24 May 2022
4 mins read

Key questions you should ask on your expense management RFP

Accountants discussing Key questions you should ask on your expense management RFP
Quick summary

Most businesses will continuously develop their processes, digitally transforming how they manage activities to stay efficient and focused. For many companies, financial operations are high on the list for transformation, including expense management, in order to get good spend visibility to support forecasting and budgeting.

Table of Contents

    Managing business payments, minimising the need for employee reimbursements, streamlining company card transactions, and finding the best way to manage employee expenses can save your finance team time and help provide vital spend visibility.

    These reasons and many more, including increased employee satisfaction and greater spending control, are why expense management should be on every CFO and Finance leader's agenda.

    However, finding the right company to support with company cards and expense management isn't always easy. And the stakes are high. It's essential to choose a partner with both the right technology and a commitment to customer success.

    1. Enter: Request for proposal

    For every business problem, there will be several technology providers who have designed a solution. When thinking about card and expense management, you may have a list of providers and their websites, and you’re now carefully reading their materials.

    If the choice seems overwhelming, it might be time to consider creating a Request for Proposal (RFP).

    A request for proposal is a document that solicits information from technology vendors in the context of a list of requirements. Buyers — that’s you — can use RFPs to formally request the vendor to engage in a new business process alongside other vendors for a process of qualification and, ultimately, selection.

    RFPs can be ideal for selecting a technology vendor because they standardize the information requested (and therefore received), allowing for better comparison. And because they keep things organised.

    2. Questions to include in the RFP

    The first step is compiling a list of vendors you want to consider. Once you've finalised this list, you can find the contact information for each vendor's new business team.

    But before you can get in touch, you should create your RFP. The best kind of RFP is a simple document with two main sections. 1) Some information about your company and 2) a list of questions on the vendor's capabilities.

    The questions are there to tell the technology provider what's important to you and to ask them to explain how their product solves your problems.

    Below is a suggestion of questions that have been important for all our customers:

    Spend management, made simple

    3. How good is the user experience?

    It’s very much expected that every technology provider will need to give you a demo and show you the software.

    For a card and expense management app, user experience is extremely important.

    The finance team will use the software every day, so it’s important to get a sense of how automated and efficient it is. Will the team get things done fast? Will they save time? Does it make their jobs easier?

    What about those not in the finance team?

    It’s important to think about everyone in the organisation that will use the software and consider their requirements.

    The user experience can play a huge role in how corporate users engage with the technology and the process. The better the software, the more people will engage with it. And the better the compliance.

    See how easy it is to manage expenses on the road from a Payhawk user's point of view.

    4. Can it connect with your ERP?

    Your company spend must with your accounting system.

    Ideally, every transaction from an employee payment can be automatically pushed to your ERP without additional manual work.

    Ultimately the expense management provider you choose will need to integrate with your chosen ERP, so this will be an important question on your list.

    Check our integrations with all major ERPs, accounting software, and Excel.

    5. Can the finance team save time on routine tasks?

    For growing organisations, small routine tasks can become monstrous very quickly.

    An advanced spend management system, such as ours, allows the bulk management of corporate visa cards including receipt chasing, and approval workflows.

    The company card should be connected to expense management software which features in-built policies to support spend control. Your company should be able to update policy in bulk via workflows in order to update and change spend controls as necessary and encourage compliance.

    6. Is it flexible enough for reimbursements?

    Lastly, make sure you can have the flexibility to pay back your employees when spending outside of the expense management platform.

    Life happens; you just need to account for it.

    Payhawk ticks all these boxes and more. Book a demo to talk to us ahead of your next RFP.

    Trish Toovey - Content Director at Payhawk - The financial system of tomorrow
    Trish Toovey
    Senior Content Manager

    Trish Toovey works across the UK and US markets to craft content at Payhawk. Covering anything from ad copy to video scripting, Trish leans on a super varied background in copy and content creation for the finance, fashion, and travel industries.

    See all articles by Trish →

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