Approve Spending Before It Happens

July 9, 2020

5 min read

Picture of Certify Team

Certify Team


  • Foresight into upcoming spend obligations is critical to keep

Foresight into upcoming spend obligations is critical to keep cash flowing and know where it’s going. During a time with so much uncertainty, your finance team wants to count on their budgets.

While our expense management solution already keeps spending within budget automatically, some companies are a little stricter. They’d much rather deal with the extra step of pre-approving spend, than being surprised at month’s end. That’s where pre-approved spend requests come in. As more employees continue to work remotely or start traveling again for business, having an integrated, easy-to-use system will help you see your spending clearly.

Here are three ways spend requests from Certify Expense improve budgetary oversight.

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1. Your spending becomes crystal clear
Even the most accurate forecast leaves room for improvement. With pre-approvals, your users can organize their upcoming expense report before buying anything. This added layer gives you greater oversight into spending before it happens.

It’s not limited to planned travel either. For example, if Alex in HR needs to expense a new hire onboarding kit for two cohorts of employees, she can create a spend request for the expected amount. Or if Jamie from Sales’ latest engagement requested quarterly on-sites, he can submit for those in advance. Managers in both cases will undoubtedly approve having gained more clarity about the future spending.

All that’s left after your request is approved is to, well, spend. You incur expenses as usual and attach documentation while on the go. The receipts automatically link to your pre-approved expense report. Submit it when ready, then wait a few days for a speedy reimbursement.

2. Relationships and communication improve
Certify Expense already bridges the communication gap between submitters and approvers. With pre-approvals, you can have this conversation long before they swipe their card.

As a user “shops” and adds items to their spend request, they can code and specify the need inside the app. If the expense report shows up for pre-approval and items are over budget, the system prompts the approver to start a dialogue for more information before final approval. This brings both parties an opportunity to collaborate and correct any potential issues without any awkward conversations.

But even the best-laid plan needs a little wiggle room for opportunity to step in. What if an unexpected expense comes up outside of what was pre-approved? Fortunately, they can use the Certify app to continue capturing expenses tied to the approved spend request for submission. When new line items start to bloat the budget, the same dialogue can begin from within the app.

3. Everyone is more accountable
Having users think about their upcoming expenses helps everyone. For end-users, the ability to visualize the impact of their choices on the fly helps improve accountability. Increasing from a three-star hotel to four-star luxury? While within policy, they may want to consider using reward points to offset upgrade costs, if the higher rating truly matters.

As such, everyone sees an immediate benefit. Users know how their expenses affect the company. Expense approvers have a closer adherence to budget and tight control over corporate spending. Finance has an accurate picture of upcoming obligations without the hassle of playing policy police. In the end, everyone gets exactly what they want: less time managing expenses.

Are pre-approvals right for me?
As with everything we build at Certify, your experience is completely tailored. Pre-approval spend requests can be mandatory across the company, or optional while our automated controls do the heavy lifting. It all depends on the spend culture and trust you’ve established at your organization. Whatever the case may be, you can rest easy knowing that budgets will remain intact, and cash will continue to flow.

Want to give your finance team greater control and oversight into spending? Contact us today to learn how pre-approvals in Certify Expense can do precisely that.