See how Seedrs optimized finance team productivity with Spendesk
Internal processes need to be easy and fast, otherwise employees will grow to hate them. Spendesk gives Seedrs a comprehensive spend management system that all team members love to use. It makes spending from anywhere easy and simple, by automating the main challenges their managers and employees face: purchase approval and expense reimbursements.
Difficulty spending while on the road
Complicated to manage international financial processes
Lack of control over employee spend
Challenging to maintain a startup spirit with rules in place
Prepaid cards for effortless spending while abroad
Real-time spending oversight to watch payments wherever they’re made
Built-in budgets and approval workflows to ensure limits
Better communication between employees and the finance team
Easier spending during work travel
To help develop the business, Seedrs’ regional teams travel a lot. “We go to a lot of conferences around Europe,” explains Antony. “Our office is responsible for lots of European markets. Pretty much once a week, we get to travel somewhere abroad.”
Work travel brings with it a particular set of challenges. Employees are often asked to pay for accommodation, food, and transport out of their own pockets, which can become pricey. It’s either that or give every traveling employee a company card.
This is why Seedrs uses Spendesk’s prepaid expense cards. “When we go to all these different conferences, we’re able to use Spendesk for a whole range of expenses. Everything that we need to pay for, we can pay with our Spendesk card.”
It’s this peace of mind that really appeals to Kyrill. “A business trip usually comes with some planned expenses, and also some unplanned expenses that can occur. Having a Spendesk card makes it quite convenient. You don’t keep other things in your mind - you just use the card.”
Simple tracking for the finance team
As a remote office, the Berlin team can feel isolated. “In London, we have about 60 employees, and in Berlin, we only have two. The culture and communication is limited to only two of us.”
To stay in touch with all its teams, Seedrs needs to use smart collaborative tools. “We use team communication tools that all startups do, like Slack. But on top of that, we have quite a lot of other tools.”
This includes platforms for spend management. “Spendesk makes it easier for us to be connected with other locations,” says Antony. “We do have to talk to our finance manager all the time in relation to the purchases we make with Spendesk. I think that’s a positive thing - without this, we wouldn’t be in touch as much as we are now.”
And it’s better for the finance team too. As Charlie explains, “it’s exciting. I don’t have to have them chasing me about when I need to pay them back. With Spendesk, I’m taking control of my processes, and they’ve improved being belief. I can now be confident that these employees do exactly what they’re supposed to do, without me being overbearing.”
More freedom, and more control
“Control is a funny word with a startup,” says Charlie. “You always want to give your employees the freedom to express themselves, the freedom to do what they do best, getting out there and spreading the word. Finance can’t put too strict control over these people. Because you’re not only sticking control on the people, but the personalities, and that’s what makes a startup a startup.”
But of course, control is a key duty for finance teams. It’s their job to ensure that company money is spent responsibly. They need to find the right balance between freedom and restrictions.
“Spendesk helps our employees because they don’t need to come to finance with every question. They don’t need to email for approval, they don’t need to Slack me for approval - it’s done automatically. Which is perfect. They can do it on the fly, and it’s quick and easy. That’s the most important bit - for finance teams to be reactive to the employee’s needs. That’s what Spendesk adds.”
A faster way to claim expenses
Expenses are a strain for companies all over the world. Especially for frontline staff, who need to keep track of every payment and file tedious expense reports. “It used to be pretty difficult to send expenses,” says Antony.
But things have changed. That tedious process is gone, and the Seedrs team can focus on more important work. “We don’t spend a lot of time doing expenses with Spendesk, because it’s so simple and easy. The app is there to solve those pains of ours. We just have to take a picture of the receipt after the expense is done and click submit. That’s pretty much it.”
“Noone wants to sit around doing invoices and expenses,”says Louise. “Spendesk has just made that process so much quicker and slicker. It doesn’t have to take up hours of my time - it can just be done in a few minutes.”
Better processes for finance leaders
Internal processes need to be easy and fast, otherwise, employees will grow to hate them. This is a big issue for finance managers like Charlie. “Finance is a business support, and I feel that expenses are always a barrier to that support. Spendesk has now removed that barrier.”
And the time saved frees up finance teams to focus on more valuable work. “Spendesk also lets us review the spend much quicker and see where the spend is most beneficial. That’s enabled me to provide analysis in real time as well. To give feedback to the decision makers within the business in real time. There’s less data processing, but more data analysis.”