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How Cafe Candelas cut expense management time in half

Established in 1973, Cafes Candelas is a family business with over 40 years of experience in the coffee production sector. As a leading coffee roaster and supplier for hospitality, 800 million cups of Candelas’ coffee are served in the world every year.

Lugo, Spain
Started using Payhawk:
July 2021
Features they love
  • Easy card issuance
  • Paperless process
  • Integrations
  • Mobile app
Alejandro Álvarez

"We’re so much more efficient with Payhawk and the whole company loves the user-friendly tool! We've reduced the time spent on managing expenses by half. And we're going to save even more time thanks to the way we're constantly improving processes with Payhawk."

Alejandro Álvarez Finance Director at Cafés Candelas
Cafés Candelas es una empresa familiar con más de 40 años de experiencia en el sector del caféCafés Candelas es una empresa familiar con más de 40 años de experiencia en el sector del café

Life before Payhawk

"Before using Payhawk as our expense management solution, the whole process was very manual and cumbersome," Alejandro Alvarez, Finance Director at Cafe Candelas, explained.

"Every time an employee needed company funds, they had to request from payroll in advance and then send a monthly expense report to reconcile everything."

Alejandro also explained that as the software they previously used wasn't certified by the Spanish Tax Agency, they couldn't remove any paper from their processes. They had to manually upload copies of each receipt into the system and keep piles of relevant paperwork on top.

When it came to corporate cards, the organization only used a couple, which they gave to senior-level employees.

The finance team also had to do manual bookkeeping and time-consuming expense reconciliations at the end of each month. There was no integration between the CRM system, where they uploaded the expenses and their chosen ERP.

Alejandro and his team knew they needed a change and started searching for a better (faster) solution.

Getting cards, expenses, and control — all in one place

Employee expenses and reimbursements are critical pain points for all companies, regardless of size. Alejandro told us how difficult it was to find a platform to manage all of their spending requirements in one place as they grew.

At Payhawk, our comprehensive global spend management solution consolidates corporate card and expense management features into a single, user-friendly solution, including:

Issuing and managing company cards, cash, and invoice payments on a single platform (meaning no more switching between tools and losing visibility) was a big pull for the team at Cafe Candelas.

They also love that our solution lets them see real-time employee spending and adjust approval workflows and policies accordingly in just seconds.

Cafe Candelas: Four favourite expense management benefits

Cafe Candelas made expense management a breeze by moving to Payhawk and issuing their own cards, letting employees create virtual cards on the spot via the mobile app, ditching paper receipts with easy photo uploads, and syncing everything smoothly with their favourite ERP system for a hassle-free experience.

Here are the biggest Payhawk benefits according to Cafe Candelas:

  1. They can issue cards fast and in bulk instead of depending on a third party.

Alvarez described their experience before Payhawk as very, very different:

"We used to have to request a company card from our Commercial Bank (via a Manager), sign a bunch of papers, and wait at least 15 days to pick it up from the branch. This process was so slow."

  1. They have access to virtual cards through the mobile app in seconds, so the finance team can create a new payment method for employees in seconds.

  2. Going paperless. Thanks to our mobile app and Spanish Tax Agency-certified software, employees can eliminate paper receipts by taking a photo for the app.

  3. Reconciliation is fast and easy with an ERP integration, meaning they can keep spending and accounting completely connected

Cutting expense management time in half with Payhawk

Saying goodbye to missing receipts, month-end receipt and invoice chasing, and manual expense reports have been game-changing at Cafe Candelas. There is also constant spend visibility thanks to real-time reporting, so any decisions around expense and budgets can be made swiftly — instead of at each month-end.

The Cafe Candelas team can make smart business budget decisions by digging into their reports in the Payhawk solution. Alejandro and the team can filter transactions by card type, category, employee, supplier, missing receipts, amounts, and more. They can also save their customised views for easy access whenever they need them.

Alejandro said:

"We've reduced the time spent on managing expenses by half. And we're going to save even more time thanks to the way we're constantly improving processes with Payhawk."

Scaling together

Back in 2021, Alejandro gave feedback that a powerful search engine would be really useful within the tool, as they had such a high volume of expenses. We responded by building a new card search engine feature for all of our customers, letting admins search by employee, name of the card (e.g., ‘marketing’), or the last four digits of the card.

For Cafe Candelas, a company with high expenses and multiple users, having user-friendly expense management features is crucial for the finance team and all users.

Tired of wasting time on tedious expense management? Say goodbye to the hassle and cut your time in half with an all-in-one solution, just like Cafe Candelas. Book a personalized demo today, reclaim your precious time and make better decisions with complete real-time spend visibility.

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