Botify built an international spend management system with Spendesk
With offices in New York, Seattle, Paris, and London, monitoring and managing employee purchases across all markets was a formidable challenge–not to mention accounting. Spendesk’s all-in-one centralized spend solution has given Botify the control and framework to productively work in sync with its teams across the globe, while giving employees more autonomy to make purchases that are vital to growing the company.
Employees had difficulty accessing easy online payments for tools and subscriptions
No real-time visibility over all spending across international offices
Had trouble validating and approving payments before they occur
Difficulty with keeping accounts up to date automatically
Virtual cards to use for recurring subscription payments
Full visibility and tracking of every online purchase, the moment it occurs
Centralised software with one simple spending approval process for all markets
Accounting data is automatically formatted and ready to export from the start
“Every manager knows who is spending, why, and how much.”
Easy online payments
Botify chose Spendesk primarily for online spending. It needed a way to let business teams pay for the things they need quickly, securely, anywhere in the world.
“We have lots of recurring payments online. And we need to make them quickly, without hassle. Most of these systems - software and other tools - require Paypal or credit card. So in the past, we would always rely on shared company credit cards.”
This is common, but can quickly lead to serious issues. When company cards are shared between teams, it’s nearly impossible to monitor who pays for what, and why.
But Spendesk’s virtual cards are always in the name of the end user. Finance teams can immediately see which team member made a purchase, along with the reasons given.
“Spendesk gave us a traceable workflow and validation system. I can find details about any specific purchase any time I need them, which is so important. I simply didn’t have this ability before.”
And it’s this approval and validation process that Géraldine loves most. The process is the same for teams in New York, Seattle, London, and Paris, and the finance team can easily manage all of that spending from the same platform.
A robust approval process
As part of the reconciliation and closing process, every payment needs to have a clear rationale and supporting documents. But most employees either don’t know or don’t care about these requirements.
“Previously, we had another system in the United States - a new credit card for businesses. But there was no approval process built in. Everybody was an administrator of their own account, so we had absolutely no control over what was being spent. They could change the rules for themselves, and there was no opportunity to step in. When I realized that, I tried to stop it quickly. But these habits had already set in.”
Botify knew that the best way to create good practices is to make them a natural part of the process.
“The best part about Spendesk is the system for validation and approval. When an employee takes a subscription online, their manager knows right away and needs to approve this purchase. This is really helpful, and it works very well.”
“We need to keep control, but our main goal is to offer freedom to our team members. That’s why this validation process is so valuable for us. Every purchase needs validation from a manager, so managers are always in control of their budgets. But the nice part is that this workflow is very easy and can be done from anywhere. It doesn’t slow our teams down at all - in fact they can spend more easily, but with more control than ever.”
More control for the finance team
Géraldine knows that spending money is vital for growing businesses. “Our teams really need to spend to perform in their roles, so I can’t simply block their cards if they don’t follow the rules.
“We have to be the police within the company. We have to make sure that our clients pay us, that we pay our vendors on time, and that our spending stays within the defined budgets we created at the beginning of the year. But in the meantime, we are one of the most important partners for every team within the company. The developers can’t build anything if they don’t have access to funds. The salespeople need us to help them build good relationships with clients.”
“So we have a budget for each team, and we have to be on top of what’s being spent. Our managers have to be able to see their teams’ needs and control where the money goes.”
And the finance team has to be on top of all of it. “We can be strict and say “no” when we need to, but we love giving our teams freedom whenever possible. We’re in control of the money, and the money is the key to everything. It’s the heart of any business. We’ve got to spend it - that’s for sure. But we’ve got to spend it wisely.
A simple, connected accounting process
“I’ve been working in accounting for around 11 years now, and joined Botify more than a year ago as accounting manager for our three entities worldwide. At the time, we handled French accounts in-house in France, but our UK and US accounts were done by external advisors.”
This is a pretty common structure for growing businesses. But it can have significant drawbacks for finance teams. “Ultimately, we didn’t have control over our books. Once or twice a month, they’d share information with us so we’d be able to consolidate all our numbers. We didn’t have the visibility we needed, and I couldn’t have information as soon as I needed it. We couldn’t see what was happening in the accounts, except for every few weeks when they sent us the data. If we wanted to change strategies or adjust spending, we would only be able to do it at the last minute. Which would just delay everything.”
The solution? “I moved all the accounting systems and treasury to France. This also meant handling all online spending through Spendesk, and then sending data to our tax consultants for bookkeeping. This is better because we need the data now to make strategic decisions - the tax accountants only need it once a quarter and for year-end closing.”
A solution to fit the business
The problem with traditional spending solutions is that they weren’t actually built for businesses. This is what makes Spendesk different. “I love that you offer different modules based on our specific needs. We don’t have to take the entire suite if we don’t want them - we simply choose the parts that we need. I like that. We’re in control of our Spendesk account, just the same as our spending.”
“The people I speak with at Spendesk really listen to our needs and try to make sure that the tool always answers our needs. I love that you continuously develop and improve. You definitely developed something complete which gives me a vision of almost the entire workflow. And anything that isn’t available yet is clearly coming soon.”
“I would definitely recommend Spendesk to other businesses. I love the system!”