Introducing Spend Limits by Category

Introducing Spend Limits by Category

Travel and expense costs are some of the most difficult to control, second only to the cost of maintenance and repairs. Even our own research points to similar conclusions. But controlling spend isn’t a black and white issue. At least, it doesn’t have to be.

Which is why we’re thrilled to offer you a new way to keep expenses in check with Spend Limits by Category.

Flexibility (and agility) matter
Controlling spend is a balancing act. Too strict of a policy, and your employees are bogged down by inefficient processes. Too loose, and the risk of overspending is only a swipe away.

There isn’t a right or wrong way to control costs, but there are best practices. And Spend Limits by Category is one such option, in how it allows Certify Expense users to rein in even the most frequent over-spending.

For example, if you are reimbursing employees for their cell phone bill every month, you can easily set this limit within Certify Expense. Simply set the time frame, choose your maximum allowance, and the system will take care of the rest.

Another expense could be client entertainment costs. Perhaps you have noticed that the sales department’s client meal expenses have been steadily rising each quarter. By setting a limit within Certify, you can keep these client entertainment costs within budget for the quarter and the expense category.

This helps address overspending closer to when it happens, instead of after the reimbursements have been sent, and the books closed.

Timing is everything
Discovering that an employee overspent on airfare last month isn’t very helpful for finance. The funds are long gone—and the company is now on the hook. A savvier approach is to “bake-in” the chance to educate submitters and approvers during the submission process.

While automated T&E solutions help curb overspending, they don’t accrue expense costs over time. You could book a flight with Delta that was in policy at the time of purchase, but then another last-minute flight could put you over the monthly budget for Air Travel.

Which makes for a tricky discussion.

If an expense was in policy—but over budget—how do you let both submitters and approvers know so this doesn’t turn into a pattern? With Spend Limits by Category, both expense submitters and approvers receive in-app notifications when a submitted expense is over budget. The approver can then request more details on the expense, and the submitter gets a chance to explain why they went over budget.

This simple feedback loop helps combat approver apathy by seeing how an expense impacts a category’s budget in near real-time.

Becoming more proactive
Now your team can be more proactive, instead of reactive. You won’t have to rely on cross-checking reports and auditing the expenses each month, quarter, or year. Every expense will be within budget, and if not, you’ll have ample time to discuss it with submitters and approvers.

This will save your finance team time at the end of each month, and also leave your employees feeling more empowered to act in the company’s best interest.

If you want to see how Certify Expense can help your team keep T&E costs in check, schedule a personalized demonstration and we can show you the way.