‘I need to click here to submit my expenses.’” This makes the onboarding and ramp-up process very straightforward.
The added bonus was combining several existing tools into one. “It had all the things that we needed. The physical cards, subscription tracking, and then expense reports. We were actually happy with the previous software, but we realized that we can just have all three in one.”
Smoothly tracking approvals
Another critical aspect of the finance team’s work is keeping clear records for assurance purposes and in case of audits. This includes not just transactions themselves, but the workflow of approvals, people who request and approve them.
And by making it easy to grant and track approvals for every payment, the audit trail is taken care of. “Email notifications go straight away once people submit expense reports. The managers know they have something outstanding that they need to approve.”
“We previously had to chase team leads and remind them that they had lots of expense reports that needed to be approved. This was causing a delay from expense submission to payment release for employees. But the email flow is really efficient and it works in the same way for receipts. They get a reminder: ‘Purchase successful. Please upload the receipt.”